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Paul Ryan is the leader of the Republican Party’s “intellectual” wing. He has been described by the news media in fawning terms as a “policy wonk”, a “numbers guy”, and a “serious thinker”.

Consequently, Ryan's recent claim that "inner city" black men are lazy and have no work ethic is a revealing insight into the current state of movement conservatism and the former's supposed intellectual gifts.

There is no genius in Paul Ryan's claims: his arguments about lazy black people are a boilerplate post-civil Rights era Republican talking point.

To advance this claim, he leveraged Charles Murray's discredited research on the relationship between I.Q. and race. Ryan's intellectual slippage is not a new habit. In his anti-poverty tome, which purports (and fails) to discredit President Johnson's Great Society era programs, Paul Ryan misrepresented and distorted research findings.

He is intellectually dishonest; Ryan's claim to be a serious thinker on matters of public policy is a cheap, and not very convincing, parlor trick.

It is also a perfect fit for the post-fact universe and anti-intellectualism of the present day American conservative movement. Paul Ryan's recent observation about the laziness of black people is also providing an additional lesson in how the Republican Party has now fully merged conservatism and "symbolic racism".

Moreover, in a moment when Republicans have suggested that black and brown people’s children should become janitors to learn a “work ethic”, that Obama buys black people’s votes with food stamps, and that “real Americans”, i.e. white people, are losing “their country” to non-whites, Ryan’s argument is a rather flat channeling of the Southern Strategy and Reagan’s opines about “strapping black bucks” and "welfare queens" living in luxury as they leech off of white people.

There is an ugly hypocrisy at the heart of Paul Ryan’s efforts to chastise African-Americans (a group of people who quite literally built the United States and have never received compensation or reparations) for having “bad culture” and perhaps even defective genes.

Paul Ryan is an Irish-American. The same arguments that Ryan is making about the “bad culture” of African-Americans, and their supposed “laziness” and “idleness”, were made against his Irish ancestors by eugenicists and race scientists in the United States and Europe.

Charles Murray’s intellectual forefathers had little to no use for the Irish. As such, they spent a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out just what type of “white people” the Irish were, and how they fit into the family and hierarchy of whiteness.

Those who are considered “white” in the 21st century may not have been part of that racial group during an earlier part of American history. Jews, Slavs, Poles, Armenians, as well as Eastern and Southern Europeans more generally, were not considered “real” white people by the consensus scientific authority of the 19th and early to mid 20th centuries.

The sociological evidence is rich: political cartoons during the 19th century questioned how and if the Irish were fit for American democracy by depicting them as apes, and comparing them with similarly caricatured and stereotyped images of African-Americans. The question of “how” and “if” the Irish were suitable for American democracy also emphasized their Catholic religion, and cast doubt on if “papists” were capable of being proper and loyal citizens.

Even as late as the early decades of the 20th century, leading American eugenicists and race scientists such as Madison Grant—author of the infamous tract The Passing of the Great Race—were unsure of the relationship between the Irish and "white civilization":

By the 1920s, some eugenicists seemed ready to admit the Irish or "Celts" to a racial status closer to Anglo-Saxons. But not all. In the Passing of the Great Race, a highly read and influential attack on "race mongrelization" the eugenicist Madison Grant waffled about where the Irish stood.

Grant observed that a physical change had occurred among the Irish in America. The "Neanderthal physical characteristics of the native Irish--the great upper lip, bridgeless nose, beetling brow with low growing hair, and wild and savage aspect:--had largely disappeared. The Irish apeman of Nast's cartoons had evolved a more human form. Yet, with the Irish, in Grant's view, looks could be deceiving. When it came to intellectual and moral traits, "the mental and cultural traits of the aborigines have proved to be exceedingly persistent and appear in the unstable temperament and the lack of coordinating and reasoning power, so often found among the Irish."

Race is a social construct. Its boundaries change according to the social and political questions of a given moment. Race is a fiction; race is also real in terms of how it bounds and influences a person’s life chances by virtue of how society locates them both within and relative to a given group.

Historians Noel Ignatiev and David Roediger explore this process and detail how the Irish in America earned their whiteness in the seminal texts How the Irish Became White and The Wages of Whiteness. Most recently, Nell Irvin Painter’s A History of White People offered up a beautiful synthesis of the many ways that whiteness was manufactured and understood from antiquity to the present in the West.

The centuries-long story of Irish assimilation from a group judged to be below or perhaps somewhat equal to African-Americans in their supposed lack of intelligence, and propensity for violence, sexual impulsiveness, and unfitness for “white” civilization, to now being fully “white”, and where Paul Ryan can easily channel race science and eugenics, is a testament to the malleability of race and the enduring power of White Supremacy.

Whiteness is an expansive and changing category: this is one of the primary lessons taught by the colorline in the United States. We must also not overlook how the path to full whiteness is made easier by both hating and resenting African-Americans.

To point. The Republican Party’s outreach to white ethnics in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement leveraged such sentiments as it built a new coalition of “working class” white Democrats and soon to be Republicans.

In all, Paul Ryan, like many other Republicans, has deployed racial dog whistle politics and symbolic racism to slur the work ethic and character of black people in order to mobilize their white, racially resentful, voting base.

Of course, the Republican Party and its neoliberal allies are silent on how the very economic policies they have advocated and advanced since the 1960s are in many ways responsible for the structural and institutional inequality that has created the “jobless ghetto”.

Those same policies have suppressed wages, generated abhorrent levels of wealth and income inequality, destroyed the American middle class, and created structural unemployment such that there are more job seekers than available positions.

Paul Ryan’s Ayn Randian dreams and twisted understanding of Catholic social justice have resulted in him being the metaphorical doctor who is making the patient sick while simultaneously blaming said patient for not getting better fast enough.

This is a cruel joke. The punch line is the suffering of the American people.

Paul Ryan’s racism and ego have enabled him to willfully misrepresent the research which details how the denizens of inner city and poor black and brown communities are desperate for job opportunities.

Of course, Paul Ryan’s “bad culture” and “lazy” black people thesis is mute on the question of white poverty, white “bad culture”, and white folks’ dependence on the federal government.

Whites constitute the largest group of poor people in the United States. White people also receive a disproportionate amount of federal assistance. And Red State America receives much more in federal money than any other part of the United States.

Were Paul Ryan intellectually honest, he would re-frame his talking points and faux-concern about the black, “inner city” poor, to include white poverty. I wonder, how would Republican voters respond if Paul Ryan told them that they were poor and unemployed because of their laziness and bad culture?

Charles Murray voiced his concern about the cultural pathologies and declining fortunes of poor and working class white Americans in his book Coming Apart.

Paul Ryan embraces the discredited I.Q. race science eugenicist arguments of Murray’s book The Bell Curve in order to slur and disparage African-Americans. Would Paul Ryan ever dare to find public inspiration in Charles Murray’s research about the cultural pathologies and failings of white people in Red State America?

The answer is no.

Originally posted to chaunceydevega on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks and White Privilege Working Group.

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  •  Tip Jar (251+ / 0-)
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      •  Ryan, Hannity, O'Reilley and others (56+ / 0-)

        Have turned their backs on their own heritage, and are probably totally unaware of it. I can never get used to that.

        In Tim Pat Coogan's "The Famine Plot", Coogan again and again details how the poverty and living conditions of the Irish prior to the famine were the result of government policy and laws, especially the penal laws which were designed to keep the native Irish poor and subservient to their English masters.

        The landlord system in Ireland was not by design a forced labor system, but mandatory free labor was part of it, and it's hard not to see parallels to the slavery practiced in the United States. Though the plantation owners in the south were invested in the lives and health of their slaves, the landlords in Ireland were taxed on the number of Irish living on their land. Once the famine hit, the death of the tenants was welcome tax relief.

        The plot itself was not an overt conspiracy, but the system set up by the government created both an impoverished underclass, and the conditions that made a famine inevitable. What do you do when you create this kind of system? Obviously you trash the underclass as lazy and intellectually inferior - and that is exactly what was done.

        When the famine did hit, the worst part of the plot was executed by a couple of public servants who fervently believed in - I kid you not - the hand of the free market and its ability to correct all economic problems, in this case the overpopulation of the island by allowing several million to die of starvation disease and the elements. Next time you see a passing reference to evictions during the famine, rest assured many of these were almost an assured and immediate death sentence due to the elements. There was one, on New Years eve, at night, during a gale force storm, that put about 100 people into the elements with only the clothes on their backs.

        When you read about emigration, the point to remember is it was forced. Eviction and starvation was the alternative. The ships sent to the Americas, and Australia were called coffin ships and the death rate on those ships was staggering. The living generally arrived at their destination naked and starving, and here I see more parallels to slavery.  

        So, there it is. Every time I see an Irish name associated with the conservative movement, or racism (am I redundant?) I want to bang my head on the wall. Is it ignorance, blindness, or blind greed? I don't know, but I do know that every day these people open their mouths, they spit on the graves of their ancestors.

        •  Capitalism and colonialism (14+ / 0-)

          went hand in hand to create the famine.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:03:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  excellent comment (32+ / 0-)

          This was an intentional program of the British nobility. and not just in Ireland. And of course, they exported it all over the world.

          It had been observed that, regrettably, English peasants were free to only work as hard as they needed to, and no harder, with their time being their own. Adam Smith expresses his dismay at what he considered to be the leisurely pace of labor on an English farm on several occasions in Wealth of Nations.

          Having a bunch of commoners spending their free time (after the harvest was in!) singing, drinking wassail and playing with their children was an intolerable state of affairs. Factory-owners needing cheap laborers to endure horrendous conditions on 14-hour shifts. Capitalists openly lamented that commoners would not take factory jobs so long as they had some land to eke out a subsistence upon. This shortage of desperate hungry laborers was a huge problem, because it lead to higher wages, thus lower profits, and this was a very great evil, an impediment to the proper use of capital and industrial progress. English nobleman, Arthur Young did not mince words in 1771 when he said "Everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor or they will never be industrious."

          These people were utterly ruthless - the purpose of evicting small farmers from the commons was to systematically impoverish them to the point that hunger itself would force them to go to cities and take the detested jobs in factories. I have read somewhere that estate owners even were advised to only plant hedgerows with plants bearing inedible fruit to ensure that the commoners could not harvest fruit or nuts that would enable them to persist upon their ancestral land - wish I could find that again.

          Rev Joseph Townsend wrote "Legal constraint [i.e. slavery] is attended with too much trouble, violence, and noise; . . . whereas hunger is not only a peaceable, silent, unremitted pressure, but, as the most natural motive to industry and labor, it calls forth the most powerful exertions."

          Now doesn't that sound a bit familiar!

          •  It's astonishing and horrifying (0+ / 0-)

   hear of such unimaginable evil. How inhuman, how vile, how completely lacking in even the slightest of human qualities. Seriously... it defies imagination to think of people being that cold, that heartless and cruel. It's no wonder people can easily come up with myths like the Reptilians or fictions like They Live. It seems more reasonable to think that those who act this way aren't human at all than to wrap your head around the idea that human beings can be so monstrous.

