help wanted Irish Need Not Apply


This writer recently published a poem on IFZ: "American Heritage". There ensued questions as to why the Irish were not included among the marginalized classes depicted in the poem. They were there, but as part of the seemingly confused, questioning majority.


Jews were not included among the minorities in the poem, either, and for the very same reason: The Irish and the Jews form a part of America's ruling, White majority. The marginalized classes of color appearing in the poem are victims of that White majority. The alienation suffered by the Irish was based upon social class and religion. For Jews, it is that damned, "religion" thing that has hounded them for 2,000 years, and refuses to go away. Nevertheless, both the Irish and the Jews remain among America's, "Chosen People." America's minorities of color always have -- and still do -- represent a special caste of "untouchables."


Let us review the history:


The Jews


Approved Gentiles


It is sometimes overlooked that Jesus of Nazareth was a dedicated rabbi, well respected in the Temple. When he was rejected by corrupt, religious officials who refused to recognize that he was, "The Anointed One" of Hebrew theology, they conspired with their equally corrupt, Roman rulers to have him done away with.


Since then, the so-called, "Christian" nations of the world have despised the Jews for killing the most holy Jew among them. The Arab-Israeli conflict is a modern phenomenon for these two Semitic peoples, brought on by the advancement of Zionism. Nevertheless, Jews always have been involved in the higher levels of all of America's institutions. Those minorities in the poem have not.


The Irish


The Irish began coming to North America in the 16th and 17th centuries. Most of the antebellum planters were of English extraction, but there were some Irish and Scots-Irish among them. Apparently the fictionalized, Gallic-sounding, "Tara" plantation – the one that went, "...Away with the Wind," had some basis in fact. Remember Scarlett O'Hara's dad with the thick, Irish brogue?



The Irish began immigrating to the U.S. around 1820. The "Potato Famine," between 1845 and 1852, accelerated the Atlantic crossings until about 5,000,000 souls had escaped the Emerald Isle by the end of the century.


Yes, the new arrivals were resented by the nativists for their otherness, Shanty-Irishness and Catholicism. They were hassled and harried, but being Irish, they gave back as much as they got. It was mainly Irish who were responsible to the New York City draft riots during the Civil War. In the almost week-long fray, which began with an attack on government facilities, they soon turned their ire on free African Americans. An orphanage was torched, with the kids escaping just in time. Black folk were run down, beaten and publicly executed, with bodies dragged through the streets. They literally changed the color of the faces of the longshoreman working on the docks by replacing them. Even White women who had fraternized with those dock workers were chastised as well.


During the Mexican-American War, some Irish soldiers deserted the U.S. Army, went to Mexico and formed the St. Patrick's Battalion. Under an, "Erin go bragh" banner, they fought against Ulysses S. Grant and other Americans in several crucial battles within Mexico. To this day, Mexicans celebrate, "Los San Patricios" on St. Patrick's Day.


The Protestant and Presbyterian, English-speaking Irish assimilated quickly. The Catholics and non-English-speakers were slower to adapt. Nevertheless, by the early part of the 20th century – when mobs were stringing up Black folk at will – the Irish began to take over the political system. They rankled the nativists by establishing their own Catholic schools. The Catholic Church became a force to be reckoned with. Long before JFK, the Irish had their candidate running for president of the U.S.


By the time Joe Kennedy had bought the presidency for his son, he had been a successful businessman, with deep interests in a nascent Hollywood. With the whole family in tow, he had graced the Court of St. James as U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. He had had dibs on the presidency himself, but the revelation of his Nazi sympathies quite handily ruled that out. JFK's maternal grandfather Honey Fitz had been a two-time mayor of Boston and a patron of the Red Socks. As JFK, the "Irish Prince" was being sworn in as President of the U.S., this writer would not have been served at most of D.C.'s restaurants!


No, the Irish were not left out of the poem. They are there; you only have to know where to look for them.


***** ***** *****

A poem shown by IFZ

Seemed odd for what we did not see.

But, now, with a clue,

We know what to do;

A lock, to open, needs a key.



Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Recent Articles
The Cause Lost Was Treachery
The day the virus came

  • No comments found