But IRISH LIVES MATTER, and T-shirts, and the related claims that Irish indentured servitude was equal or greater to Black slavery are hurtful and intellectually bankrupt attempt to dismiss and silence the righteous protest of the Black lives that are being endangered, assaulted, and slaughtered with impunity. And to avoid examining the complicity of some Irish people as slaveowners....and the way that many initially oppressed Irish immigrants later achieved whiteness and social power, often used viciously against Black people, by entering the ranks of law enforcement in large numbers.
In 1919, an African-American boy who was swimming was killed as a result of whites throwing heavy rocks at him. When blacks sought to report the incident to police, they themselves were arrested while the white individuals who had killed this young man went unpunished.
As African-Americans began peacefully protesting, whites began to violently assault them, forming mobs that eventually sought to harm African-Americans through various avenues, from attacking patients in black hospitals to setting fire to the homes of blacks. The Irish Hamburg Athletic Club was among the groups who made an effort to kill many blacks; a man who would eventually become mayor decades later – Richard J. Daley – was an active member of this group.
The Irish gangs who carried out these brutal attacks would in mass numbers be recruited to the Chicago Police Department. That’s right! Instead of being punished for attacking innocent black people, the city recruited Irish gangs into the Chicago police department.
My last name is Irish, along with the largest chunk of my mostly European personal melting pot--one of whom married my treasured bis-bis-Abuelita from Sonora, Augustina Contreras. So I was deeply grieved to learn of this mini-movement and find this Facebook page.
To Start I Believe All Lives Matter! This is peaceful page and is to speak about the misunderstanding of white privilege and to lend a voice about the oppression of Irish Thru out History. After All we where 1 of the 4 enslaved people to help build this country. Native,African,Oriental,& Irish
At first I thought I should share that at the page, despite its unlikeliness to be heeded, but then decided it would not be prudent given its weird and scary mix of sentiment, humor, and guns--which feel especially sacrilegious in a graphic with the shamrock that Patrick used to explain the Trinity. So I will pray instead, and ask him and Brigid to intercede for these misguided folks, and those they harm, and those of us who need to do more.