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Author Topic: Racial Slurs (anecdotal excuses notwithstanding)  (Read 2329 times) Average Rating: 0
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scanman
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« on: April 19, 2003, 06:52:29 PM »

I wish I could find the original thread, but I can't.  Let me just say that the use of the word "Paddy" to describe an Irishman or the use of "St. Paddy's Day" rather than St. Patrick's day is a slur against the Irish and anyone of Irish descent.  The secular culture we live in celebrates "St. Paddy's Week" at many pseudo-Irish establishments.  The use of "Paddy" is as obnoxious as using the phrases, " I was gypped!", or " You welshed on the bet!", or "I jewed him down", or "I n-----ed rigged the car to get it to work."  Just because you know people who say "Paddy" and you know that they are not prejudiced against the Irish, does not mean that their use of this derogatory term is acceptable.  The name of the Isoapostolos St. Patrick should not be dragged down to "St. Paddy" by anyone who professes to be Christian.  The term "Paddy' should not be acceptable.  

"...but this was the imagery of racial colonialism at the time of Victoria's accession, dividing humanity into a ragtag taxonomy of species and subspecies in which "Paddy" stood beside the Fedayeen or Aborigene, just above the apes on the "monkey chart."  (from "The End of Hidden Ireland:Rebellion, Famine, & Emigration"
by Robert James Scally,Oxford University Press, 1995.)

A blessed Holy Week to all.

John

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2003, 07:58:23 PM »

John, don't the Irish themselves refer to Irish-Americans as "plastic Paddies"?

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2003, 08:24:06 PM »

I completely agree, if it offends the group its aimed at, whether intentional or not, it should not be used. I'm of Polish descent myself and I know it bugs the mess out of me whenever I hear the term "Polak".
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2003, 12:44:48 AM »

I wish I could find the original thread, but I can't.

Dear John,

The term was removed from the original post and replies because by one of the other moderators for the reason you gave. I know the poster and think I can securly state meant no harm, just like a friend of mine at a secular forum who once called Czech people a term he did not realize was a national slur. But thank you for alerting others who may not know it is seen as a slur to people of Ireland.
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2003, 12:45:57 AM »

John, don't the Irish themselves refer to Irish-Americans as "plastic Paddies"?

Samer, some do, but its not a term of endearment.
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2003, 01:19:56 AM »

John, don't the Irish themselves refer to Irish-Americans as "plastic Paddies"?

Samer, some do, but its not a term of endearment.

When growing up in a mixed mostly Irish/Polish working-class neighborhood, I was "privy" to the infighting between two groups of my Irish neighbors.  Mrs. Baker, an elderly, supposedly wealthy, childless widow living alone in a large house with attached servants' quarters and barn, referred to the elderly matriarch, Mrs. Shea, also a widow and her nearest neighbor, and Mrs. Shea's 3 daughters-in-law and numerous grandchildren as "shanty Irish."  Those of us who were children and not Irish were amused by the exchange of words between the lone, stately Mrs. Baker and the multiple Mrs. Shea's.  Sometimes the people we knew as children bring on the stereotypes we later think of as adults.

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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2003, 07:43:55 AM »

Quote
John, don't the Irish themselves refer to Irish-Americans as "plastic Paddies"?
 
Samer, some do, but its not a term of endearment.

Right - go into my blog's archives for early March and all that's explained.

Quote
Mrs. Baker, an elderly, supposedly wealthy, childless widow living alone in a large house with attached servants' quarters and barn, referred to the elderly matriarch, Mrs. Shea, also a widow and her nearest neighbor, and Mrs. Shea's 3 daughters-in-law and numerous grandchildren as "shanty Irish."

Right, shanty Irish vs. lace-curtain Irish - I assume the latter were Irish immigrants who'd made it and were well off, vs. needy people right off the boat. I've read Irish-Americans themselves using those terms remembering their childhoods. Though kind of like 'Polack', or blacks appropriating and using 'n****r' among themselves, my sense is 'shanty Irish' would be a stinging putdown coming from a non-Irish person. Maybe it's the same with 'Paddy'.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2003, 07:47:37 AM by Serge » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2003, 09:10:58 AM »

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Sorry - I think I was one of those who caused offence here. I will try very hard to realise that though here it is used with a degree of affection - this is not so in the USA-  my apologies.
 
Should I again  unwittingly offend  please forgive me.

There are, at times very great differences with the way a term is used here, and the way it is used in the USA.

A
« Last Edit: April 20, 2003, 09:13:43 AM by the slave » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2003, 07:50:54 PM »

Huh?

I have some Irish ancestry (part of my Heinz 57 varieties), and I never knew that term was offensive.

I am also a fan of Celtic music and have an old cassette somewhere by Boys of the Lough with a song on it called To Welcome Paddy Home, in which the offending word occurs not only in the title, but over and over again, with seeming affection, in the song itself.

I've heard Irish folk using the term and never with any animosity.

Am I on the wrong planet, or what?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2003, 07:51:55 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2003, 09:11:55 PM »

 

    The word "paddy" was at best condescending and at worst, racially intolerant as  used by Unionist Protestants against the Catholic
nationalist population of NOrthern Ireland.
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2003, 09:20:14 PM »

How can something be "racially intolerant" in an exchange among members of the same race, in this case, white Northern Europeans?

At worst we are speaking of "ethnic intolerance" here.

Excuse me, but I suspect over-sensitivity and the lure of being perceived as a member of a victim class.

That said, if it offends, I will not use the term.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2003, 09:21:13 PM by Linus7 » Logged

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