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?
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 chauvinism. If 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…!