Reddit Reddit reviews How the Irish Became White

We found 78 Reddit comments about How the Irish Became White. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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How the Irish Became White
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78 Reddit comments about How the Irish Became White:

u/spookyjhostwitch · 72 pointsr/ShitRedditSays

for those who may not know why this is here:

  1. the american irish slave trade is largely a white supremacist myth. it's a weird one because the irish faced a significant amount of persecution in europe.

  2. the post, as well as the entire thread, was made to divert from the system of white supremacy, and instead, blame people of color. "africans enslaved their own people" is so whitewashed and racially coded that it's complete drivel and makes no sense.

    it would be akin to saying: "christians persecuted themselves and that's why we have rhode island." it's kidz bop history.

  3. the irish have a documented history of gaining white status by using anti-black racism as documented in how the irish became white. therefore, they weren't consider white nor were they considered negro (the choice word for american enslaved persons, which was racialized), making the op irrelevant.

u/53045248437532743874 · 42 pointsr/gatekeeping

> Dang, I'm a white guy dating a biracial woman (black/white). People definitely read her as just "black"

It goes back a few hundred years and we've never shaken it. Laws dating from 17th-century colonial America excluded children of at least one black parent from the legal status of being white. Laws defined all people of some African ancestry as black, under the principle of hypodescent. Some 19th-century categorization schemes defined people with one black parent (the other white) as "mulatto," with one black grandparent as "quadroon" and with one black great grandparent as "octoroon." The latter categories remained within an overall black or African-American category.

> I've heard all these comments before (not often but it happens) and things get more complicated when she mentions she's mixed race.

It's so sad too, because race isn't anything scientific, we invented it. And being "white" is an invention of America. In France, "black" people think of themselves as French. When immigrants came to America they weren't white, they were Polish and German and Dutch and so on. Irish immigrants, who were so oppressed in the North that their treatment would be considered the original sin of America if not for slavery in the South, were not considered "white" until the Civil War. And for Italians it came much later:

> When Italians poured into America in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they were not considered white upon arrival. Italians, Greeks, Poles, Hungarians, Slavs and other European groups, at the time called “new immigrants,” sought to overcome their subordination by showing, through their behavior, to be deserving of being considered white. In 1911, Henry Pratt Fairchild, an influential American sociologist, said about new immigrants, “If he proves himself a man, and … acquires wealth and cleans himself up — very well, we might receive him [consider him white] in a generation or two. But at present he is far beneath us, and the burden of proof rests with him.” Economist Robert F. Forester wrote in 1924, “in a country where the distinction between white man and black is intended as a distinction of value … it is no compliment to the Italian to deny him his whiteness, but that actually happens with considerable frequency.”

And a little more...

> The construction of the "white race" in the United States was an effort to mentally distance slaveowners from slaves. The process of officially being defined as white by law often came about in court disputes over pursuit of citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1790 offered naturalization only to "any alien, being a free white person". In at least 52 cases, people denied the status of white by immigration officials sued in court for status as white people.

u/serpicowasright · 35 pointsr/KotakuInAction

There was a really good book I read many years ago called "How the Irish became white" it talked about how over time Irish at least in American western culture came from a group of people considered to be "White Niggers" to being considered parts of the dominant white culture.

In the end the book was all about how "whiteness" is really a social construct, it doesn't truly exist other then to be used as a means to separate us from them. We can be parts of many cultures Anglo-saxon, Germanic, etc. But really the idea of a white race (or really any race) is just a means of separating and controlling others.

u/Sunfried · 32 pointsr/TumblrInAction

There's actually a decent amount of Academia dedicated to figuring out how the Irish transitioned from identifiable ethnic minority to other white people. The most famous example is about how the Irish came to become oppressors, which is oF cOuRsE synonymous with white.

