From America To Ireland, Appeasement Has Become The Answer To Racism

One of the more repugnant individuals employed in the editorial team of the Donald Trump fanzine, Breitbart News, is the reporter Katie McHugh. An enthusiastic supporter of “white nationalist” politics in the United States, her recruitment in 2014 by the ultra-conservative website has given the Pennsylvanian activist a quasi-respectable platform for her far right opinions (and to hell with the consequences of her actions or rhetoric). The targets of McHugh’s online abuse have included the native nations of North America, peoples displaced and dispossessed in previous centuries by colonisation from Europe and within the continent itself. In a series of tweets in 2015 she issued the following anti-indigenous taunts:

“Indian tribes never bothered to build any kind of civilization. They killed each other and chased bison. Yawn~”

“British settlers and their descendants built civilization. Indians never bothered to build more than a few teepees.”

“As if Indians could ever build the highly-advanced welfare system that sustains their existence… lol”

“Dear “native people,”

Where is your space program? Discovery of the wheel? Civilization?

Love,
America.”

Katie McHugh’s petty display of colonial racism reminded me of an infamous statement made in 1981 by the Reverend Ian Paisley, founder of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Ulster Resistance, directed at the then Fianna Fáil leader and future taoiseach, Charles Haughey. In typically belligerent style the evangelical demagogue claimed on behalf of the British unionist minority in Ireland that:

“Our ancestors cut a civilisation out of the bogs and meadows of this country while Mr Haughey’s ancestors were wearing pig skins and living in caves …”

Recent events make it clear that Paisley’s bigotry – a legacy of Greater England’s colonial wars on this island – continues to shape the “Britnat” politics of his party. This can be seen in its renewed campaign to destroy any semblance of equality for our national language and culture in the UK-administered Six Counties. Not content with denying budgetary resources to Irish-speaking schoolchildren, parents and teachers or – spitefully – changing the name of a maritime protection vessel from one in Irish to one in English, the DUP component of the regional power-sharing administration at Stormont is now determined to eradicate our native tongue from anywhere within its purvey. From the Irish News:

“THE DUP-led Department of Education has stopped translating publications and correspondence into the Irish language.

Minister Peter Weir’s department has adopted a new policy which makes clear that “the principal language is English”.

Under Sinn Féin, official letters contained English, Irish and Ulster Scots while department circulars and other publications were published in English and Irish.

Now, like other departments with DUP ministers, it will use English only.”

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, the deputy first minister in the Belfast executive, condemned the discriminatory policy, as reported by the BBC:

“The DUP has been accused of “hatred” towards the Irish language following a decision to stop the translation of correspondence from the Department of Education.

It comes after DUP minister Peter Weir adopted a new policy which makes clear “the principal language is English”.

Now they will not be translated into any other languages.

Responding to the news, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “There’s a cohort of people within the DUP who hate anything to do with the Irish language”.

The Sinn Féin minister suggested some within the party “hate anything Irish”.”

Yet, McGuinness and his SF ministerial colleagues continue to sit in “government” with a party founded and fuelled by anglo-supremacist sentiment. By its near unequivocal commitment to power-sharing Sinn Féin is aiding and abetting the DUP’s anti-Irish chauvinismIf equality for Hibernophone citizens in the north-east of our island nation, and our national language itself, is not a red-line issue for republicans and nationalists what is? If indefinite political appeasement with irredeemable racialists is the price of power-sharing then I say, fuck the sharing…!

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19 comments

  1. So you want to re-start the war? What a gift to a right-wing Conservative government in London in need of a something to distract the public from their Brexit clusterfuck. Yes, a nice little war in Ireland would be just the thing, let the savages fight amongst themselves for a bit, then step in and show them what a superior race the English are.

    1. I want SF to stand up to the politics of sectarianism, racism and homophobia. I want SF to defend progressive politics and policies. I want SF to say to the DUP and like-minded bigots, this far and no further. At some point there must be a line beyond which liberal and progressive nationalists cannot go in their dealings with regressive unionist groupings. I’m saying fuck power-sharing as currently constituted and conducted, not the peace. It’s not delivering in key areas and SF needs to take a more proactive tack in its dealings with its administrative partners.

      1. You’re aware the site is run by a guy called steve bannon probably someone that appears like a guinness vat. He talks how he came from an Irish Catholic blue collar pro kennedy pro democrat family but switched over between the carter and reagan administrations and then started to hate bush after the collapse of ’08. I’m beginnning to think why full independence hasn’t been achieved and it’s simply to do with the fact a large class of collaborators outside of the Usual circles. Maybe our deep self-loathing complex will be our complete undoing.