            If I didn't know you spoke the truth, it would be impossible to imagine anyone could be so evil. Sadly, it's all too true.

            "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

            by DarthMeow504 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:44:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is familiar (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            in two ways.  One is that, shortly after Noah disembarked, I took a HS history class, emphasizing England (since I was in Canada at the time), which mentioned something called the Enclosure Laws.  It was a minor topic, zipped past quickly, and I never got the point of it.  Made me think of cowboy songs like "Don't Fence Me In."

            Naturally, the teacher didn't explain the Enclosure Laws the way your comment does.  He had a lot of material to cover in a limited time.

            The other way this is familiar is NAFTA.  The US Chamber of Commerce supported it, of course, so that they could reduce labor costs by exporting American jobs to Mexico.  Various farm bureaus loved it because they could dump subsidized American corn into Mexican markets.  The 1% in Mexico (who call the shots there as their counterparts do here) loved it because it had the effect of the English Enclosure Laws:  drive the subsistence farmers off their land and into cities where they became part of the cheap labor pool, desperate for any kind of job in any sorts of conditions.

            It's funny how no one seems to connect NAFTA with the rise of the drug gangs in Mexico.  Sure, the main problem is the criminalization (driven by American drug laws) of an enormous market, made even more lucrative by being driven underground, hence completely deregulated and tax-free.  But NAFTA had to be a major contributing factor.  Some of those former subsistence farmers signed up as troops for the local drug lord rather than live in abject poverty in urban slums.

          •  Excellent comment (0+ / 0-)

            I read through your entire post thinking, "doesn't THAT sound familiar?"  Then I got to the last line.  Yes. Yes it does.

        •  Irish by Birth (21+ / 0-)

          I was born in Ireland and I am a naturalized citizen. My great aunt was a nun in Austin Texas, trust me she would not recognize Ryan's Catholicism or his Irish ancestry.

          He may think of himself as being "white lace " Irish and better than the rest of us but I consider him to be nothing more than a hypocrite.

          I would love to hear what Pope Francis would have to say to him about his love of Ayn Rand vs his supposed love of Jesus and his teachings.

          Maybe President Obama will ask the Pope to speak with him.

          •  You must be aware, I'm sure, that Pope Francis has (7+ / 0-)

            already weighed in in principle on Ryan and Co's zombie-eyed granny-starving un-"Christian" ideologies.

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:42:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  His admiration for Ayn Rand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is hilarious. She was a child of her times, a young Jewish woman born in the old world that was torn between the communism of Stalin and the fascism of Hitler. Running away from both to the US and losing her faith in the process, she saw the abject obedience of a person to an ideology as the first step in a very bad direction. (I hope Paul Ryan is paying attention here!)With the wars of religions as they were in Europe a few centuries before her time (but the crusades and the Inquisition always studied in schools,) she saw religion as something to eschew as well, because belonging to a group diminishes your own stature as a free thinker. She felt that the government was too powerful in levying taxes (Atlas should just shrug up his "duty" rather than accept the burden of carrying the world on his shoulders) (but she did take advantage of Social Security / medicare) and was absolutely in favor of abortion. It is revisionists like Paul Ryan who see her as the embodiment of their ideal (smaller government) without studying her teachings or realizing that she was a pro-abortion atheist. (When I heard Mitt Romney, the Mormon bishop-who seemed to think the world of her- is when I studied the question. My discovery had me howling on the floor with laughter! I'm not too surprised to see Paul Ryan truncate studies to suit his own ideology. It is the very proof of his superficial thinking, without any link to reality.  

        •  Amen. I feel the same way when i see (11+ / 0-)

          an Italian name that is aligned with anything
          republican or conservative, as this is my ancestry.

          So, there it is. Every time I see an Irish name associated with the conservative movement, or racism (am I redundant?) I want to bang my head on the wall. Is it ignorance, blindness, or blind greed? I don't know, but I do know that every day these people open their mouths, they spit on the graves of their ancestors.
          I remember the stories my immigrant grandparents told,
          and am appalled at any elected Italian with an R after
          their name.
        •  Near 100% (2+ / 0-)

          Of all government held positions, governors, congressmen, senetors, mayors, DA's, judgeships, lawyers, and most government agencies, including military bigwigs are all led by someone of Irish descent.

          Near 100% of all world and local news reporters in the U.S.are of Irish descent. Most all positions of power are controled by someone of Irish descent.

          If these positions were held by someone of Italian descent I would be able to spot it and would make the same revelation, and of course would suggest that we were being run by the mafia.

          I forget, but I think it went something like this, the Italian mafia went into big business, and the Irish mafia went into law enforcement. Isn't it obvious? I am Italian and am pulling no punch's.

          " The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself ". F.D.R.

        •  ^^^^ Superb comment. Thank you. nt (0+ / 0-)

          "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

          by flitedocnm on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 01:42:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not so-old Irish saying (3+ / 0-)

          "Once the Irish get into the country club, they don't want to let any more Irish in the country club".  Spoken to me by my grandfather, and he should've known it:  he was an Irish American who grew up in the Depression working as a "gandy dancer", later in life a state prison security guard with a pension.  He was also an avid supporter of Goldwater, and later of Reagan.

          Everybody wants to be in the club, you know. And once you're "in" - or at least you think you are - you don't so much care about those other people anymore who aren't in, whoever they may happen to be.  You might even throw those people right overboard if they start rocking your boat - or if you think they are.

          Until we get a bigger club - one that includes everybody - "the problem of race" (excuse the poverty of the term) is not going to disappear.  For "race" appears to be a creature of class: economic insecurity is its motive force, and the privileged classes are its agent, since the division of the poor into competing groups protects them.  

          The Republicans need to dog-whistle race - they need to because their political economy has so ill-served the country that a growing majority of people are against them. Since the Republicans have refused to compromise on economic issues, they need all the more to rely on splitting their opposition in order to maintain power (and on such legerdemain as gerrymandering and restricting voting rights).  They need to get as many ordinary folks as they can to identify with the rich - and "whiteness" is all they have left to offer.  Well, that and guns, and a weird attraction to Sarah Palin...

        •  Sent to Top Comments (0+ / 0-)
        •  Viking collaborators (0+ / 0-)

          But, some Irish collaborated with the Viking invaders and were traitors to their own kind when Brian Boru tried to oust the Vikings from Ireland.

          Not so different today, inasmuch as the Obamas are about as Irish-American as Lyin Ryan.

          That other CONs adore him with the "thinker" moniker just proves how mindless and clueless they are.

          I think the during his only Real Job (2+ mos), Lyin Ryan was over-exposed to meat preservatives. What I wouldn't give for a picture of him driving the WienerMobile!

        •  When you refer to the Potato Famine, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenInCalif, Gwennedd, bethann

          never forget it was an ARTIFICIAL famine. There was food, and plenty of it, the Irish just weren't allowed to eat any of it. The grain harvest on Ireland was just fine, but it was all exported to England. The blight that struck the potato crop affected the only food the oppressed Irish were allowed, and countless numbers starved while in the midst of abundance they were not allowed to touch.

          It was murder. Plain and simple.

          "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

          by DarthMeow504 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:36:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gwennedd, oklacoma dem

          IMO this comment gets the point across far better than the original diary.

          Maybe it's time for some inspired film-maker to dramatize the story of the Irish potato famine the way 12 Years a Slave showed us the truth about the "Southern way of life".

        •  The GOP's biggest talent seems to be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the ability to rewrite history piecemeal, picking and choosing from modern and historical sources to bolster their current agenda. There is not even the pretense of intellectual honesty, and there is nothing too shamefully dishonest for them to exploit.

        •  RYAN FORGETS HE IS IRISH (0+ / 0-)

          Thank you oklacoma dem for a well written opinion.

          An Irish woman who recalls her Father's teachings.

        •  copied this to my notes file (0+ / 0-)

          sorry too late to rec

          Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

          by julifolo on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:39:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  LYIN RYAN (0+ / 0-)

          Excellent post - and sadly true!!  Lyin Ryan is a huge danger to the American People.  

    •  I agree almost entirely. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The author starts by implying that Paul Ryan is no intellectual, a conclusion with which I would disagree.  Ryan is very intelligent, a master of twisting the truth and spinning the facts so that the conservative sheep stay dizzy and compliant.  He is a master at crafting the lies that are repeated by his colleagues and Faux News until they are believed to be the truth.  Paul Ryan is cut from the same cloth as Dick Cheney and Joseph Goebbles, and is just as dangerous.  I'd be surprised if Ryan can ever fake enough personal charisma to be elected president, but he should be watched closely - he is likely to be setting the conservative agenda from the background in the coming decades.

      •  Being a very clever liar, (3+ / 0-)

        twister, and manipulator is not at all the same thing as being an intellectual. Real intellectuals--real serious thinkers--believe in the importance of thinking things through carefully and honestly.

        I know you just meant to point out that he's sharp and knowledgeable, and I think that's right, but part of what that reveals is how little that means without reflectiveness and a sense of intellectual responsibility. I've occasionally had Paul Ryan types in my classes, and they don't do that well, because they think they already know it all and just have to game the system.

        Babylon system is the vampire... ~Bob Marley

        by sfinx on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 02:58:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly!!!!eom (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
        •  I agree. Having been a college professor (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sendtheasteroid, sfinx

          I have had to deal with the "Paul Ryan" types in my classes also. Their intent is always to show their "intellectual superiority" without having to do any work, beyond the bare minimum. They also always have a small cadre of admirers who take everything they say as gospel. Invariably they either quit my class or flunk because they turned in a late paper, or a plagiarized one. They are not intellectuals, they are performers. They show a remarkable inability to think reflectively and they know nothing about intellectual honesty.

        •  sfinx, watch your back! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The people who  

          think they already know it all and just have to game the system
          are fractally distributed throughout our political and economic systems.
          Someone you report to either belongs to that category or reports (directly or indirectly) to someone who does.  If the Paul Ryan types don't do that well in your classes, I sure hope you have tenure.

          Reflect, for a moment, on how George W. Bush got through Yale.  Would you have wanted to be the prof who gave him an F?

      •  linking Cheney & Goebbles (0+ / 0-)

        gets a rec

        Cheney is evil.

        Ryan is despicable, entitlement behavior trash. I hope one of these days his arrogance gets him thrown out by the greedy .01%ers he's fawning to.

        Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

        by julifolo on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:45:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

      Excellent!  Thought-provoking piece!

      [Of course, if you're a member of the GOP/TP, it's difficult to get it up enough to have a thought, let alone one that provokes even deeper thinking.]

      Sometimes, you need a sensa uma!

      by HashHoward on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:33:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  History teaches us (55+ / 0-)

    that man learns nothing from history.

    Bill O'Reilly falls into the similar trap of demonizing the black man while forgetting how his Irish ancestors were viewed.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:25:27 PM PDT

  •  I could swear it was on DailyKos... (5+ / 0-)

    ...where I read a diary on how they believed discrimination against the Irish was a historical fabrication.  Now I can't remember who the author was to dig it up.