But the most profound way in which they became what was... they assimilated.

u/cdts · 30 pointsr/GamerGhazi

>Can I just toss in a 'fuck you' to them right there, the ”white race” never existed at all, it was made up as an excuse to support racial discrimination in America against African peoples because America already had just about every ethnicity from Europe so they couldn't claim it was the French/English/German/Russian people who were the ”superior.”

It's almost as if race is a political concept.

u/lina303 · 13 pointsr/23andme

The Irish weren't always considered white. I haven't read the whole thing, but this book, How the Irish Became White, is pretty interesting.

u/inoperableheart · 12 pointsr/television

That's actually kind of accurate. You should read How the Irish Became White and Low Life Gangs of New York is really curate, even down to the awful accents of the characters.

u/EditorialComplex · 11 pointsr/GamerGhazi

Oh, Gavin. We used to be friends, why did you throw your lot in with Biscotti? :/

Yes, the Irish were discriminated against, heavily. Because they weren't considered white at the time.

How the Irish Became White

u/grilling_granny · 9 pointsr/mexico

Los Irlandeses no eran considerados blancos cuando recién llegaron a Estados Unidos, pero eso cambio con el tiempo.

u/aodhmacsuibhne · 9 pointsr/ireland

We weren't always. This is a good read, How the Irish Became White.

u/TheIdesOfLight · 9 pointsr/againstmensrights

> My family and ancestry are all from Ireland.

I stopped reading. I didn't ask for the oppression olympics and, back then, the Irish were not considered "white".

Now, why don't you go look up how you all got welcomed into the "White" race and get back to me?

It's not a pretty fucking story. So no, the Irish were not oppressed for being white. They became White and now fully enjoy White privilege. Sorry but I am good and fucking tired of the Irish card.

I recommend you read this book if you want to understand why your words are earning the Side Eye.

u/Chew_Kok_Long · 9 pointsr/Israel

Ignatiev wrote an outstanding book on "How the Irish became White". It's worth a read for a phenomenon that, I agree, seems hard to believe.

I think this caricature from the end of the 19th century is pretty telling.

The Irish were stereotyped as uncivilized, unskilled and impoverished and were forced to work at the least desired occupations and live in crowded ethnic ghettoes. Many ads for employment were accompanied by the order "NO IRISH NEED APPLY." Does this remind you of anything? They were certainly not black, but also not really white.

That was the big problem American society faced at the end of the 19th century. When immigrants from other parts of the world, not just central Europe came. Are Russians white? But why are they so different from us other whites? Are Italians white? But they are anarchists and they speak a different language. Are the Jews white? But they are not Christians as we all are.

Doesn't make a lot of sense if your society is built on the difference between black and white and grey areas don't fit into the narrative.

u/rgiggs11 · 8 pointsr/ireland

According to "How the Irish Became White" author Ignatiev , Irish people were basicially treated as an 'other' race in the US initially.

u/BoomierBoom · 8 pointsr/tifu

I've a traced direct paternal lineage to a group who were taken from Mullingar in the 15th century to work in Dublin's docks, 10 generations of those men up to my great grandfather living in absolute poverty in tenement houses. Then there's the horror show of the West of Ireland, people subsisting off a 10x10 plot of potatoes, labouring at gunpoint for landlords with vast estates. Then of course millions died when the potato blight came, not because there wasn't food produced in the country, but because the country was a breadbasket. They went as far as blocking donations of aid to the Irish from other countries. The squalor, indignity and suffering of the Irish under British rule is scarcely worth trying to quantify. Chattel slaves suffered also, obviously, they were subjects to a whole other system of oppression, but ultimately, it seems like they've been unable to shake the oppression complex because they continue to experience or perceive it in many aspects of their life to this day. Irish people, by comparison can blend with British society better now, but even up to the 2000s, because of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Irish people were regarded suspiciously in the UK, had civil rights movements against sectarianism in government services (protestants being privileged over Catholics for many years). Many British people also still tell stupid Irish jokes. The point is, all that is there, and still experienced, but we don't flinch and snarl like a beaten dog every time we encounter it. Here's some further reading around the subject if you're interested.