  2. I am going into despair about the situation in the North. The racist, semi-fascist Unionist parties are doing a classic “Claw Back” of lost hegemony and power. This is not about the Irish language per se. It is about racist supremacist power, and a deep urge to try and return things back to where they were pre 1968. It is not going to work, as the Unionist community is now effectively the minority community, times have changed, and history does not run backwards. This needs to be made clear. Also there is the peace agreement, the Anglo-Irish Treaty, etc etc . The legal and political requirements of this have driven the Unionist parties half mad, now they are not allowed to display and enforce their bigotry and hate towards the other main ethnic group in the North. However, the worst Unionist elements have to do this, or their tribalism and revanchism will be questioned by the Unionist tribal herd. What a situation. So we get these temper tantrums, toys being flung out of the pram, etc. periodically. My polite suggestion to the Unionist leaders is to grow up. Also to obey the law, and uphold their part of the Anglo-Irish agreement and the peace agreement, , as the agreements require. It is also pointless expecting a Tory Irish secretary to do anything that would rock the boat, and damage his future party career. So, either the present system in the North is going to collapse, as confrontation builds up, or changes have to be made. BREXIT, itself, is a huge depth-charge right underneath the Unionists. More are to come. So I think SF has to grow a pair, get tough, and push hard for legality and changes in behaviour and policy. This can be done by direct political protest and action, and political demands. Ultimately, I think that the Unionists have to be confronted, and told to play by the rules, or it’s game over. Even if this means a suspension of the Stormont assembly and direct rule. It has to be made clear, as others have said, that there are redlines in all of this. They should now be enforced. if this means direct rule, then combined with BREXIT and its consequences, it puts the Unionists between a rock and a hard place. It brings into play the issues of should the North, wired behind a hard EU border, sink into utter poverty and isolation,. or agree on reunification. All this is far from the original frictional disputes of language and culture issues, but it is part and parcel of it. So I think it is time to make a stand. A hard-line, determined stance by SF is now required. Also the border issue is now key. The Unionists can be forced into a corner, now BREXIT is in progress. Interesting situation!.

  3. Some cultures are objectively inferior to others. It’s not racist or bigoted to say that. If human sacrifices, genital mutilation, pedophilia, misogyny, ignorance and backwardness are part of your culture then that culture should be eradicated.

    Cultural relativism is regressive leftist sjw nonsense.

  4. I am always gripped by how terrifying the similarities are between KKK racists in the U.S. and Ulster Protestant racists in the North of Ireland. And that line from Paisley is revealing indeed.

  5. There would’ve been no ships named in Irish, no documents translated to Irish, no budgetary provisions for Irish-medium schools without this self-same power-sharing though.
    If it’s any consolation, now that the DUP has the Education portfolio SF has some other portfolio in exchange where they’re implementing Irish language policies etc. It seems to be a way of marking your territory.
    Presumably the plan is that this goes on for the next few years until the Unionists are finally outbred and then we’re away in a hack.

    1. Yes, but we’ve been waiting for the demographic revolution since the 1990s. It’s a long time coming. In any case the whole “Taigs out-breeding Prods” strategy or theory is problematic to say the least in terms of republican principles. I’m certainly uncomfortable with it.

      Sinn Féin may be a near equal partner in regional government in Stormont but from what one can see the DUP is calling the shots, across the line. The party is losing its support – in part – because nationalist voters perceive its weakness and lack of fire.

  6. Babies come dropping slow I suppose. Ya, pushing out more sprogs than “them” is a poor way to win an argument – feels a bit like cheating (we would’ve won anyway if it hadn’t got dark!) – but there’s never going to be a perfect solution with pond-life like McHugh existing in this world.
    I can’t see the north making it to D-Day without a proper split in Republican ranks. Every racist act by the DUP means another nail in the coffin. I suppose that’s why Gerry and Martin are hanging on as long, a politico like Mary Lou McDonald taking over would probably mean serious defections right away.

  7. Most people in the Republic don’t give a shit about the Irish language, but the DUP are called haters just because they don’t want to support some cosmetic actions that don’t really help the language.

    Do you not think that it’s hypocritical? Why do you criticise the DUP if you yourself damage the language just as badly if not more, by refusing to learn and speak it?

    1. So do most people in the Republic. I’m wondering how you got independence if most of you hate the language of your ancestors so much.

      1. You´ve been in Ireland for a few years now J. How much Irish have you learned? Otherwise isn´t it the pot calling the kettle black? Don´t you think it´s normal and respectful to learn the language of a country you move to, at least once you´re there for a few a years?

        1. Only in Ireland you can learn that “raon rothar” means “cycle track”, but still don’t know how to pronounce it correctly, because no one ever does that.

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