    Perhaps this diary will prompt them to turn up...

  •  This is excellent (44+ / 0-)

    info on the Irish that relatively few, including those of Irish heritage are aware of, of which the Potato Famine is just a small chapter, and the only part they've usually heard of. This history includes the complete "forgetting" (both denial and ignorance) of the Enclosure Laws, Poor Laws, Corn Laws, and clearing of the commons all over the British Isles. The commoners, whether Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or English were all displaced, driven by force and starvation from their ancestral lands.

    This enabled the elite to forge a new world order out the free-market invisible hand mysticism of Adam Smith, that is, modern industrial capitalism. It provided them both "cleared" land for plantation agriculture and the starving and desperate "excess population" doomed to work in factories and mines, transport to penal colonies and service in the army and navy.

    So, ironically, the displaced were sent off to North America, Asia, and Africa to do to other indigenous people exactly what had been done to them, for the benefit of the same elite class.

    In my activism, I often have to explain this history to "white" people of various British Isles extractions. As a person of both Irish and Eastern European Jewish heritage it is painful to me to see the perverse level of identification many of these folks have with the perpetrators. The only thing I can compare this to is imagining a Jew in Brooklyn or Warsaw who has not ever heard of the Holocaust or the pogroms. I'm not comparing this to the Holocaust, please, please let's not go there! just that the enclosures and subsequent diaspora were comparably HUGE historical events with consequences we are still dealing with (ask any Native American). For people, especially those whose ancestors were directly involved to not even be aware of what really happened is tragic.

      •  quite ironic, isn't it (21+ / 0-)

        I really wish this was all taught in school, in the same segment as the Industrial Revolution, where it belongs, but that would put a big old hole in the free market lifts all boats myth.

      •  Not all (13+ / 0-)

        My ancestors fought for the Union. At least one, according to his grandson, explicitly made the comparison to Irish suffering.

        “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:04:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Race being a biologically fictitious social (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature, ebohlman

        construct, as is racism, might go a ways in accounting for the difference between the views of these populations. Their relatedness by blood cannot account for their social attitudes.

        The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

        by Wolf10 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:07:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Irish in America (24+ / 0-)

        have forgotten that we are a result of conquest on colonialism except as an "I'm not racist" talking point. A people who had their language destroyed and who were ripped from their home land, if they weren't starved to death or killed some other way.

        Nothing shames me greater than seeing those of Irish descent forget their past and forget how we became enforcers of colonialism.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:28:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not just the Irish Americans (16+ / 0-)

          Almost all Americans descended from the commoners who where dispossessed are unaware of this and probably a higher percentage of Irish-Americans have some knowledge of this history than say, for example, people of Scottish or English heritage. Southern states would be Exhibit A.

          Note the number of Americans with common surnames that are clearly "common," e.g. Smith, Wright, Farmer, Miller, Burrell, Cooper, Weaver.

        •  Not this Irishwoman. (16+ / 0-)

          My grandmother was born in the poorest county of Ireland, in rural conditions essentially unchanged for centuries. She left school at age 9 to raise her 7 siblings when her mother died in childbirth. She came to America with $25 in her pocket--the legal minimum--to work as a cook. After she married my grandfather, who labored on & then managed small dairy farms, she cooked & cleaned & grew her own food, much like she had in Ireland. Every scrap of money saved--and there wasn't much--went to educating my mom & uncle.

          She was incredibly smart & funny & resourceful, and yet never had sufficient education even to get a driver's license. Everything my mother & my sister & I have achieved: We recognize that our fancy educations and other remarkable life opportunities come directly from the County Kerry dirt beneath Gran's fingertips. The audacity it took to venture across an ocean with nothing. The vision it took to want things for her daughter and granddaughters that she never even knew existed.

          I am a proud product of the appalling poverty my grandmother survived, the oppressive colonialism she & my fierce ancestors defied.

          Don't generalize about 'The Irish in America.'

          Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

          by earicicle on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 02:11:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And not me either (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY, mahakali overdrive

            But for the vast majority of people of Irish descent it is true.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:22:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  'Vast majority'... (3+ / 0-)

              I always have a problem with sweeping, unverifiable generalizations. Especially when they refer to one ethnic group or race or class or...well, do you see my point? Millions of Irish who emigrated to America, in fact, have a history of maintaining extremely close ties to Ireland. Some members of my grandmother's family came to the US, worked and then returned to Ireland--extremely common pattern that established ongoing family ties across the Atlantic.

              For all immigrant groups to America, various pressures work for and against assimilation. What is fascinating is to study the actual history of these patterns, as opposed to making broad assertions that serve no useful purpose.

              Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

              by earicicle on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:43:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with the both of you (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                earicicle, isabelle hayes

                but my only claim to this argument is that I'm half some combination of Irish-Scottish-Welsh and Dutch (and half Middle-Eastern Jewish who moved to the Ukraine and then up into Russia before immigrating here). I don't know much about any of it EXCEPT the Scottish bit. The Irish part wasn't well-maintained. As for the Scottish part, I want to go because it's traceable back and seems interesting to me. It's the only part of my heritage that I can put a name to a town other than parts of the Ukraine which are not doing too well right now. Such a mind fuck, all of it.

                I think we can talk about our individual anecdotes and find that they'll all be really different. Still, at the end of the day, Paul Ryan is an asshole who has clearly forgotten his own roots and is imbued with about 500 lbs. of white privilege that his ancestors would not have had, for which he cares not a whit.

                This happens cyclicly to Jews. We are coded, uncoded, recoded, and geographically coded as "white" depending on where we live and who's doing the looking. We have a weird perspective on these things (I look Jewish enough that this happens to me, but I don't look Jewish enough to not sometimes pass in some places too... depends on what color my hair is, kind of... weird, right? In Florida or New York, I'm "known" to be Jewish immediately; in a lot of the rest of the country, I get "white immunity" from that coding. In New York, it "means something" to be Jewish, especially if you're from a proper Mayflower family... etc.)

                Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                by mahakali overdrive on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:30:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Paul Ryan is a traitor to all of humanity, most (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  especially Irish and Irish-American people. [And an embarassment to homo sapiens as a lifeform.] What Paul Ryan is NOT: a representative of some amorphous 'vast majority' of Irish-Americans. Many of whom remain deeply rooted in, and respectful of, our very humble origins.

                  In fact, I am proud to be the descendent of the oppressed, rather than the oppressors. If only pond scum like Ryan could share the ethos of generosity, grace & gratitude that his ancestors could respect.  Instead of grasping and clawing to become an oppressor himself.

                  Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

                  by earicicle on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 01:49:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  know what you mean (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  my jewish niece and her (nominally protestant) mayflower-descended husand's children can be daughters of the american republic, once only the whitest of the white;

                  another 2 jewish cousins have korean and irish spouses, and american children

                  think of it! this didn't happen before the 1950's, and now it's common;

                  this has happened all over the usa, and the effect is yet to be acknowledged, but the liberalism of the young is proof

                •  I have the same experience (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  growing up there was enough bigotry and nastiness about my hair texture, full lips, etc. that I don't feel truly white but I'm sure not non-white! it all depends - in Mexico, I was "recognized" as a "New Yorker" which I'm not, but I understood what they were saying very well. In the SF Bay Area I was white, but in the LA entertainment, design and textile industry I was "obviously" Jewish and even warranted very dirty looks in certain neighborhoods while driving late Friday afternoon. In the rural county where I live now, I'm white again. But I always feel like I'm just "passing for white" and I am definitely aware of privilege, what it would be like to drive while Hispanic or Native America.

              •  My mother's mother came over from Cork (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                isabelle hayes, earicicle

                Being second generation, I've been able to regain my Irish citizenship and passport. That's one less in total diaspora.

                "Let there be song to fill the air." R. Hunter

                by RUKind on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 02:43:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  NINA - No Irish Need Apply (0+ / 0-)

          That was a common acronym on help wanted ads in Boston up into my grandparents' time.

          "Let there be song to fill the air." R. Hunter

          by RUKind on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 02:33:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not really all that surprising is it? (3+ / 0-)

        Race and racism being both social constructs, you'd expect two different groups in two different political and social circumstances to take different positions, and both do it for their own domestic political and economic purposes, i'd suggest.  The Irish to poke it to the English and Anglo American power structures and out of sympathy for those similarly (rhetorically or mythologically) situated, while the Irish here stand in entirely a different position relative to those movements.

        Ironically, I was a target of a small race riot in a predominantly Irish American neighborhood on account of my afro Brazilian fiancee and our friends of ahem very diverse backgrounds that didn't sit well with the locals in a small town just outside Boston.  It was a very enlightening and frightening experience.

        I'm often super critical of your work and some of your positions, but this diary is truly superb!

      •  one word. competition (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, spacecadet1, OIL GUY

        In this case, competition for jobs and housing by the two underclass groups. The Irish won, no doubt pale skin helped a lot.

        On the other side of the lake, they had a better handle on where it all came from and exactly who was responsible. See "Easter Uprising", Coogan's a good source for that too.

      •  It's important to realize that immigrants (4+ / 0-)

        from a particular society are, almost by definition, not representative of that society. I sometimes joke that one of the reasons the Netherlands is such a tolerant place is that all their intolerant people moved to the Dutch colonies back in the days.

        Immigrants are a self-selected group, and self-selected groups substantially differ from the population they self-selected out of more often than not. If I didn't know the history involved, I'd think that the reason the area I live in has so many small businesses run by immigrants from the area that was "behind the iron curtain" when I was a kid was that they came from a culture that encouraged entrepreneurship and individual ambition. But I know for a fact that their cultures discouraged it. Hmm, maybe that's why they decided to leave.

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:01:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They were deliberately set against each other by (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, marykk

        the planters, the slavers (just like the three-men-and-a-plate-of-cookies joke) - else common cause would've been made long before now...even going so far (eventually) as to intermarry themselves with the Irish in pursuit of a stable self-perpetuating 'enforcer' class that still exists in semi-prganized fashion today.

        Not unlike the way the conquistadors of Mexico use the mestiso population to keep los indios marginalized and desperate.

        trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

        by chmood on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 05:51:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking as a Welsh-American (17+ / 0-)

      I think it's pretty safe to say that since the Welsh could pass as English, very often they did, and after a generation or two their descendants forgot completely that they'd ever been anything else.  My mother once told me that Dad's ancestors weren't Welsh, even though I'd found a copy of a genealogy that clearly stated that the first ancestor we could trace had been born in Wales!

      It was pretty strange...but then again, Mum and her family played down being German-American even though my uncle Lou had tried to track down surviving relatives in Karlsruhe after the war.  The only explanation I can think of is that one of those relatives had been an SS officer and the family was ashamed, not that any of us in Pennsylvania had had a damn thing to do with Manfred's decision to heil his Hitler all over the place.

