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How The Irish Became White A Story of Self-Inflation through Racism : Swingers Discussion 99630
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FORUMSGeneral DiscussionsPoliticsHow The Irish Became White A Story of Self-Inflation through Racism
TOPIC: How The Irish Became White A Story of Self-Inflation through Racism
Created by: sappholovers
Original Starting post for this thread:
Noel Ignatiev, who has taught at Harvard, has written a fascinating book, entitled "How the Irish Became White."

He describes how Irish emigrants to the USA, who were looked down upon by the English as inferiors (just as whites in America looked down upon blacks), became "white"--or elevated their social status in the USA--by looking down upon blacks with as much vehemence, or more, than any other social group in the USA. It's a story of how people try to build their own self-esteem by putting others down, looking upon others as "them" not "we," and as inferiors rather than equals.

Does anyone see a similar dynamic working in today's America?

Do groups or individuals make themselves feel better by looking down at others as inferior or less deserving of respect based on race or ethnicity or gender or gender orientation?

I will provide a more complete description of the thesis of Ignatiev's book in a subsequent post.

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Me confused................so we should hate Irish people? I don't see the point of this article, what are we supposed to take from it? The Irish are some of the whitest people on on earth, skin wise. They were probably discriminated against because of their culture, until they started organizing and become a real political force. Once they established themselves as a solid voting block, then I assume, the powers that be started to look upon them with different eyes. This sounds like a story of self empowerment, a people who took what they wanted by coming together and making a political and social impact. They could have always been racist against Blacks themselves, I don't think that everything was just Kumbuya between Blacks and Irish before the Irish started gaining political strength. Perhaps you can provide proof of such racial harmony taking place between Blacks and Irish back then?

Arlington TX
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Here's a description of Ignatiev's argument (posted on Amazon) of how the Irish became white in America by engaging in anti-black racial prejudice.

"In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to America, trading a ruling elite of Anglo-Irish Anglicans for one of WASPs. The Irish immigrants were (self-evidently) not Anglo-Saxon; most were not Protestant; and, as far as many of the nativists were concerned, they weren't white, either.

Just how, in the years surrounding the Civil War, the Irish evolved from an oppressed, unwelcome social class to become part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev's study

By mid-century, Irish voting solidarity gave them political power, a power augmented by the brute force of groups descended from the Molly Maguires. With help, the Irish pushed blacks out of the lower-class jobs and neighborhoods they had originally shared. ....And though many Irish had been oppressed by the Penal Laws, they opposed abolition.

Ignatiev.....asserts that the Irish were initially discriminated against in the United States and "became white" by embracing racism, a concept Ignatiev (citing Daniel O'Connell) says they learned in the United States.

Los Angeles CA
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Noel Ignatiev, who has taught at Harvard, has written a fascinating book, entitled "How the Irish Became White."

He describes how Irish emigrants to the USA, who were looked down upon by the English as inferiors (just as whites in America looked down upon blacks), became "white"--or elevated their social status in the USA--by looking down upon blacks with as much vehemence, or more, than any other social group in the USA. It's a story of how people try to build their own self-esteem by putting others down, looking upon others as "them" not "we," and as inferiors rather than equals.

Does anyone see a similar dynamic working in today's America?

Do groups or individuals make themselves feel better by looking down at others as inferior or less deserving of respect based on race or ethnicity or gender or gender orientation?

I will provide a more complete description of the thesis of Ignatiev's book in a subsequent post.

Los Angeles CA
Username hidden
(4376 posts)
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TOPIC: How The Irish Became White A Story of Self-Inflation through Racism