The typical Irish Catholic arrival in New York or Boston was a peasant with little formal education and few material resources. Worse, these people were religious aliens — the papist hordes who threatened to swamp Protestant civilization and, in their ignorance and superstition, destroy enlightened democratic American values.

    The people around Mr. Trump surely know this history, yet they act as if they were the descendants not of these poor immigrants but of the American nativists and Know Nothings who slandered and derided them. Mr. Trump’s assertion that millions of illegal immigrants voted to deprive him of his victory in the popular vote directly echoes one of the most common charges against the Irish in the 19th century: that, in the words of one Yankee, “Irishmen fresh from the bogs of Ireland” were led to the polling booths “like dumb brutes” to “vote down intelligent, honest native citizens.”


It's interesting that Irish people went from being hated in the States to being​ loved, alright. There'll be plenty of yanks in Dublin today celebrating their Irish heritage.

What's alarming, too, is our own lack of memory; though some concerns are intelligible, in Ireland people forget that those coming to our island are just like we were not so long ago.

Actually I find the Irish question interesting in the context of current concerns about racism (which, incidentally, tends to be dominated by American problems that are quite different to the European situation). To a certain extent it problematises crude black-and-white thinking.

posted by kleinbl00: 429 days ago