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:47:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh geez, don't feel strange about your family (6+ / 0-)

        it seems to be a peculiarly American theme.
        My ancestors were French Huguenots who left France because of the depredations visited on them, which included having children taken away and put into servitude and being impressed into involuntary servitude (read slavery) themselves.
        So what did a lot of them do in the New World? Buy African slaves, of course.
        I have never understood how people who had faced such suffering themselves could visit the same kind of suffering--and deny it--on others.

      •  Same situation, Welsh in my blood (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My Mum was a little girl in London during the bombing raids and was eventually evacuated to the Isle of Wight. Sadly, she lost several childhood friends, and could never stand our 4th of July celebrations. The loud bangs and other explosions were too traumatizing. My Dad was German-American, his side of the family immigrated here early 19th century, fought in the War of 1812 and were imprisoned at Andersonville during the Civil War. I guess my parents were a kind of 'war reparation' marriage in the late 50s.

        It is best you don't find yourself between me and Toad in the Hole...


        Forget Occam's Razor, try hitting them with Darwin's Hammer!

        by Munynn on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:31:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That sounds like the opposite of my parents (0+ / 0-)

          Dad was the oldcomer, from a family that had come over around 1740, while Mum's people had been over for less than a century when they met and married.  Ain't America great?

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 05:54:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You will enjoy this, then: (8+ / 0-)

      The famous song "No Irish Need Apply, sung by a Jew- Joe Glazer.

      "If you love your Uncle Sam bring them home, bring them home." - Pete Seeger.

      by brae70 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some of the tactics of both the Nazis and the (7+ / 0-)

      Stalinist Communists were foreshadowed by the colonial powers, more especially the British Empire in the 19th Century.
         The use of large scale famine as a means of control over a population was pioneered by the British.
          The mass displacement of populations was used to suppress Ireland. Starting in the 16th Century, a program of plantations was begun. A plantation was a seizure of land in a targeted area, expulsion of the population, and its replacement with people moved in from England or Scotland. This culminated in the Ulster plantation in the 17th Century.
         The people known as Scots-Irish are descended from Scots who were displaced from Scotland and resettled in Ireland. They're more accurately called Ulster Scots.
        Comparisons to the Holocaust aren't entirely out of line. British capitalists controlled the food supply in the colonies. In Ireland and India in the 19th Century, they were perfectly willing to let the free market work by shipping food from the famine regions to where it could fetch the highest price.
        The death toll from the Indian famines was in the tens of millions.

    •  When the Romans arrived on the scene, they said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that the Scots, then Gaels, made "excellent thieves."

      Wealth of Nations was a wildly successful attempt to legalize our natural talent at thievery. And look what we helped the British Empire accomplish to that end!

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:26:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very well said (14+ / 0-)

    Race is a made-up concept used by people in power to divide the people below them.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 12:48:53 PM PDT

    •  Seems to be, the problem is (5+ / 0-)

      being white and GOP (to follow their logic).

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:52:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I'm willing to bet there isn't a single (6+ / 0-)

      "Inner city" in the whole county.

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:03:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Inner City" As In "Warsaw Ghetto?" (0+ / 0-)

      As Wingnuts Say, "Nazis Were National SOCIALISTS."

      Which is sort of true - that they believed in redistribution of wealth as long as it went to true "Aryans."  It was socialism exclusively for white people while the minorities were enslaved and starved.  Oh eventually they got around to enslaving the working class whites also, but they were spared the actual genocide.

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:47:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They weren't even "Socialist among Aryans" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F, isabelle hayes

        While they did believe in land reforms to protect small (properly Aryan) farmers, nationalizing key industries believed to be essential to defense, and in a basic safety net (for Aryans), they had no interest at all in eliminating class structure.

        "Volksgemeinschaft" was a very specific ideology centered  uniting for common national goals without destroying class differences.

        If that's not at least a claimed goal of your Party, it's not socialist in any sense.

        •  "Saving The Family Farm" Never Goes Out Of Style (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, gffish

          i think those were the groups that actually had "Socialist" in their name, which the Nazis more or less got stuck with.  There were also extremely antisemitic.  The bit about saving family farms was in the 1929 Nazi party platform.

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:14:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Nazis didn't nationalize key industries. They (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, JesseCW, J M F

          had effective control of companies like IG Farben and Krupp, but the companies remained in the hands of the ownership.
            Ford Werke AG, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company, continued to operate in Nazi Germany during the war, nominally under the ownership of its American parent company.
             Bottom line: The Nazis weren't socialists.

          •  Agreed on your conclusion, but they *ran on* (0+ / 0-)

            Nationalizing key industries. It was part of how they tried to appeal to other workers parties.

            That alone doesn't make a Socialist Party, of course.  The core of Socialism is seeking to destroy economic class.  All else is about means.  

            That's something the Nazi's completely opposed.

    •  It's also the poorest or the fifth poorest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chmood, spacecadet1, J M F

      county in the US, depending on whether you look at percentage below the poverty line or median household income.

      It's been Republican since before the Civil War.  Only 12 men from the county fought on the Confederate side, while nearly every able bodied man enlisted in the Union cause.  Local story is that when the draft agents showed up, there was no one left to draft.

      Of course, a hell of a lot of Free Soiler Republicans back then were deeply racist despite being adamantly opposed to slavery.  Their motivation was hating the wealthy planters who kept manipulating politicians to drive broke white squatters ever West, not any firm belief in the brotherhood of man.

      It's just interesting to me that Dixiecrats never won this county.  Ever.  Unlike most of the now Republican South, these aren't folks who followed Strom Thurmond over from the Democratic party.

      •  There is (or used to be) a phenomenon known as (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, J M F

        Mountain Republicans in Kentucky and Tennessee. They are the descendants of people who supported the Union during the Civil War and have historically been at odds with the Southern Democratic establishment in those states. Their survival into modern times gave the Republican Party a nucleus of supporters to build on.
           Republicans like Howard Baker were supported by the mountain people.
           Tennessee and Kentucky did not secede from the Union and were the scene of neighbor vs neighbor fighting during the war.

    •  and I bet they are absolutely convinced (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the democrats just cut their food stamps.

  •  Great Diary, Chauncey (16+ / 0-)

    You really nailed Ryan's hypocrisy-- and also made an excellent point: how often it is that people find an excuse to hold down "the other"-- and, in turn, how often members of a once-persecuted group still want to find their own "other" to hold down.

    But our agenda is different, says the wannabe oppressor-- exactly what the previous oppressor would say-- and exactly what the oppressor before him would have said before that. And so on and so on it goes.

    "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy"-- James Madison

    by Bad Cog on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:02:49 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for bringing up this fascinating (8+ / 0-)

    and always pertinent historical point.

    All this Paul Ryan makes me feel the need to post this, probably to remind me that the Irish can also be supremely cool:

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in.

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:16:07 PM PDT

  •  Most people of Irish ancestry (15+ / 0-)

    also aren't aware of Irish immigrants being used in our government's genocide campaign against the First Nations. The irony is heart-breaking. Divide and conquer is always succesful when you take two different communities and promise access to the mainstream to one, as long as they persecute the other. Great diary, thanks.

    Here I am, now. Entertain me.

    by blueoregon on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:51:12 PM PDT

  •  Your diaries (10+ / 0-)

    are a treasure. I so much enjoy how you expose intellectual dishonesty and unmistakeable racism.

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:57:42 PM PDT

  •  A great diary (8+ / 0-)

    And a great service. For a little more on this (and more vile anti-Irish cartoons), people can take a look at my diary from a year and change ago.

    I have no patience whatsoever with Irish-Americans who are hostile to other groups suffering discrimination, or who believe today's Republican Party offers anything worth having.

    “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:07:41 PM PDT

  •  I stand by my initial reaction to Ryan (22+ / 0-)

    if that guy is the 'intellectual saviour of the GOP' then my cats are MENSA rocket scientists.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:37:36 PM PDT

  •  RE: The Commitments (10+ / 0-)

    Do you not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I'm black and I'm proud.

    One cannot raise the bottom of a society without benefiting everyone above. Michael Harrington

    by tporky on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:00:19 PM PDT

  •  One of your most powerful posts. (6+ / 0-)

    And that's saying something. A terrific takedown of Ryan's sick joke of a "philosophy" on poverty.

  •  This may sound ingenuous. (9+ / 0-)

    I was born in 1953 in rural Michigan, white and female and poor.

    I was very little when I realized boys were considered better than girls. Well, that made no sense. I thought when I was older and smarter I would see the sense in it.

    White skin was considered superior to black skin. This too was nonsensical, but what did I know. Someday I would see the sense in it.

    I am 60 years old and I know that little girl was right and the so-called adults were wrong.

    Thanks CDV.

  •  Thanks for the diary (7+ / 0-)

    The Irish were not the only inhabitants of the British Isles who once regarded as less than civilized. The Celts , the Britons, the Angles, the Saxons and other assorted groups were regarded in ancient times as savage and incapable of being fully civilized. Perhaps those ancient critics were correct.

    Of course with my Slovene and Swedish roots, along with French and Irish background, I have little room to talk.

    As for Paul Ryan, I have little doubt that he would have any problem denigrating a particular white ethnic group if he felt it would benefit him politically. All one had to do is study history of the labor movement to see how different ethnic groups were set against each other.

    Thanks again.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:48:23 PM PDT

  •  neanderthals (9+ / 0-)

    The "Neanderthal physical characteristics of the native Irish-...

    Its interesting that they used to associate "lower" races/ethnicities with neanderthal blood. We now know based on DNA studies that black Africans are the  only major group of people today that have no Neanderthal blood.

    •  and racists are starting to shift on Neanderthals (0+ / 0-)

      drawing attention to their alleged artistic temperament and saying the Neanderthals are what ended up making the difference between blacks and everyone else.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:58:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Turns out, most retained Neandethal DNA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Visceral, J M F

        (that we know the purpose of) has to do with our immune systems and production of certain enzymes.

        Basically, populations of modern humans outside of Africa that absorbed Neanderthal genes held on to the stuff that made us better at resisting Eurasian bugs.

    •  As someone who probably has a fair amount of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Neanderthal genome, thanks to French and German ancestry, I wonder how Neanderthal came to be such a whipping boy in our storehouse of ethnic slurs?
      Difference, power differential, minority status perhaps?

  •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, TayTay

    Every high school and university student should be made to read this. This is not only an excellent essay but the writing is of such quality that it is accessible even to the young. Best thing I've read in a long while.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:06:59 PM PDT

  •  Paul Ryan a self denier (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet, Calamity Jean, Ahianne

    Ryan survived because of the Government Welfare system after his father died...but distances himself from that and used undefendable racial slurs to create an even greater divide and 'allow' poor whites a sense of superiority that really goes back to the civil war era. It's kind of like they(poor whites) keep telling themselves well he's not talking about me, so I must be okay, even though they are actually birds maybe of a different feather but laying in the same situation and many times even worse. Lee Atwater talked about those who voted GOP while not voting their own best interest and that the GOP Leaders "LAUGHTED at THEM". See the Lee Atwater story on the net by PBS, he was George H. W. Bush's pre presidential political advisor.

