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I Know, I Know, It’s Been A While

May 5, 2013

I’ve been busy and haven’t had much of interest to write about. Now I do. Let’s get to it.

As of this writing, today is Cinco de Mayo and I have a question.

Cinco-de-Mayo-Sacramento

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT?

I mean seriously? How is this OK?

Look, I get that this holiday has pretty much become St. Patrick’s Day with a slight wider color palate. You now, it’s an opportunity to get drunk and…no pretty much just that. This holiday is pretty much only celebrated in the US. It’s not that big a deal in actual Hispanic/Latin countries. it would be functionally akin to another nation celebrating VE Day. But people will take any excuse to get extremely drunk and show their asses in public,   and you know who largely celebrates it? White people.

For real. Personally, I have rarely seen wide spread Hispanic celebration of this day. Again, because if you know the history, it’s not that big a deal and the history isn’t so much drinking as it is politics and history. That’s less interesting to people who aren’t me. Yep, I get that, but do we really have to be so blatantly racist about it?

No really. Do we have to?

Yes, yes, I know, Irish people were discriminated against too and most of the symbols of St Patrick’s Day are ridiculous Irish stereotypes, but don’t even pretend that those things are equivalent. Neither let us pretend that Meghan O’Shaughnessy and Milagro Reyes are dealing with the same level of damage because of those stereotypes. Red-haired and green-eyed is much less likely to have a negative affect on housing, employment or daily life than overall brown. So yeah. Not the same. Don’t even play.

I don’t know about others but if Caucasians suddenly decided Juneteenth was a day to get drunk in public while having themed parties that featured watermelon and fried chicken and black face, I would be mightily pissed off. Because, racist. Themed parties with sombreros and maracas and white people in Luchador masks ? ALSO FUCKING RACIST.

What the hell people?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Richter_DL permalink
    July 16, 2013 5:46 AM

    “Yes, yes, I know, Irish people were discriminated against to and most of the symbols of St Patrick’s Day are ridiculous Irish stereotypes, but don’t even pretend that those things are equivalent. ”
    Currently? Not at all. Historically? Yes, they are.

    You underestimate the long, long and very troubled history of discrimination and oppression between Anglo-Saxons and Gaelic (Irish in particular, but also Cornish, Welsh, and Scot) people. A significant number were displaced against their will in the early days of colonisation. They got a very slightly better deal than later African slaves in that their servitude, for legal reasons and because they were something like Christians, could legally end and they could earn their freedom (and are generally called indentured servants, just like modern America’s forced-labor camps are called privatised prisons), but most just died way before that. If you ever wonder why the Irish hate the English so much, that’s a good part of why.

    Irish Americans were long treated as second class citizens (which makes African Americans third class citizens, or fourth after Jews). In fact, the most plausible (least implausible) theories why JFK was assassinated include his Irish heritage. It wasn’t until Reagan and his Moral Majority programs that Irish americans were accepted into the fold of Whites fully, swelling the WASPs dwindling ranks against the ‘lesser races’ and ‘mongrelisation’ of America. Since American ‘Whiteness’ is so ridiculously arbitrary, it mattered little, actually; especially since by then most white Protestants had accepted that Catholics are Christians too, at least useful enough as cannon fosdder in their cultural wars. They’re against abortion, womens rights and racial equality too. So much in common! Jews came later when Dispensationalism nescessiated the existence of Israel and hence, a pro-Jew attitude at least in public.

    Today, that entire episode of American history is treated like it never happened, because it embarasses “White” America and it feels uncomfortable to remember they used to be dicks towards Irish and Jews, just like they are towards everyone ‘coloured’ today. It also makes their racism seem just as arbitrary as it is (a sephardic Jew is white; his brother, who converted to Islam, is not), which of course flies in the face of the entire construct and hence IS A THING THAT MUST NOT BE, like evolution or homosexuality among animals.

    Today, St. Patty’s is a charming tradition. It wasn’t always, and it’s appropriation by non-Irish Whites is a bit tasteless, too. Especially considering Irish weren’t ‘white’ enough only 40 years ago.

    What also baffles me is the rise of the term ‘Caucasian’ in American language, entirely uncritically. That’s not an equivalent to ‘White’. It includes the entire Indian subcontinent, the Arab world, and North Africa’s nomadic people (Saharans, Touared, Berbers). ‘White’ includes the core constituency of the Republican party and Jews. I mean, seriously, what the hell, America.

    And that’s not even scratching the surface of what Caucasian stands for and how it’s defined academically. Hint: Stay with White. It’s less offensive.

    • July 16, 2013 8:08 AM

      Irish Americans were long treated as second class citizens (which makes African Americans third class citizens, or fourth after Jews). In fact, the most plausible (least implausible) theories why JFK was assassinated include his Irish heritage. It wasn’t until Reagan and his Moral Majority programs that Irish americans were accepted into the fold of Whites fully, swelling the WASPs dwindling ranks against the ‘lesser races’ and ‘mongrelisation’ of America.

      False, widely believed but false. They myth of Irish American oppression is something that good historical scholars should kill with fire.

      What also baffles me is the rise of the term ‘Caucasian’ in American language, entirely uncritically. That’s not an equivalent to ‘White’. It includes the entire Indian subcontinent, the Arab world, and North Africa’s nomadic people (Saharans, Touared, Berbers). ‘White’ includes the core constituency of the Republican party and Jews. I mean, seriously, what the hell, America.

      In American language the two are equivalent. It is not entirely precise, but then neither is African -American.

      Finally, you seem to have entirely missed or ignored my point.

      Neither let us pretend that Meghan O’Shaughnessy and Milagro Reyes are dealing with the same level of damage because of those stereotypes. Red-haired and green-eyed is much less likely to have a negative affect on housing, employment or daily life than overall brown. So yeah. Not the same. Don’t even play.

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