u/devolka · 7 pointsr/AskHistorians

No. The Irish were never brought to America as slaves. There are a few parts to this:

  1. The Irish of the 19th century were not considered 'white' or white in the same way as Anglo-Saxons. I would refer you to the book How The Irish Became White for some of that history

  2. There was some history of prisoners sent to North America for labor but according to John Donoghue, ("Indentured Servitude in the 17th Century English Atlantic: A Brief Survey of the Literature," History Compass (2013)) the numbers were small. The total number of European immigrants to all 13 colonies before 1775 was about 500,000; of these 55,000 were involuntary prisoners. Another 300,000 were African victims of the Atlantic slave trade.

  3. People often point to indenured servitude as a type of slavery. According to Christopher Tomlins ("Reconsidering Indentured Servitude: European Migration and the Early American Labor Force, 1600–1775,") of the 450,000 or so European arrivals who came voluntarily 48% were indentured. However these people had contractz of 3 years on average and had the same rights and protections of other free people. There are examples of indentured servants being kidnapped. But these are rare.

    Long and short.... no, there was no systemic or wide slavery of Irish people in the Americas.

u/evansawred · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Yeah I'm pretty sure they weren't considered black but they were considered non-white.

Amazon's summary of How the Irish Became White:

>The Irish came to America in the eighteenth century, fleeing a homeland under foreign occupation and a caste system that regarded them as the lowest form of humanity. In the new country – a land of opportunity – they found a very different form of social hierarchy, one that was based on the color of a person’s skin. Noel Ignatiev’s 1995 book – the first published work of one of America’s leading and most controversial historians – tells the story of how the oppressed became the oppressors; how the new Irish immigrants achieved acceptance among an initially hostile population only by proving that they could be more brutal in their oppression of African Americans than the nativists. This is the story of How the Irish Became White.

u/bodhidharma6 · 7 pointsr/GamerGhazi

For a comprehensive read on the subject, can't recommend How the Irish Became White enough. The myth that the Irish ascended into the mainstream for meritocratic reasons obviously has wildly racist undertones, but the book does a great job of laying out exactly how it actually occurred: by demonstrating to the existing white power structure that they could readily participate in the brutalization and marginalization of blacks. Eventually the Irish came to dominate police departments in major cities, and spent most of their time on the job rounding up both other Irish people and black folks. They were also welcomed into various industrial occupations as alternatives to black people, and eventually formed a variety of labor unions that also excluded people of color. That's not to say all Irish folks gleefully traded solidarity with another oppressed group for whiteness, the book also goes into detail about Irish abolitionists and later union organizers and agitators who actively fought racism as well.

Any "rags to richest" story about minorities tends to ignore one glaring feature of the American racial ideology: That anyone who wasn't black immediately had a leg up over black people, because blackness by definition denoted the lowest possible status. That's not to say there aren't another 100 nuances and complicating factors in these stories, e.g. wealth and educational status of incoming immigrant waves, but the particular "constants" of the American race equation is a big one.

u/TwoChe · 7 pointsr/standupshots

Most Catholics were not considered "white" in America, hence Italians having the same oppression issues. I am surprised to see reddit so misinformed on race in America, really. "White" is a constantly evolving, and growing, ethnicity in America.

Which is why it is so peculiar to see current "white" people abused for their privilege. Tell my ancestors about that privilege please. I got invited to that party after the keg was tapped out, the queso was gone and there was nothing but chip crumbs in the bottom of the bag.

u/jordanreiter · 6 pointsr/changemyview

You might benefit from reading How the Irish Became White.

