Sign Our Petition Taking On Irish Stereotypes
“Irish I Were Drunk” -- huh?
Sadly, you can readily find these words emblazoned on merchandise at a retailer near you!
It’s nearly March, and, once again, open season on the good name the Irish have burnished through centuries of hard work and enterprise worldwide.
It’s no accident that the tens of millions of Irish around the globe, borne from a small island nation on the fringe of Europe, have been credited by many scholars with saving Western civilization. Irish surnames populate the pantheon of heroes of the scores of democracies they helped build, most notably, perhaps, the United States. Irish philanthropies have traveled far and wide in their effort to create a fair and just global society. Irish artists -- filmmakers, novelists, poets, creatives in nearly every field of endeavor -- are beloved, with their work translated into dozens of languages.
Thus we at The Wild Geese find it particularly ironic, and despicable, that marketers -- driven by purely mercenary motives -- feel free to undermine the hard-earned good name of the Irish with facile slogans adorning caps and tee-shirts, suggesting not only that being Irish offers cover for overindulging, but that it is a precursor for this excess.
Even more pernicious are these retailers’ targeting of young people worldwide with the message that it is enjoyable, as well as acceptable, to don a pseudo-Irish identity and celebrate Irish culture by means of public intoxication.
Among the most egregious demeanors of the bona fides of Ireland and the Irish worldwide is Spencer’s Gifts. The defaming items for sale online and at Spencer’s stores include a hat with the phrase “Irish Girl Wasted,” “St. Pat’s Drinking Team,” “Drinking Other Bitches Under the Table,” and another shamrock-emblazoned shirt proudly announcing “Drunkest Bitch at the Bar.”
We applaud and support the The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ ongoing campaign against Spencer’s and other marketers using slurs to cash in on Ireland’s national holiday, a holiday extraordinarily universal and beloved, with parades taking place in more than 100 cities, villages, and hamlets worldwide, drawing in hundreds of thousands of marchers and many more millions of cheering spectators.
Irish or not, we ask that you sign our petition, to help make it clear to marketers that people of good faith -- drawn from the entire world’s vast ethnic mosaic -- are watching and won’t support businesses who trade on cultural stereotypes, as we celebrate what is both unique and praiseworthy in us all.
We the undersigned take issue with marketers who diminish the hard-earned good name of the Irish with glib messages adorning caps and tee-shirts, suggesting not only that being Irish offers cover for overindulging, but that it is a precursor for this excess.
We particularly regret -- and condemn -- these retailers’ targeting of young people worldwide with the message that it is enjoyable, as well as acceptable, to don a pseudo-Irish identity and celebrate Irish culture by means of public intoxication.
Offending phrases are numerous and readily found on merchandise available both online and in stores, and include “Irish Girl Wasted,” “St. Pats Drinking Team,” “Drinking Other Bitches Under the Table,” and “Drunkest Bitch at the Bar” on a shamrock-emblazoned shirt.
We hereby post notice that we will not patronize Spencer’s Gifts, nor any marketer whose products demean Ireland and the Irish worldwide, as we ask them to present a positive image of one of the most accomplished ethnic groups on God’s green world.
Irish World-- March 19, 2014
To learn more:
“The Irish Character?” -- a discussion here amongst The Wild Geese
“Me and My Bitches will Outdrink You” tanktop from Spencer’s Gifts
“St. Pat’s Drinking Team” t-shirt from Spencer’s Gifts
The Irish worked too hard to be ridiculed by Spencer Gifts T-shirts, by Joan L. Krajewski
“Offend Me, I’m Irish”, from IrishPhiladelphia.com