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Having just concluded another St Paddy’s Day, many folks are waking from an alcohol induced slumber. Cracking their eyes open having participated in the revelry of celebration of all things Irish. For a lot of people it’s a celebration just to celebrate, for others it is their own Irish Mardi Gras, for me it was something personal.

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I am decidedly Irish. Very Irish in fact…..well there is some Scot thrown in there for good measure, but as most folks of Irish decent in American; when you trace lines you tend to find Irish and Scots are one great intermingling folk at times. In any event, this diary is about my decidedly Irish decent and how it has affected my views.

I am 4th or 5th generation Irish depending on which side of my family you talk to. My mother’s family came to American during the great Irish immigration. Instead of settling in New York, they took the boats farther inwards through the Great Lakes region and landed in Chicago around 1880, my father’s side exactly the same story only 40 years earlier. My mother's side settling in the burgeoning city, the other settling farther south east and ending up in what would become the great sprawling suburban utopia of north west Indiana.

One side very catholic the other protestant, I like to think I represent how The Troubles never needed to occur in the first place. On one side my family toiled the land, land they eventually owned through years of hard work and suffering. The other toiled in the growing factories never quite getting ahead and having to see their son off to join the Navy for the War Effort. That same son eventually finding a way of life with family and a home after said war, with his GI assistance.

Two very distinct stories, but decidedly American in nature. A culture of people that immigrated to this amazing country to erect great buildings, grow the nation’s food, build bridges and rail and generally make this nation better than it was before their arrival.

So every year, St Paddy’s Day comes and I am reminded of my Irish decent. A stoic history of peoples oppressed, struggling to bring life from the land, traveling broad and afar for a hope and dream, a dream to give their children a better life than they had to toil for; much like every immigrant that has ever trekked to our great nation…legal or illegal.

This is why it saddens me every time I hear attacks on our most recent large swath of immigrants. There was a time where Irish immigrants where denigrated, berated, hated on, spit upon, and thought as lesser than human. They took ‘Real Americans’ jobs, they used resources better fit for ‘Real Americans’ and were nothing more than a drain on resources and society at large. Their very existence in America would be the nation’s downfall.

Quite really no different than our Latino American immigrants, their families and current descendants struggling to eek out a better life for themselves and their children.
Because of their struggles, both past and current, I consider them as brothers and sisters, whose family have immigrated to this great nation for a better life….legal or illegal.

So to you Latino folks out there, stay strong. Stay proud of your heritage. Stay the course that is the American story. Because just like the Irish before you…there will come a time where the entire nation parties and celebrates your history.

Irlanda para siempre

Originally posted to Hoosier Progressive on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 10:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am of English and Irish descent, but my (6+ / 0-)

    father-in-law was an immigrant from Italy. I appreciate your post. One minor suggestion from the grammar police--change past to passed.

  •  I'm 50% Irish (5+ / 0-)

    and received an email yesterday that was very similar in message as your post  Over the years I developed the idea that every nationality in this country has spent their day 'in the barrel'.  Not that they should - but the majority who had preceded them, having gone through hell finding acceptance seemed to make sure the newbies experienced the same miseries. In NYC, the Italians were none too happy to see the Irish.

    You'd think we'd have evolved by now.  I see willful ignorance in those who rant on about immigration today. True the system needs to be made to work so that people can enter legally and start a direct, reasonable road to citizenship. But it also behooves us to think about the conditions which drive them here in the first place. The Irish were not the last hungry, disenfranchised people to arrive.

    You need to lose your mind to come to your senses. Anxiety is the gap between now and then. - Fritz Perls

    by brook on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 11:21:19 AM PDT

    •  "We" Would Have Evolved Long Ago But We Weren't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga, marykk

      left to our own natural selves to do that. As soon as we began bringing blacks out of political and economic ostracization, authoritarian forces began aggressively fanning racial fears prejudices in order to create a populist base voting for economic policies they strongly opposed.

      We the people have many problems with prejudices but with the conversation about race and ethnicity shut down 40 years ago by the power structure to use as a wedge dividing us from one another, we haven't had the opportunity and ability as a people to grow.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 11:38:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We know that political (0+ / 0-)

        forces are always tailored to suit selfish political goals. We must take responsibility for needed growth - in the way we live, interact, educate, vote and communicate in the real world.- where as opposed to online, I hear 'crickets'.


        You need to lose your mind to come to your senses. Anxiety is the gap between now and then. - Fritz Perls

        by brook on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 01:04:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is my song. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, idbecrazyif, marykk

    My Mother Was Irish And My Father Was Jewish! Me being strictly neutral I bashed everyone in sight. But I only know rebel songs.

    Thank Heaven For Peace In Northern Ireland! And The Irish For Being Smart Enough To Put Aside Their Differences And Achieve It! Happy St Patrick's Day 2012 For ♥Joe Brennan♥ Poster Boy For PTSD!

    Happy St Patrick's Day Everyone!

    I rec'd and tipped this diary.

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 11:37:16 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Shamrock American Kossacks (0+ / 0-)

    because you've got it just right.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 12:47:53 PM PDT

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