It's absolutely true that Irish, etc. have faced discrimination. And there are still Irish-American, Italian-American, and Jewish clubs and organizations where a vast majority of participants are of that ethnicity. Are those organizations racist? I would argue no. On the other hand, an overtly "white" organization basically serves no purpose other than the reinforcement of structural racism based on skin color.

u/rodmclaughlin · 6 pointsr/SargonofAkkad
u/vikingsquad · 6 pointsr/Anarchism

Can someone who's knowledgeable about this issue comment on the racialization of the Irish, which the author of this article claims didn't exist? I've heard of this book but I haven't read it, but the title and summary alone would lead me to believe that the Irish were somehow racialized and then integrated into white society as a means to oppress people of color.

u/_UNFUN · 6 pointsr/gatekeeping

I haven’t read it yet, but I believe the answer to your questions will be found in the book How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev

It’s been on my list to read for a while, but instead I started playing Skyrim

u/MountainPlanet · 6 pointsr/history

I realize this is off topic, but there is a fine scholarly book called How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev. Essentially, a cataloging of how Irish immigrants to the United States altered their social position by acquiring "white privilege" long before the word was even known. I recommend it to those interested in the American immigrant experience.

u/DevFRus · 5 pointsr/philosophy

Nobody said "caucasian", they said "white". The fact that you now equate (to some extent) white with caucasian (in the US) is a historic process that you can read more about in this book among other sources.

u/aahfeekiee · 5 pointsr/singapore

to summarize, it will depend on three points: [1] your race (or the one you pass as) relative to [2] its history in the place you go to, as well as [3] the purpose of your visit.

[warning: a lot of generalization] for example, as a Chinese person in the US would be viewed as a model minority in most spaces (especially employment) and would not face disproportionately higher incarceration rates as your black or latinx peers. To assimilate into the local lifestyle and culture can help you blend in, but it definitely won't completely prevent incidents of name-calling, racial aggression, etc.

On the other hand, if you went to Indonesia for job opportunities, despite still being Chinese, you are probably more likely to be met with hostility and discrimination, because the impressions Indonesians have on their local Chinese populations is different to what Americans have on theirs. HOWEVER if you make it clear that you are there as a tourist (and not a threat to their employment opportunities) the reaction might differ.

Of course, all of these are generalizations to be taken with a grain of salt; they are simply there to illustrate how there can be differences in how you are treated based on the abovementioned factors. I'm here not to help you predict what you, in your context, will face in the country you would be visiting/residing in, instead I am here to introduce to you factors that you have to consider and apply to your particular situation.

Here are more examples to further illustrate how history can further complicate how you can be treated based on race:

  • We as Singaporeans view white people as almost homogenous, but there very much is racism within whiteness.

  1. Aryans in Nazi Germany discriminating (and lots of murdering) against Jewish people, despite both being essentially white to us.
  2. Put an Irish person in White America and there's a history of how they went from being discriminated against to being largely incorporated into whiteness.
  3. Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins are treated as just Slavs in their diaspora, but put them in the Yugoslavian region and suddenly the identity divides and they discriminate each other based on their national identities despite speaking mutually intelligible Serbo-Croatian languages and sharing overlaps in culture & history.

  • Sikhs in India have a history (of brutal tension) with Muslims, but put them in the US and they will in most instances actually pass off as Muslim and will frequently be the target of Islamophobia.

    The answer to such a broad question is truly more complicated than what the analogies in the comments section can give. The solutions to helping cope with or reducing the incidents of racism in such circumstances will also differ, and you might have to look beyond the advice of "just assimilate and you will be fine".

    Do your research!
u/iTriggerWhiteBoys · 4 pointsr/nyc

As ive explained to the morons before you here like a thousand times.

its more tied to the social construction of "whiteness" than anything to do with skin color or ethnicity. please see this

there is some good writing on the matter by W. E. B. Du Bois, Theodore W. Allen, and a few others, on the phenomena. Noel Ignatiev actually has a pretty good book on the matter, its called "How the Irish Became White"

this is a critique over sociopolitical status, not skin color, nor ethnicity, its not a discussion about english people, or Irish people, or Italian People, or german people. nor is it based on skin color, there are Iranian(literal Aryans) with white skin, there are people living in the Caucasus(literal Caucasians), they not classified as "white".

