Kathy Shaidle: “The Irish Genocide Sweepstakes”—Tim Pat Coogan`s Anti-British Blood Libel

Kathy Shaidle on TakiMag:

The Irish Genocide Sweepstakes

by Kathy Shaidle January 14, 2014

The Irish Genocide Sweepstakes

Sure, the Irish are a little slow, but it took them longer than you’d think to leap onto the “genocide” bandwagon (or should that be “cattle car”?).

Recently released in paperback, historian Tim Pat Coogan’s tellingly titled The Famine Plot is the latest volley in the campaign to win prestigious (and lucrative) “ethnic cleansing” status for the storied Irish Potato Famine.

Coogan asserts that British and Irish historians alike have hesitated to call the Famine the deliberate murder of “a million or more shiftless,” fecund (and gauchely Catholic) paupers by their British overlords, a final solution to the Irish problem.

The thing is, even the Irish acknowledge their own “shiftlessness,” doling out self-deprecating sampler mottos such as, “God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world.” Yet they’re deep in denial, too. I got into an online tussle with a former colleague for pointing out the well-documented obvious: that, pace the Know-Nothings, Irish immigrants to America were drunken, brawling, baby-vending machines—“paddy wagon,” anyone?—and only public shaming by one of their own forced them to (mostly) clean up their act and gift America with, well, the Kennedy family. (Hmmm…speaking of reparations….)

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On her own site, Kathy asks:

About the “No Irish Need Apply Signs”:

Even if those signs existed in the numbers the Irish now claim, the question remains:

Do African-Americans manufacture “COLOREDS ONLY” signs or purchase authentic examples and hang them on their walls? I doubt it but I welcome correction.

Real or fake, the twisted affection the Irish have for their own real or imagined persecution is certainly worthy of comment

There is, in fact, a huge trade in real and fake slave memorabilia, and I assume the buyers for reproduction “runaway slave” posters are African American.

Also, of course, “Whites Only” signs and “Colored” signs were a real phenomenon in quite recent Southern history. No Irish Need Apply signs weren`t. I`ve said before that the “No Irish Need Apply” thing is an urban legend. There were never any such signs. [See “No Irish Need Apply”: A Myth of Victimization,  by Richard Jensen, Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002) 405-429]. Northern employers in the 19th century were as enthusiastic about cheap labor as their modern equivalents.

But we can`t get away from this myth:

For some facts about the Irish Famine, see John Derbyshire`s 2002 piece Grief and Shame, July 26th, 2002, in which he says

[T]here is not much doubt that in the matter of the Irish famine, some blame must fall on the British governments of the time. Exactly how much blame is a matter of lively argument among historians. There is an extremist position — not held, I think, by any honest scholar — that the Famine was an act of British policy. That is preposterous. The personalities of the political actors involved are all well known from their own letters and writings, and from the reports of their contemporaries, both friend and foe: none of them was of a type to contemplate anything so monstrously wicked.

Emphasis added. There is no conflict between the statement that the extremist position is not held by “any honest scholar” and the news that it`s held by Tim Pat Coogan. See Derbyshire`s review of Coogan`s 1916: The Easter Rising: Hiberno-Fascism, October 14th, 2002.

I did a column about the Famine Irish and their emigration to North America—which killed a lot of North Americans with cholera—in 2001. It was called “The Camp of Saint Patrick…”