  •  Most excellent piece of work here! Thank you. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

    by helpImdrowning on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:34:19 PM PDT

  •  My father grew up ethnic in the 1950s (5+ / 0-)

    As he's described it to me, if you were Lebanese in the 1950s you were about one notch above black.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:44:18 PM PDT

    •  Same for the Sicilians, or nearly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swampyankee, isabelle hayes

      My grandfather's "race"  on the ship's manifest that brought him to NY was S. European.

      People who assimilate want to be white. My father's generation and his father's were all about 'passing'. They sacrificed a lot for that, and because THEY made it, they can't understand why Other People, who, as they point out, have been in this country longer than they have, can't make it too.

      Seriously, that's the line you'll get. OTOH, remembering very vicious ethnic jokes in the 60s, being literally spat at and having Catholicism considered unAmerican - to find my ilk  considered lily white is, well - ironic.

      A construct, indeed. And very very fluid.

      You can observe a lot just by watching. - Yogi Berra

      by kayak58 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:35:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An excellent example (0+ / 0-)

    Of why I come here.

    Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

    by randallt on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:53:35 PM PDT

  •  Damn history anyway! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oklacoma dem

    Ryan was speaking of himself and his ancestors, too friggin funny.gwahahahahaha, what a marooon.

  •  A good reminder (0+ / 0-)

    Of who the enemy really is.

    Heresy is almost always better than dogma.

    by Balance and Abandon on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:18:38 PM PDT

  •  Ryan and Catholic social justice (10+ / 0-)

    I was raised Roman Catholic.  I went to parochial school for years and was taught by nuns.  I gave up the RCC long ago, but I can tell you that the nuns who taught me would recognize nothing Catholic in Paul Ryan's political beliefs.

    The Catholic teaching I received stemmed from the idea that one cannot achieve salvation based on faith alone.  (A big dividing point between Catholics and some Protestants.)  Instead, you will only enter heaven through acts of faith.  Most important among these are what were often called "good works."  That meant loving your neighbor and, if necessary, sharing with him your material goods.

    Not once did I ever hear any of my Catholic teachers express concern that such charity to the poor would create a culture of dependency.  In fact, we were supposed to be supportive of anything that relieved the suffering of the poor and the sick, and we were supposed to contribute our energies to that effort.

    So Paul Ryan may claim to be a good Irish Catholic, but unless the dogma has changed a hell of a lot since I was a kid, he must have fallen asleep in catechism class.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:24:16 PM PDT

  •  Many Irish were forced into slavery (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet, 207wickedgood

    in the Colonies in the middle 17th Century - mostly children.

    How soon people forget their origins, and how quick to take a superior attitude.

  •  in my opinion (0+ / 0-)

    i think the X factor is illegitimacy. Black illegitimacy rates 55 years ago were lower than white rates now. If a child is born illegitimate it puts it behind the eight ball from birth.

    formerly demographicarmageddon

    by bonzo925 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:16:09 PM PDT

    •  So in 1959, things were better for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vita Brevis

      Black people? That almost sounds like the idiot who was arguing that Black people were better off during slavery because of intact families.

      "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

      by CaliSista on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:16:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  vanderplaats is a crazy fundie (0+ / 0-)

        I'm an agnostic, but you don't have to be a christian to know that out of wedlock births are a (inter-racial I might add) societal problem.

        My point is, if the black family survived lots of things far worse, why can't they survive now when things are comparatively better.

        formerly demographicarmageddon

        by bonzo925 on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In the early days of desegregation, members of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        isabelle hayes

        black middle class - business owners - were hurt by sudden competition from white owned businesses. And two parent households were the rule among African Americans then.
           But, of course, the more stable black social structure doesn't begin to make up for the astonishing array of petty and major humiliations that African Americans had to endure under DE JURE segregation.

        •  Apparently I'm missing the point from (0+ / 0-)

          you and the OP.  Say the stats quoted are correct (and I don't necessarily assume they are). So? What does that have to do with the matter under discussion in this diary? Are you and bonzo saying Ryan's conclusion is mistaken only due to his reasoning? In other words, it's not the lack of work ethic aka shiftless Negroes but rather all the baby mamas out there?

          "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

          by CaliSista on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:01:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  As an illegitimate child (0+ / 0-)

      I think you're talking out your ass.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:08:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  confusing effect and cause... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, CaliSista

      I love the magical get married will solve structural unemployment argument. Marriage is about socio-economics and how folks choose to or not do so and make a calculation about the marriage market. Get married great. You are still under resources and/or without a job.

      •  ok then (0+ / 0-)

        being married helps keep income together. The poverty rate  for married couples are a fraction that of unmarried ones (and this is coming from a single person).

        Also being married doesn't mean having children. It's not unheard of for people to wait ten years after marrying to finally have children.

        formerly demographicarmageddon

        by bonzo925 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:50:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Superb diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chmood, PhilK, isabelle hayes

    There is virtually nothing about the post-Civil Rights era GOP that is not soul-crushingly racist. Their electoral successes have been fully dependent on "the fear of the other" and, although things are changing faster than they had anticipated, they do not appear to be letting go of that formula. Far from being anything related to a thoughtful human being, Paul Ryan is just another braindead fearmonger of the sort that the GOP pumps out on a regular basis.

    There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.

    by EdSF on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:16:23 PM PDT

  •  more competition at the bottom than the top (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CaliSista, kayak58, chmood, isabelle hayes

    When the fear of falling farther looms larger in your imagination than the hope of rising higher, your moral calculus changes.  The Irish didn't want the blacks to push them from second to last to dead last and were willing to make common cause with racist Anglos to do it.  Sadly it makes sense for both parties: the Irish (like the French and Germans before them and the Italians, Poles, Jews, and Asians after them) get to protect their position in the racial/ethnic hierarchy against displacement from below and then open the door to real advancement, and the Anglo elite gets to win over potentially antagonistic minorities who might otherwise threaten their own dominance.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:32:52 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant diary. Spot on. (8+ / 0-)

    Up until the 1950s, (not that long ago for some of us) Harvard College would not accept anyone with an Irish surname for employ in offices, even low paying clerical positions.  

    I know someone who was turned away for work, told "This is not the place for you" by the Personnel Office, despite her high skill and education, when pressed, the personnel official said "You are a pretty young lady, but we don't hire Irish."  She responded, "But, I'm not Irish, my husband is Irish, I'm French."  He replied "It doesn't matter, your name is Irish, you're Irish.  We do not hire the Irish."

    Paul Ryan, this is your history.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:35:50 PM PDT

  •  Gangs of New York (0+ / 0-)

    He's a modern day Bill the Butcher.

  •  Most Excellent Diary (0+ / 0-)

    And guess what day is coming up St. Patrick's Day when people celebrate the drunken Irish and make sure you wear green.

  •  A chaunceydevega never disappoints. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

  •  Divide and conquer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kayak58, isabelle hayes

    This is a great example summary of how the upper class has and continues to defeat the rest of us.  It is a standard WAR tactic... Divide and Conquer.  Yes, class warfare is real and ongoing.  The powerful elites manipulate the rest of us by generating conflict among us over "social issues" so our focus (and vote) is turned away from the facts of being economically pillaged.  The Irish menace, the Italian menace, the Puerto Rican menace, the communist menace, the Black menace, the drug menace, the Gay menace, the Feminist menace, the atheist menace, etc. etc.

    There is no menace among us.  The real menace is the power elite working to continually divide us and distract us from what matters (in the sphere of government policy and economics)... wealth and power.

    Sadly, we never overcome the manipulation. As a whole we never see that we are continually divided and pitted against each other to accomplish the aims of the power elite.  Social issues are a distraction from the real issues.  That is the message that has to become the meme of a generation. That is what it will take for the people to gain back the ownership and power of their own government.

  •  Paul Ryan is frightened of losing White Privilege (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Excellent diary, chaunceydevega..

    Tim Wise has an excellent site about whiteness. Reading Peggy McIntosh's Unveiling the Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege was also helpful in my counter-attacks to the Ted Nugents and Paul Ryans of 'Merica.

    I have a coworker is is sadly quite vocal in his denunciation of affirmative action. Mind you, he blows hard into a dog whistle, but I recognize the Code. He is of Irish ancestry, and I just don't need to fan the flames of what could be a hostile work environment. I have wanted to say that compared to MY British and German genetics, he is of the lesser 'white' scale. He is Catholic like Paul Ryan, and may be aware of how the Irish were treated, but seems to twist it in a way as JUSTIFYING his treatment of others. I guess as a "we survived", so it's not so bad.

    Forget Occam's Razor, try hitting them with Darwin's Hammer!

    by Munynn on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:54:37 PM PDT

  •  A diary I needed to read (0+ / 0-)

    I've been listening to reactions to Ryan's statement and feeling increasingly frustrated. I think it's a pretty transparent attempt to distract from the conversation about income inequality.  Instead of addressing that problem, Ryan points in the other direction at fictional "inner city" black and brown people who don't want to work.  It'll work with his base, no doubt.  It'll work with his donors.   Thankfully, Barbara Lee and the CBC loudly called him out on it.  At least his message won't be met with silence.  Dems and progressives need to keep pointing out the truth -- that poverty affects whites and people of all races; that it's not going away by the pulling up of non-existent boot straps; and that conservatives don't want to address poverty because they want all public resources channeled into private hands.

    I think someone needs to throw the Pope's recent statements on poverty and capitalism in Paul Ryan's racist face so he at least is shamed by a fellow Catholic.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 08:05:08 PM PDT

  •  I remember going back and forth with (0+ / 0-)

    a commenter on another board about the alleged lower IQ of Hispanics.  (I'm white and my daughter is adopted from Guatemala, so, I'll cop to the fact that I wasn't exactly a detached observer; as the Republicans like to pontificate, I had some "skin in the game.")  Setting aside the demonstrated cultural and educational bias of the IQ test, I was flummoxed that this person thought everyone who happened to speak Spanish (the definition of "Hispanic") from Spain and large chunks of the Western Hemisphere could be considered genetically inferior when they are as genetically diverse as Europe is.  The fact that it's a category based upon language should be a major clue -- it's an accident of imperialism that so many people in the Western Hemisphere have Spanish as their native language.  If the Germans or the Chinese had gotten here first and been able to conquer and exploit the people here, they would have been speaking German or Mandarin.  And, if the people of the Western Hemisphere had crossed the Atlantic the other way, wouldn't most of Europe be speaking Quechua?  Believing that intelligence (whatever THAT is) is based upon ethnicity is one of the dumbest concepts humans have ever come up with.  Ever.

    •  More likely Nahuatl or Mayan (0+ / 0-)

      given that the Tawantinsuyu ("Incas") were a very long way from the Atlantic (though their empire did run down to the Pacific and they may have done some occasional trading with Pacific Islanders).