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/askscience
u/lorok · 3 pointsr/TumblrInAction

So yes and no. The irish weren't considered to be black, but they weren't white people. They were segregated and seperated. Being involved with the irish was bad form, etc. etc.

u/ileolai · 3 pointsr/politics

I said living memory.
The Irish integrated and no longer experience the institutionalized xenophobia in America that they once did. Sorry.
Like lol seriously, we even get a parade every year where people try desperately to prove how ''Irish'' they are.

Now if you want to talk about how the Irish are treated in Europe, that's a different story. And one that has pretty much nothing to do with modern-day ''Irish'' people living in America.

u/thepoeticedda · 3 pointsr/ShitRedditSays

The police force exist to enforce the bureaucratic order.

Democracy under capitalism is the bureaucratic management of capitalism for the enrichment of the bourgeois, imposed on the proletariat. Police enforce it locally, military enforce it internationally

Police are members of the proletariat given privileges to enforce this system. And I don't just mean the hero worship, being in the police advanced your social standing. Look up how the Irish became white. Irish people "became white" by joining the police force to work against PoC.

Dividing the proletariat into different classes (which in America usually means different race classes) makes it harder for the proletariat to combine as a unit against the bourgeois. "Bad cops" revel in this. "Good cops" are in the force to help people, but are still a part of a system designed to work against the poor.

Look at the United Airline incident. Airlines deliberately oversell planes to keep the costs down. That practice catches up with them at a predetermined calculated rate, and when it does they have to kick people out of the plane. When no one wants to volunteer with the cash voucher, they send the police to violently drag someone off (a PoC flying economy), completely ignoring his logic for staying.

So the large corporation deliberately screws over individuals in the name of profits, then the police enforce that with violence. There are not evil reasons why people join the police. And there are "good cops" who just need a job or were promised that they would help people. But the police are still an occupying army.

u/magnabonzo · 3 pointsr/PoliticalHumor
u/gus_ · 3 pointsr/bestof

> That's not true. Yes, the irish were oppressed for being catholic. But they were considered white.

Why are you just announcing this? This is a real argument that people make. It's not like anyone's skin is literally white, so it's just a category with cultural input.

u/throwawayforhapa124 · 3 pointsr/hapas

Ever read this book?

The Irish did not become white until they started treating blacks like the rest of them did.

I digress, as much as black people had it worse in many instances, I'm not here to play oppression Olympics. Black people and Hispanic people sneer at me and tell me to my face they would rather be thought of as "smart and hardworking". Guess what, if I fail, all the blame is on me according to American society rather than other minorities whom are disadvantage and can mention that. Asians are seen as more "privileged" even by white people and that can be further from the truth. You want to know the reason why most Asians are "doctors" or "engineers" or whatever? It's because American society has made it difficult for Asian Americans to enter other sectors of the American workforce such as the entertainment industry and business in order to perpetuate white as the greatest. So don't invalidate my experiences by claiming that everyone else experiences this because maybe they do. At the same time, the difference between other minorities and Asians is that Asians and half asian problems are dismissed.

u/lemon_meringue · 3 pointsr/politics

How The Irish Became White

(spoiler: they showed the WASPs that they cold be just as shitty to Black people as any other Americans)

u/IndexObject · 2 pointsr/toronto

White is actually a very complicated term. Until relatively recently, a lot of groups with pale skin were not considered white. Whiteness originated as a way for predominantly British and French colonists to differentiate themselves from slaves and native peoples. The Irish, for example, were not considered white and therefore were not afforded certain legal protections.
In a contemporary sense, white refers to people with pale skin because most pale skinned cultures actively tried to achieve this status by conforming to the established western vision of white culture. However there is a complication when discussing white privilege as it pertains to inherited financial privilege due to the fact that not all white cultures have been in this country long enough to become established and profit from exploitation.
Again, to use the Irish as an example, an Irish person currently has white privilege because of how society as a whole centres skin colour and not racial heritage. However, anti-Irish bigotry was very real for a period immediately before world war 2, and so Irish people are more likely to come from financially underprivileged backgrounds.

u/meepmoopmope · 2 pointsr/SeattleWA
u/key_lime_pie · 2 pointsr/nfl

No, they aren't.

