I am NOT advocating revolution or organization in any manner but I do have something I would like all of us to consider if you will.
Do you not find it to be a bit insulting to have the Irish alway characterized as brawling stiffs and drunkards?
Why, everywhere I travel I find novelty shops selling items show Irishmen layed out in a drunkin stuper, with phrases such as "Irish Yoga", etc. Get this, "An Irishman walks out of a bar, really it can happen"!
I realize we love our drink and are not ashamed to show it either, but the Irish help build the United States and many other countries as well.
We have our world renowned artists and writers. We have our beautiful homeland, and much more are we and do we have.
I find it a bit discriminating that we are looked upon that way. If it was a black person being represented, that would be deemed as such followed by a major public outcry and display.
So then, my question to everyone is this "Why do we as a people allow that"?
Do we just not care what others thinks of us?
Are we a gentle people who are soft and wish to remain that way?
What is your take on this partucular subject?
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Okay..at the risk of stepping on toes... I am Mexican/Irish/Sicilian... If I took offense to every Spanish/Irish/Sicilian joke, I would be bent out of shape all of the time.
Common sense would say that we aren't all blithering drunks... The Irish are great at poking fun, at both ourselves and at others.
I think things have gotten out of hand in the "Politically Correct" world that we live in now. Everyone is too quick to get offended instead of looking at the humour of things.
So, no, I don't get offended when people people make off-handed ethinic jokes or parodies. I laugh along with them, offer them a drink and tell them about our culture, history and such.
I agree with what you've said, Bit.
What I abhor, though, is the double standard. Nobody gets in trouble for the Irish jokes (which is fine with me), but most other groups are off limits. Now, I don't make a habit of telling ethnic jokes of any kind ... in fact, I never do. Just not my sense of humour. However, for those who do, there is a very obvious double standard, and that doesn't sit right with me.
We shouldn't be too sensitive, but accepting this stereotype has tragic knock-on effects to our national self perception.
Danny makes a good point though, why is t acceptable to ridicule the Irish coming up to the biggest celebration of our ethnicity, St Patrick's Day.There is a double standard at play here & it would not be permitted or tolerated by other ethnic groups to the tune where heads would roll & media coverage would be plastered(excuse the pun) on all papers ,radio & TV. We Irish have ,in general , a strong & even irreverent sense of humor that I think stems from our fight to overcome adversity in the mode of," Its better to laugh than to cry about it".The history of the saying ,"The Luck of the Irish", was actually a put down by the old establishment that argued ,"Paddy was too inept & feckless to have made his fortune by intelligence, ability & hard graft, it was just luck that got him there". This notion prevailed to quite recently, with the election of JFK making a significant dent to that argument & a breakthrough to acceptance that we had so long for craved. I personally enjoy the holiday with my Irish wife & American children as a celebration of our heritage & how far we have come. I march proudly up 5th Ave with my county & thereafter enjoy a few beverages with my fellow Irish revelers until I depart to rest before my next day back at the grindstone, without feeling the need to cause a riot or make a "Paddy Wagon", my mode of transport for the evening. This year the jokes will fly & the negative stereotypes will abound as usual,if I hear something that is genuinely funny, i will laugh, because lets face it a joke is always at someones expense but mostly I will just enjoy the day on the calendar that is our day in the world where everyone wishes to be Irish.
Let's start with the wee leprechaun who prances on the sidelines for the "fighting Irish."
I have helped a lot of people find their way through out Ireland on their "Once in a lifetime" vacations...when I ask them what draws them to Ireland...Everyone has said "I hear the people are so friendly and warm there" I hear them say "I've seen photos and it is so beautiful there!"... Never have they said "I'm going for the drink"... so I am not so sure that there is a perception of the Irish being drunken eejits.
It isn't just Irish that are the brunt of Ethnic stereotypes. I've heard every Mexican joke there is...told a few, as well...
I will agree that it is perplexing that there is an outcry if someone puts on black face, mimics an Oriental or Native American...Yet if ya put on green, a fake red beard and "dance a jig" that is acceptable... as is serapes and sombreros...
Perhaps it is because society understands that we have a thicker hide and a better sense of humor... We also have a true sense of who we are, our history and our accomplishments...perhaps that also gives us a leg up
As an aside, those folks in the NYC area who want to enjoy a fun-filled Sober St. Patrick's Day might want to consider attending the third annual party, held this year at Cathedral High School on the East Side right after the parade. I attended Sober St. Patrick's Day the past two years at Regis High School, and it's a terrific day - some great music like Brian Conway on the fiddle and John Whelan on the box, excellent craic, nice sandwich, tea, coffee or soft drink, dessert. A good time that's over by the early evening, so if you want to grab a jar or two you have time for that. (I am not involved in running the event -just a happy patron. Google "Sober St. Patrick's day" for more info.)
Admin Comment by Joe Gannon on January 23, 2014 at 12:01pm
Danny, this is certanly a very interesting subject, one that I've seen debated back and forth in other places online as well. On the one hand we have the "oh stop being so PC" or "don't you have a sense of humor ... it's just a joke" side if one does object to such jokes. And on the other hand we have the idea if we just accept these jokes without ever objecting to them, we allow the stereotype to be perpetuated. With most issues we look for a compromise positon, but is there really one on this, and if so, what is it?
I am like everyone else, in that, being Irish and allowing this sterotype to exists really does not affect me in a extremely negative way. Our hertige is all about struggle, fighting and celebration. I am a hugh Notre Dame fan and to hear the phrase "Here come the Irish"! brings tears to my eyes at times but always allows my pride to swell.
Yes, I AM IRISH and PROUD of it!
I know we have thick skins and enjoy even cracking on ourselfs on occassion. But, I also know that is an extremely degrogatory slash at our heritage when we accept things as they are. Again, I like a grand joke as well as the other guy but I am very careful to inflict that humor in a non-hurtful way. I know we will never stop this just as others will never stop their slanders, but it is nice to know that we as a people recognize it for what it is.
Thank you everyone for your inputs and virews! I knew this would awaken and stir some to anger or even to sadness.
For all of us who enjoy the University of Notre Dame atletics! Enjoy and be proud!