      None of the great Mesoamerican civilizations were strong on shipbuilding, which is one reason why they didn't go out trying to explore/conquer the rest of the world. (And given that the Caribbean is one of the world's major hurricane spawning grounds - in fact the name "hurricane" is Mesoamerican and probably Mayan - it's not too surprising that they were slow to develop large water craft.)

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:55:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tommy Makem could have told him a thing or two (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    207wickedgood, fenway49, khughes1963

    They Told Us No Irish Need Apply
    Lyrics: Tommy Makem

    Just think of all the presidents who came from Irish folk
    There was Wilson and Buchanan, there was Jackson, Grant and Polk
    There was Cleveland and McKinley and the brave Jack Kennedy
    And many more whose names have joined that goodly company

    And they told us no Irish need apply!
    Yes, they told us no Irish need apply!

    You've heard about James Curley, that man of great renown
    And Honey Fitz, who proved his worth as Mayor of Boston town
    And Rose and Ted and Bob and Jack and all the Kennedy clan
    And the noble John McCormack*, who is honored through the land


    Did you know John Hancock's family came from the County Down?
    And composer Victor Herbert, he was born in Dublin town
    And the blood in Davy Crockett's veins was Irish through and through
    And Connie Mack, the baseball great, well he was Irish too


    The father of the navy, John Barry was his name
    He was a gallant Irishman, from Wexford town he came
    To the many Irish giants in the literary field
    You can add F. Scott Fitzgerald and the great Eugene O'Neill


    Whenever people talk about great service to mankind
    No doubt, the name of Boston's Cardinal Cushing comes to mind
    And Doctor Thomas Dooley should be leader of the van
    His entire life was spent in helping out his fellow man


    In the noble art of self-defence, as you'll already know
    We had men like John L. Sullivan, who never feared a foe
    And gentleman Jim Corbett was among the very best
    Likewise the bold Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey and the rest


    We're the men who built the railroads, we're the men who fought the wars
    We're the men who manned the police force, we're the men who drove street cars
    We're the men who formed your unions, we're the men who sang your songs
    We're the men who filled your history and tried to right your wrongs



    * John McCormack = the quintessential "Irish Tenor".

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:00:15 PM PDT

  •  I called myself - with an agenda, to be sure - (3+ / 0-)

    "mixed race" on a few occasions. Really? Sure - my father was of English ancestry, my mother a Slav. SCANDALOUS! People mock this - that's not mixed race! Slavs and English are both White! Well, when they married it was a mixed marriage - 1945. What does that tell us about what we think of as "mixed marriages" now? That in a few decades, the young people will look at their elders, uncomprehending, unable to understand how anyone could think of their two parents as being somehow different from each other.

  •  If human beings were logical and if they were (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    also inherently moral then there would never be a Black Man or a Jewish Man or an Irish Man or Any Woman in todays Republican Party.

    And there never would have been any Jews in the Nazi Party in the thirties.

    But there were and there are.

    There either is no God or he or she is certainly not held in any respect any more and maybe never really was.

  •  Race Is Not A Social Construct, Bigotry Is (0+ / 0-)

    There are no black and white races.  That is racism, not biology.

    When Darwin wrote about races of butterflies and even plants, he had something entirely different in mind than the bigotry of Charles Murray.

    Caucasian is a true race but it is not white.  Most caucasians have very dark skins, e.g. natives of South Asia.

    The bigots in the FDA do enormous harm by confusing Caucasian with white as do social scientists.

    Doctors typically do not even bother looking for the Caucasian Disease, cystic fibrosis, in children with very dark skins.  

    Hey, do you know about the Celtic Curse, colloquially known as iron overload?

      Irish should avoid Guinness, which is loaded with iron.  How would you like to announce that in a Dublin pub?

    BTW the hated English also carry the mutation though not the superior culture. :-)

    Ah well stick with your bigoted expressions as you will.  You obviously are not a bad person, just a mite confused.

    Best,  Terry

    •  race and racism were invented categories that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are codependent with one another in the modern era. There is a great book Racism a History that sketches this out. Very short and accessible. It also does a great job of connecting anti-semitism to modern racism. The BBC series Racism a History would also be helpful.

      •  False (0+ / 0-)

        Darwin described a race of butterflies.  Was that racism?

        If only caucasians are vulnerable to the caucasian disease, what name would you like to substitute for this vulnerable subgroup of people?  "White" doesn't fit because most caucasians are not remotely white.  How about Euro-Indian-Northern African-Middle Eastern Nonrace?

        Denial of science is very bad no matter its source.

        It is a cause of enormous loss of life and treasure.

        I suggest a  bit of biology and anthropology untainted by racism might be rewarding instead of just listening to and singing with the chorus of dissemblers that twist language to fit their dogma.

        Race and racism are polar opposites - as different as astronomy and astrology.  Choose whichever side you like.

        Best,  Terry

  •  Well researced and referenced, great analysis (0+ / 0-)

    A penetrating exposé that unmasks Ryan's thinly constructed façade. The inclusion of the historical context was nicely done.

    There are a few questions about it I had, though.

    ...African-Americans (a group of people who quite literally built the United States...
    I fully sympathize with the sentiment, but do you think this statement is wholly accurate?
    ...leading American eugenicists and race scientists such as Madison Grant—the author of the infamous tract The Passing of the Great Race—observed:
    Is not the blocked passage referenced actually attributed "as Peter Quinn notes" in your source? Given that the passage you used contains mostly Quinn's words and analysis, and Quinn is already giving Grant credit for the quotes, shouldn't that be the proper attribution here also?

    (By the way, the colon/dash in that blocked quote should be a quotation mark/dash.)

    •  I appreciate the grammar policing, more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      substantive point is that black American human chattel had many (hundreds globally?) trillions of dollars in stolen labor taken from them. This is most current number as computed by economists. The lawsuit by Afro-Caribbean nations against European colonialists for reparations also has some good metrics too.

      Here are some other metrics if you are so inclined:

      •  How do you put a price tag on something like that? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think you truly can. But I still don't know if that statement is wholly accurate. The United States was still being built after slavery ended, unless one were to set some arbitrary date. Neither should the contributions of others be dismissed out of hand, including other minorities that were exploited.

        I only point out grammar errors and typos for diaries, and only those where I figure the authors would want to present themselves well.

        I pointed out the attribution error because reading the passage was incongruous and somewhat confusing with the lead in provided, and because I think most authors would want to properly and correctly give credit where credit is due.

        In any case, I liked the diary, and the intent was to be helpful.

        •  understood. read the articles and see how (0+ / 0-)

          economists make do such metrics. Either way the amounts are unbelievable--esp. considering how black slaves were the single largest "capital" good in the country at the time.

          •  I actually did. (0+ / 0-)

            Even though the numbers can vary widely depending on what basis are being used for the metrics, I'm quite willing to accept the estimates. However, besides those problems already pointed out, another is that one needs the corresponding figures for the rest of the population to make any kind of judgments like the one you made. And if those figures are more than zero (and they would be substantial), then it can't be wholly true. Think of it this way: how much money would America owe Native Americans? How much the Asian/Latino laborers who were/are exploited? Their contributions shouldn't be overlooked.

            Someone recently asserted that African-Americans make up the backbone of the Democratic party, but provided no evidence to substantiate such a claim. Viewed from a narrow perspective, that might be made true, but from a broader perspective, the backbone is actually much more diverse, and making such a claim is exclusionary in failing to recognize the contributions of others.

            To reiterate, I fully understand the sentiments being expressed, which I fully agree with--and I don't want to diminish them--but at the same time logic informs me such claims aren't wholly accurate.

            •  one claim need not exclude the other about (0+ / 0-)

              a people uniquely subjected to human chattel slavery. And whose labor was so valuable a civil war was fought to monopolize and secure it.

              Your claims are veering a bit too close for my taste to those who want to argue about serfs or the white laboring class having it easier than black slaves based on daily calorie counts. I am not saying you are of the school that would use such claims in order to minimize black suffering. It just seems a bit too close to that school of thought for me to want to engage such types of arguments.

              Foner and others have written and spoken a great deal about black slaves being the number one capital good and the trillions of dollars in stolen labor in contemporary terms. I will trust their preeminent judgement and expertise.

              Here you wrote : "Someone recently asserted that African-Americans make up the backbone of the Democratic party, but provided no evidence to substantiate such a claim."

              Voting data substantiates the unique and long standing relationship that black folks have w. the party. I think some, myself included, would have our alarms raised by what could be read as an effort to minimize black folks accomplishments in the service of some claim to a liberal and facile type of "inclusion".

              When one minimizes black folks' unique accomplishments and how our labor and the Black Freedom struggle were gifts--unrepaid by the way--to all Americans I take a step back...way back.

              Perhaps others will continue the conversation with you.

              •  Well, that's kind of the problem (0+ / 0-)

                with trying to have an honest discussion on these subjects without getting applied some nasty label, no matter how careful one is to avoid giving the wrong impression. As someone who has fought against race-baiting, racism, or bigotry in any form their entire life, it is always distressing to see this, as it can prevent needed dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. I see the same problem with supporters of Palestinian rights or critics of Israel, where false allegations of anti-Semitism to silence them are like the boy who cried wolf too often. That's a real shame, as cheapening the term in such a manner only works to obscure the legitimate culprits and a very real problem that still persists to this day.

                It's ironic, because the point wasn't to diminish, ignore, or dismiss the suffering or accomplishment of African-Americans in any way. It was that the suffering and accomplishments of others shouldn't be diminished, ignored, or dismissed. African-Americans didn't build this country on their own. A great many people who weren't African-Americans paid the ultimate price for ending slavery. With the activism and support of a great many people who weren't African-Americans, civil rights legislation was passed. The Democratic Party is a rainbow coalition, and I would equally disagree with those who would attempt to say its backbone is made up of Caucasians, even though that is by far its largest racial bloc. I don't find it wholly accurate when applying a racial lens to define such terms, as it can do a disservice to the truth, and it may diminish, dismiss, or ignore the contributions of others.

                To me, people are people, no matter what their race, gender, creed, nationality or sexual orientation. Our nation is guilty of a great many sins, but, to me, its treatment of indigenous peoples and African-Americans are the greatest; a perpetual and eternal stain upon it.

                •  you are digging the ditch for yourself even (0+ / 0-)


                  you seem sincere. thus, i will try again. what you are offering up is very close to "liberal racism". if that is not your intent. rethink your need to diminish the accomplishments of others, esp. when such a move is not necessary, needed, or welcome in this context.

                  you remind me of someone attending a talk on african-americans who self manumitted and took their freedom where a white person in the audience stands up and asks the presenter, "what about the white people who helped!"

                  bad look. said person embarrassed themselves because they had a need to find some goodness in people who look like them in order to undercut the narrative. ego. totally.

                  There is some real white privilege and the white racial frame is at work and operative in your comments.

                  •  I see you edited the lead in to the quote (0+ / 0-)

                    And that's great. But you're still mischaracterizing me and my position. And you're attacking me, not the arguments.