I am a white person. That is my race, but that is not my ethnicity. My ethnicity is a mix of variety ethnicities, primarily Portuguese and Irish.

Race is a social construct, so it changes based on society's decision about who belongs to which race, (and which race is favored over another). Black and white are races, not ethnicities.

That's why we have books entitled "How Jews Became White Folks" and "How The Irish Became White," but we don't have books entitled "How The Irish Became Irish." That's because ethnicity is unchangeable - no one needs to know how an Irish person became Irish - while race is malleable.

u/geriatricbaby · 2 pointsr/FeMRADebates

>I mean look at irish and italian immigrants around the turn of the 20th century in america. they weren't seen as 'white' and they received a lot of hate and lynching. once they assimilated to the dominant culture the hate dissipated rapidly. Keep in mind race != ethnicity.

Yes, indeed. Literally look at Irish and Italian immigrants. They had something that other immigrant groups didn't have and you can literally see what it is if you look at them. Recommended reading.

u/PostColonialAsian · 2 pointsr/ShitAmericansSay

I'm often told I'm not a "real American" both by other Americans and by Kazakhs back home and by Asians in general. I think it's clear that while American society claims to be tolerant and progressive and multicultural, that the default ethnic group are white Americans of European descent. And all of these "white ethnicites" that Americans claim to be (American Irish, eye-Talian-American, Greek-American, Norweigan-American, etc.) were long ago assimilated into whiteness. I studied anthropology at my university and I cited this book:

Basically all of these ethnic groups lost their distinctiveness 60 years ago or so.

u/WuQianNian · 2 pointsr/China

Yeah so here's the thing about that: you are wrong and an idiot.

>In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to America, trading a ruling elite of Anglo-Irish Anglicans for one of WASPs. The Irish immigrants were (self-evidently) not Anglo-Saxon; most were not Protestant; and, as far as many of the nativists were concerned, they weren't white, either. Just how, in the years surrounding the Civil War, the Irish evolved from an oppressed, unwelcome social class to become part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev's well-researched, intriguing although haphazardly structured book. By mid-century, Irish voting solidarity gave them political power, a power augmented by the brute force of groups descended from the Molly Maguires. With help, the Irish pushed blacks out of the lower-class jobs and neighborhoods they had originally shared. And though many Irish had been oppressed by the Penal Laws, they opposed abolition?even when Daniel O'Connell, "the Liberator," threatened that Irish-Americans who countenanced slavery would be recognized "as Irishmen no longer." The book's structure lacks cohesion: chapters zigzag chronologically and geographically, and Ignatiev's writing is thick with redundancies and overlong digressions. But for the careful reader, he offers much to think about and an important perspective on the American history of race and class.

Whiteness is not fixed and it evolves. In the antebellum period Americans distinguished between swarthy Anglo-Saxon races (not white) and pure valiant whites of Norman stock. Now they're all white, plus even the non-Saxon Irish and, increasingly in America, Latinos, who are being assimilated into whiteness as the Irish were. Die choking on your own stupid vomit thanks.

u/Oxshevik · 2 pointsr/badunitedkingdom

I think these would help you understand the key arguments and points made about whiteness:

  • Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940

  • Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race

  • How the Irish Became White

    Political Sociology articles that might interest you:

  • Pettigrew, Thomas (1998). Reactions Toward the New Minorities of Western Europe. Annual Review of Sociology. 24(1) : 77-103.

