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Saint Patrick’s Day

Image: PV Bella

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. We celebrate Irish history, culture, and the contributions the Irish made to society and culture. Too many, mostly non-Irish, celebrate by wearing funny green clothing and drowning the shamrock, drinking way beyond excess, especially that horse p**s green beer and those concocted “Irish” cocktails.

What is lost to many are the sufferings inflicted on the Irish by Great Britain. Great Britain never was held accountable for all the atrocities they committed throughout the world in the Colonial Era. They are held up as a paragon of human rights, go figure.

The Irish gave us poets, writers, playwrights, musicians, actors, singers, songwriters, visual artists, politicians, a president, educators, religious institutions, and other contributions to this country.

Like other immigrants who came to America, the Irish were treated brutally until they fought their way up the ladder of acceptance. This was the American way for most immigrants over the last two centuries. You were treated like dirt until you overcame and earned acceptance. Unfortunately, that American way has been dusted off and reared its ugly head again.

My pal, Tony Fitzpatrick, summed up the Irish in these excerpts from a longer essay:

“There is an impression that the Irish are a bunch of happy-go-lucky dipshits with fake brogues and cheery dispositions. Let us dispense with this myth right now. There is no darker heart than that of the Irish, Boyo…

You don’t want the luck of the Irish. Poverty, famine and the oppression of the British Crown are some of the components of this “luck.”

…The Irish have been conquered, raped and pillaged by the Spaniards, the English and the Vikings. Some “luck.” They still managed to take the language imposed upon them by their conquerors and use it better than they did…

…We are the best storytellers on the planet. We endured a famine so atrocious almost a quarter of our countrymen perished while the English raided our surviving potato crops…

…This is the way with us Irish. We contain great beauty; that which history has not been able to take from us, and we wield it with the best and worst intentions. Get in the way of our dance in this life, Boyo, and we’ll knock your dick loose…

To my Irish friends, Erin Go Bragh. To all you non-Irish people who pretend to be Irish today, do us all a favor. Go puke in the street or alleys instead of the sidewalks on your “pub” crawls. Or, like dog owners, carry plastic bags you can puke in and dispose of. Better yet, stop pretending to be “Irish.” Cultural appropriation and all that.

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