                    You're not making the case that African-Americans "quite literally built the United States." I questioned whether that claim is wholly accurate. I argued, "Neither should the contributions of others be dismissed out of hand, including other minorities that were exploited." You failed to demonstrate how your claim is not doing that. Instead, you turned that around on its head to make the specious argument that I am diminishing the accomplishments of African-Americans, when, in fact, I am doing no such thing.

                    You made the initial claim, and the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim, not those questioning its accuracy. The links to the figures you provide were accepted as factual, but they only provide monetary figures for one group, and nothing is provided for the monetary values for the labor of all the other groups. The very fact that there would have to be such figures for the other groups actually disproves that African-Americans "quite literally built the United States." Your claim leaves no room to allow any credit whatsoever for any other group. Neither is any acknowledgment given that the United States was built on the genocide/ethnic cleansing/decimation of, and theft of lands from, the indigenous peoples who resided here for many centuries.

                    This isn't about "finding some goodness in people who look like them," or "white privilege," or "the white racial frame," or "liberal racism," or "white people who helped." I would strongly caution you against making any erroneous presumptions about people you know nothing about.

                    The only thing this is about is questioning the accuracy of your claim. If you can't prove it, that's fine. If that is merely your opinion, that's fine. But, either way, it shouldn't be used as an excuse to make slanderous insinuations.

                    •  last try. really. you are very (0+ / 0-)

                      mired in the white racial frame. i don't think you even realize how what you are doing is objectionable.

                      My claim isn't exclusive to black folks. But were African-Americans, a slave labor force, the competitive advantage, a source of work, and built, yes, quite literally the public infrastructure, public buildings, etc. etc. etc. in the U.S.?

                      Damn straight. Did the transatlantic slave trade create the modern consumer economy. Yes.

                      "I would strongly caution you against making any erroneous presumptions about people you know nothing about."

                      I judge you by your comments and claims. See my above examples. You can read those links fairly, look for Foner's comments on the value of slaves as the number 1 capital good in the U.S., or honestly reflect on the well spring of your need to insert a narrative that diminishes the contributions of black folks w. a version of liberal racism operating under some faux "diversity" umbrella.

                      I stand by my observation that you seem like you would be disruptive in a discussion or lecture about black self-manumission, raising your hand and demanding to hear about white people.

                      Why is that?

                      •  You're finally admitting it isn't wholly accurate (0+ / 0-)

                        when you make this clarification:

                        My claim isn't exclusive to black folks.
                        Even though that isn't reflected anywhere in the words of your claim, nor has been alluded to or implied heretofore, I willingly accept that clarification as your intent.

                        While I questioned your characterization, it was not to dispute that slavery and continued exploitation of African-Americans contributed enormously to the wealth and development of the U.S. Moreover, I don't question that America is deeply indebted to both African-Americans and Native Americans. I would also agree that the transatlantic slave trade was a major instrument in creating the modern world economy.

                        While it is unfortunate that you chose to misconstrue things, your observations, allegations, and examples don't apply to me, nor concern me. I do think those things can be unconducive to fostering open dialogue, however.

                        •  sigh, you still don't get it. (0+ / 0-)

                          The white racial frame is one hell of a drug.

                          The power of selective editing:

                          "My claim isn't exclusive to black folks. But were African-Americans, a slave labor force, the competitive advantage, a source of work, and built, yes, quite literally the public infrastructure, public buildings, etc. etc. etc. in the U.S.?"

                          Liberal racism is very very very real. In many ways, far more dangerous than conservative racism...which is why I continued with this dialogue so that others will hopefully learn from it.

                          There are many people who are deeply invested in diminishing the accomplishments and struggles and triumphs of black people. Their strategy? What are seemingly simply and "innocent questions" such as "what about insert group?"

                          Right-wing white supremacists do this by overtly dismissing the Black Freedom Struggle and the reality of white racism. Liberal racists do this by an appeal to "diversity" and "inclusion".

                          Thank you wily. You were very helpful in proving my point.

                          •  Oh, I get it alright. (0+ / 0-)

                            The claim is exclusive, except when needing proof it isn't, but then it is again. Makes perfect sense to me. For those it doesn't, they're racist.

                            Not so sure I want to go down that rabbit hole, though.

  •  Re: Paul Ryan (0+ / 0-)

    "He is intellectually dishonest; "
       Seems to be a lot of that going around.

  •  Being a pale Irish-American, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    I find the historical notion of a sliding scale of "whiteness" very sad and more than a little ridiculous.

    I've read about the prejudice the Irish immigrants faced in America. I also learned that Ireland was a net exporter of food during the famine to supply the not-so-invisible hand of English markets. That surprised me when I read it, but it shouldn't have. As shown by the recent food stamp cuts, starving people to make money is still an objective for so-called "free market" advocates.

    Personally, I think any Irishman who was worth a crap wouldn't perpetuate these old, sad, racist notions. But then Ryan, with his childish Ayn Rand-inspired notions, isn't much of an Irishman.

  •  Reading this article is troubling, in that it once (0+ / 0-)

    again brings to the forefront the issue of skin color. And how many millions have been murdered over the centuries because theirs happened NOT to be en vogue when they were in the wrong place at the "right" time. Although we love to look upon ourselves as enlightened and sophisticated, we must remember that we - The Human Race - is only as good a team as our worst and weakest member (Paul Lyin' et al). This can be rather depressing. But it does show us the type and amount of work we still have to do to eliminate ignorance and hatred and bigotry to the fullest extent possible. Go to the polls every November and whenever your state has a special election. That is a great starting point, especially for the apathetic who decided a long time ago that their votes won't matter.

  •  We Mustn't Forget... (0+ / 0-)

    ...David Huddleston's spot-on remark in Mel Brooks' BLAZING SADDLES:

    "All right, we'll give some land to the niggers and the chinks--BUT WE DON'T WANT THE IRISH!!"

    Few people today realize the historic truth behind that joke.

  •  Once again (0+ / 0-)

    a republican proving how ugly and despicable they all are. Paul Ryan like all republicans is ugly in thought and speech. He either speaks his usual habitual republican lies or his ugly republican dogma of hating everything not white. What a disgusting little lying republican twerp he is.

  •  African-Americans were demonized by officials (0+ / 0-)

    in northern states after the Civil War.  There were pamphlets warning against them as a criminal class and the same pamphleteers warned against Jews, Irish, Italians, eastern Europeans, etc.

    In the South, the white overseers were often those released from British prisons and prisons in British colonies.  I suppose their attitude was relief at being only indentured servants and "better than" the slaves.  

    Self-righteousness, needing to feel better than someone else for who they are at the expense of those people or persons is and has been an American epidemic.  It has reached epic proportions recently and is practically a cult of imagined victimization shared by billionaires, faux Christians, angry old white guys and their submissive (and bitchy at the same time) wives.   It reeks of jealousy and envy while at the same time says, "I've got mine, f-you AND I've got mine because I am better than you."  The fact that some self-righteous a-hole got his or hers might be due to the favorable structure of politics, society, tax law, etc. for his/her group which, at the same time, does not hold them accountable for having benefitted on the backs of others.

    To the billionaires, the Ryans, the neo-cons, the corporatist Democrats, the uber-religious, etc.:  Don't piss down my neck and tell me you are creating rain to break the drought.

  •  When were Irish not white? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great rant that.
    The argument advances, yet again, that humans seem to have an inherent need to "be better" than others.  We need a major DNA fix if we are survive.

    •  I agree a 'fix' is needed, but if we have to wait (0+ / 0-)

      for DNA to do it, it may take more generations than we have.

      We have to use our hearts, our minds and our human sentience to alter our cultural and political DNA in the very short term.

      We could use your help with the fight, Gerald. Will you help us?

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

      by BeninSC on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "White men trying to be Irish" were (0+ / 0-)

      a matter of contempt for my Irish father.  Irish born in this country were not Irish at all.  Hell, they didn't even speak the language. :-)  I used to have to interpret often for my wife unable to get through the heavy brogue.  

      Ashkenazi [European] Jews are the latest cultural group to turn white despite lacking the oversize Neanderthal skulls of "real" Europeans :-) while Arabs and perhaps some Spanish speakers have turned off-color.

      If you want to understand bigotry, you need to turn to the social sciences rather than old-fashioned science like biology.  Science deals with things like genetics that contradict racist notions of biology.

      Best,   Terry

  •  RaCism, IQ TESTS (0+ / 0-)

    The IQ test was standardized in a population of people in the USA with a Nordic background.  Furthermore, it does not test creativity, imagination, drive, and many other measures for evaluating cognition.  Furthermore, it is heavily biased against people of various ethnic, cultural, and experiential groups.  For example we could test the IQ's of an Australian Aboriginal and Mr Ryan, throw them into the Australian outback then see if the IQ score has any impact on survival.  Do you think?

  •  Illuminating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khughes1963, BeninSC

    Thanks for the info: I'd noted in reading about slavery & racial history that there seemed to be significant links (including marriages) between Irish and Africans in early America, but didn't know that Irish had also been slaves in the Americas.  

    My Irish heritage is one reason I'm strongly in favor of equality for all people: it could also come from having been asked by classmates at the elite university I attended (on scholarship) if they could go home with me at breaks "to see how the lower classes live".  This kind of ignorance had a significant part in moving me to the left politically.

    That said, people like Paul Ryan (and unfortunately, most of our current legislators, civic leaders and the power structure generally) are genuinely--if to some extent willfully--ignorant of how we NOCD ("not our class, dear") citizens live and what our needs, wants, and abilities are.  To call anyone with this mindset an "intellectual" is laughable.  Intellectuals--and more importantly, potential intellectuals--can come from any race or class, but they have to actually use their intelligence to weigh information and separate truth from fantasy or prejudice.  (In the words of my dad, whose family could only afford to send him through 6th grade--he skipped 1st grade so he & his older brother could share a book--"Use your head for something besides a hatrack").

     I would argue that the GOP should more accurately use the name of a former party, the Know-Nothings--except that they profess to know so many things that are patently untrue and/or nonexistent.

  •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

    how Mr Ryan can follow the teachings of Ayn Rand and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth at the same time.

    •  Simple (0+ / 0-)

      ...he would have to ignore what Jesus said about following two masters, that he would love the one and hate the other, or hold onto the one and despise the other. You can't have pure Christianity if you have to mix it with other beliefs.

  •  I remember seeing a political cartoon (0+ / 0-)

    from the late 1800's. It showed "Lady Liberty" with a big wooden spoon, stirring a "melting pot" filled with just about every racial stereotype one can imagine. Sitting on the lip of the pot, knife in one hand, and a bottle in the other, was a stereotypical Irishman. Apparently my ancestors were not assimilating well.

    My own last name, though now considered Irish, apparently originated as a slur the French used towards the poor. My ancestors sought out Ireland as a refuge fairly early on.

    Now there's nowhere left to run.

    When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers. -- African Proverb

    by LouisWu on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 01:21:00 PM PDT

    •  Ships from Ireland filled with dead and dying (0+ / 0-)

      during the Irish Potato Famine which off-loaded diseased survivors did not endear the Irish to the natives.

