Begorra! I was in a store today and saw shelves filled with St. Patrick’s Day merchandise, shirts, hats and beads — as green as the trusty shamrock.
In America, March 17 is all about parades and celebrating your distant Irish ancestors with food and drink. But are you ready for the tired stereotype of the Irishman sitting on a bar stool singing and drinking… and drinking some more?
In Ireland, it’s a Holy Day and you go to church.
They say the Irish like a good fight (another stereotype?), and at least one man is again protesting the sale of “drunken Irishmen” t-shirts and crazy hats and slogans. (Kiss me I’m Irish, ugh).
I read a report about a certain Irish-American who, in 2015, launched an education program, of sorts, with a major chain store. He strongly objected to the sale of t-shirt imagery of Irish boozers, primarily. He even threatened a month-long boycott if the insulting tees were not taken off the shelves or website in this one particular very large, chain store. I understand they did in-store.
The nameless, feisty Irish-American is at it again this year.
I say he deserves a pat on the back for trying to squash the drunken leprechaun label, and for drawing our attention to the bigger picture. . . Stereotyping/labeling are sparks that ignite discrimination, hatred and racism.
Embrace our differences take pride in our courageous, hard-working ancestors and stop spreading derogatory images of the Irish and anyone else cast in a false light.