      Can be a trial to assimilate under such conditions.

      Now there's nowhere left to run.
      There never was.  

      Angela's Ashes was a huge hit among American-born Irish Catholics but not so much among my kin back in Ireland.  Only an Irishman could make a comedy of such tragedy but its savage bite did not do well even among people known for their self-deprecating humor.

      Best,  Terry

  •  No surprise (0+ / 0-)

    Is anyone surprised?  My only surprise is that they haven't extended this to light-skinned Hispanics already.  Notice that in Latin American nations now, the elite are light skinned, the poor are dark.  With rates of intermarriage and the concept of assimilationism, this wouldn't be a stretch for a Republican candidate to attempt.

    Maybe they're waiting on George P. Bush.... Ted Cruz and/or Marco Rubio could try now if they'd ever embrace or acknowledge their Hispanic heritage.  

  •  We think of Ghettos as a place for urban blacks. (0+ / 0-)

    When I was raised in a NE City we had many ghettos:  We had Irish, Italian, Poles, Greek and whatever nationally was brought over on a boat to work in a manufacturing company.  Each had a moderate to large manufacturing plant, meat processer or rail line head.  My wife was raised in a town outside Phila that had 4 Catholic Churches, one for each ethnic group.
    Each had a neighborhood name.  They congregated together because of language, they could speak to their neighbors in their mother tongue and let the new generation learn English.  The Ghettos were the incubator of today's successes while retaining their ethnic heritage.
    People like Ryan are simply ignorant of what a Ghetto was and only sees Economic Ghettos in urban cities.  Does this person wants to be a leader of this Nation?  Good God I hope he never makes it.

  •  What many people don't know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is how much and how quickly the Irish assimilated and became part of the American melting pot. As a family historian with over two decades spent researching and learning about the soup we Americans have become, as far as it concerns nationalities, the Irish and Germans permeated our bloodlines much more quickly than any other nationalities. Of white Americans in this country who can count three or more generations here, over 75% have at least a little Irish and/or German heritage. When you look at different segments of our country, as we settled farther and farther west, you find more whites with at least 50% of that mix to be common. Many southern and western states have white populations that are a mix of German/Irish and whatever the predominant nationality associated with the settlement of that area (Scottish in states like Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolina's, etc., and the Nordic nationalities in the western states, such as Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, etc.).

    There is also the little recognized fact of what are known as "the dark whites", especially in the south, where segments of the white population have African American blood in their personal histories. After the Civil War many of the light skinned ex-slaves who could "pass" for white married whites and integrated many southern families without their knowledge. These families, many who tout their "pure anglo-saxon heritage", would probably be appalled at how prevalent the practice was if they were truthful about their family histories.

    Of course Repubs either choose to remain unaware of these facts or quietly pretend they don't exist, since it would sully their message of intolerance and hate.

    Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. -Douglas Adams

    by mahytabel on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 04:08:08 PM PDT

  •  Oh come now... (0+ / 0-)

    Ryan hasn't become a Democrat, has he?

  •  Hurray, white people also hate their own (0+ / 0-)

    Speaking as a white person myself, it's amazingly hypocritical how white people, who are supposed to be this great "master race brotherhood of Euro-Caucasianness", have hated their own and found reasons (or should I say excuses through pseudo-science) to hate other groups of white people like the Irish. It's too bad this is a lesson that's forgotten with people like Paul Ryan, but you know what they say, people who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  •  Support economy at home (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe this is a good place to ask for everyone's help with my petition, :cut military spending and re-invest in America
    Subject: Cut military spending and re-invest in America's Infrastructure


    Our elected officials have neglected our infrastructure far to long. Continuing to do nothing will lead to a catastrophic economic failure in the near future. We spend more on our military than the next five biggest military nations combined. We can maintain our military superiority and still cut spending, all we need is leaders to recognize that this "corporate welfare" needs to end.

    That's why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

    "America's infrastructure is vital to our economic growth and future. The current state of our infrastructure has been graded a "D" by engineering groups around the country.  Cut military spending and re-invest in our aging infrastructure, creating tens of thousands of jobs and preserving our future. "

    Will you sign this petition? Click here:

    's infrastructure". Here is the link, I hope you will support it and share it with as many people as you can. Now is the time to put our needs here at home first.

  •  19th century british attitude toward the Irish is (0+ / 0-)

    well exemplified in Kingsley's Water Babies: "And then Dennis will look up at you with his handsome, sly, soft, sleepy, good-natured, untrustable, Irish gray eye, and answer with the prettiest smile:
    “Shure, and didn’t I think your honour would like a pleasant answer?”
    So you must not trust Dennis, because he is in the habit of giving pleasant answers: but, instead of being angry with him, you must remember that he is a poor Paddy, and knows no better; so you must just burst out laughing; and then he will burst out laughing too, and slave for you, and trot about after you, and show you good sport if he can—for he is an affectionate fellow, and as fond of sport as you are—and if he can’t, tell you fibs instead, a hundred an hour; and wonder all the while why poor ould Ireland does not prosper like England and Scotland, and some other places, where folk have taken up a ridiculous fancy that honesty is the best policy."
    among many like references expounding on the stupidity drunkenness and dishonesty of the Irish.

  •  Really beautiful (0+ / 0-)

    Summary of the way "race" works as a construct which shifts over time but always manages to act as a justification for oppression. Songs like "No Irish Need Apply"should have kept the history of that alive for people like Ryan, but those who will not learn from history...

    A beggar on horseback lashes a beggar on foot. The beggars change places, but the lash goes on. --WB Yeats

    by kestrel sparhawk on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:07:44 PM PDT

  •  White Underclass (0+ / 0-)

    Much of the white American underclass in places like Oklahoma and West Virginia are Irish or Irish German mix.

  •  This all sounds very much like Nazi Germany; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    give the people someone to hate to allow the new government to succeed. They should hope it doesn't backfire.

    No country can be both ignorant and free - Thomas Jefferson

    by fjb on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:22:44 PM PDT

  •  Paul Ryan... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...deserves a retroactive abortion.

  •  It's not that complicated. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Paul Ryan's behavior is better explained by the universal and long-standing instincts of human nature. Past prejudices and their scholarly supporters and detractors - including this article - are merely additional manifestations of this.
    He is a greedy, hypocrite and opportunist of which all races, colors and cultures have ample supply.

  •  Your Description of Ryan: (0+ / 0-)

    "He is intellectually dishonest; ..."

    His so-called embrace of Ayn Rand seems more that he read the Cliff notes and decided that espousing those concepts would help him to present an intellectual demeanor.

    In actual fact, everything that issues forth from his brain belies the possibility of Paul Ryan being an intellectual of any sort.

    Unfortunately, those who support him and his ilk, and vote for the GOP and TP, are what were, during the recent Presidential Election, called uninformed voters. The saddest part of this is that those folks have no intention of informing themselves, as that would mean they might have to admit they have been wrong for so many years.

    As the saying goes, "More's the pity!"

    Sometimes, you need a sensa uma!

    by HashHoward on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:41:12 AM PDT

  •  Conservatism is racism. (0+ / 0-)

    There is no such thing as a non-racist conservative.

  •  Misinformed White America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Another fine book in immigration is "Working Toward Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs" by David R. Roediger.

  •  Wow, never saw that harangue coming (eye-roll)... (0+ / 0-)

    Chauncey, in true America-centered racial, cultural and ethnic myopia you "went there".

    "There" is the ever-handy, always-convenient, cheap-shot of who is white, not-white, not-quite-white  American view of all "others" on the planet.

    First of all, NO ONE on this planet gives a damn about what Americans think about them and even less about their racial-cultural-ethnic co-ordinates or identity.

    The problem arises when we PERSIST in defining and assigning identity to others on the earth when we sill haven't figured out:

    1... what "black" is...let's not forget the abysmal stupidity of the "1-Drop Rul" which was created by syphilitic, toothless, illiterate and non-science informed slave-owners who dreamed up this stupidity to legally exclude their mulatto offspring from inheriting what their white offspring would AND to increase their social and political prominence by adding to their slave count.  Only a moron with  with a 1st-grade education or a PhD in a "discipline" as informed as "Hip-Hop Studies" would even utter such nonsense.

    2...that in the history of "man" as a species on the PLANET, there has never been a "Latino" race, but in the US weACTUALLY  entertain AND institutionalize such clap-trap and even award PhD's to "intellectual" titans who write dissertations on such relevant topics as "The History of Ass Tattoos in the Arizona State Penal/Penile Culture", when IN REALITY, there are categorically "Latin-cultured" people who are of European OR Indigenous OR Sub-Saharan African "Black" origin OR Asian OR EVEN Middle Eastern ancestry.

    3....and lest we forget the obscenity of classifying someone as "Native-American", "American Indian" or "1st Nation" who is 1/256th "Indian".

    So while you make many race-ripe "observations", I would suggest you look at a clown like Ryan for the intellectually-limited, culturally-ignorant, provincial and embarrassing, mid-western buffoon that he is.

    He (very sadly) has forgotten his own history of poverty, familial dysfunction and personal suffering which is REALLY where his character flaws come from, NOT from his racial background....NOT AT ALL!

  •  I don't know if this has been said, too many (0+ / 0-)

    comments to read, but the pre-Vatican II catholic church had some serious strikes against it. Most of all, they preached against democracy. And secondly, while many in this country don't consider this a strike, but I do not see the fun or any other reason for drunkeness. The crime rate actually went up with catholic immigration as a result of their lax alcohol policies. It therefore doesn't surprise me that people thought they couldn't (or shouldn't) assimilate. Bigots can persecute each other, you know.

  •  Hey, give Ryan some credit... (0+ / 0-)

    After racist intellectual Republican Rep. Paul Ryan made his racist comments at the recent racist CPAC meeting, he's since gone on record as saying that his racist remarks weren't really meant to sound racist. So, he's cleared up that misunderstanding about racism, right? RIGHT?

  •  This is actually a step forward for the cons (0+ / 0-)

    Sad but it is. Back in 2012 Newt Gingrich said that inner city people were all criminals. Now they're just lazy, which isn't as bad as being criminals so at least the cons are moving in the right direction.

  •  Wait, what? (0+ / 0-)

    So poor people receiving government benefits to the extent that they no longer would be considered poor should, for the purpose of counting the poor, be considered poor?

    Here's an idea, how about we all agree to quit moving the fucking goalposts. The poorest 10% in the United States actually are in the top 80% in the world. What used to be arguments about poverty are now navel-gazing contests about "income inequality". Why not focus on matters of real importance, like the global economy as a whole, the climate, and government barriers to freedom.

    Oh, right, those don't get you hard-ons electing fucking wife-beating tools (who, coincidentally, will never be mentioned as part of the "war on women").

  •  With a name like (0+ / 0-)

    Kevin Fitzpatrick, I blend right in. But my forehead hair IS NOT like Paulie's, thank gaud. He a a racist and I detest and abhor him.

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