  • Banks, Antoine J, and Nicholas A Valentino. 2012. “Emotional Substrates of White Racial Attitudes.” American Journal of Political Science 56(2): 286–297

  • Hutchings, L. Vincent and Valentino, Nicholas, A. (2004). The centrality of race in American politics. Annual Review of Political Science. 7(1): 383-408.

    I'm not expecting you to go away and read all this, but the books and articles can be found online (look up libgen and scihub if you need free access), so there's nothing to stop you skimming them or reading scholarly reviews. There's more where that came from so let me know if you have anything in particular you'd like to read about.
u/TheMediaSays · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

How so? Italians and Irish were, at one point in time, not considered white and so discrimination against them would, indeed, be racism, at least back in those days. What I'm saying is that deporting everyone except for one race will just lead to the creation of new races to discriminate against because, at its heart, racism is the desire to assert one's superiority based on inherent, inborn qualities -- if this desire is thwarted, people will simply find new outlets.

u/astronomy8thlight · 2 pointsr/nba
u/parmdaddy · 2 pointsr/boston

>Except that there are plenty of white people who don't perpetuate problems in society.

So? Yes, there are lots of white people who are actively fighting racist or who are, at the very least, not overtly racist. That doesn't erase the fact that most of the people who are perpetuating issues of racism (either via direct action or via failing to acknowledge the systems of oppression that exist in the US in the first place) in this country are white.

>It's similar to the way that it's not acceptable for white people to criticize rap culture as perpetuating problems in society because rap culture is tied closely to black culture. Not all black people subscribe to rap culture but an attack on it, regardless of the fact that there are problems with it, is often seen and intepreted as an attack on "blackness" instead.

This is more of a "stay in your lane"/"don't punch down" kind of thing. Plenty of black leftists, such as Dr. Cornel West and Aaron McGruder, criticize the culturally harmful aspects of rap culture (such as the glorification of violence and misogyny). In the end, black people are the only people who can really solve those sorts of issues. White people and other allies can certainly help by working to reform oppressive systems and institutions to make things more just and equitable, though.

>No, it was all wealthy white people. It's pretty much always wealthy people. These ones just happened to be white.

I acknowledge that in my post. Racism in the US cannot be understood without also understanding class struggle in the US, since the two issues are very intertwined. As I said then, proletariat white people may not have been responsible for putting in place the systems of racial oppression and exploitation, but they did perpetuate those systems. That includes the Irish, who were not even considered white back in the day until they made it clear to other groups of white people that they were no friends of the black community.

>I mean, yes, they perpetuated the problem by not standing up, but can we really be that angry at average people for keeping their head down and trying to live their life when they grew up being told "This is the way things are"?

Irish didn't just perpetuate segregation and other systems of anti-black racism by "keeping their head down and try to live their [lives.]" The Irish deliberately terrorized black people in their communities and workplaces in order to push them out of their jobs and neighborhoods. They did this in order to establish themselves a place in the white community.

There's a good book about this very topic that I would recommend you check out if you're interested in Irish-American history:

And here's a review of it I found that summarizes some of the book's main points from the intersection of class and race, which explains that the Irish did such terrible things out of economic self-interest:

>I gotta ask, are you white? Because that's not what I've gotten from them at all and I know that race/gender can greatly affect the way you interpret things. I'm not asking to shut down your opinion, I'm asking because it might explain why we're seeing completely different things when we read these articles.

I'm a straight, cis, white man. If you're not getting that from those sorts of articles, then I have two guesses as to why that may be the case.

  1. You get defensive when you start to read them, which causes you to get emotional and to miss the point of those articles. I don't say this to be insulting, but rather to point out that our initial knee-jerk reactions to certain ideas can get in the way of our understanding them. It happens to me; here's a recent example: my initial feeling when I heard the phrase "teach men not to rape" was negative, but it became positive after I thought more about it and read more about why the people who say that phrase choose to say it.

  2. The articles you're reading are from particularly radical subsections of the left that are overtly anti-white, or are written by overly-guilty white liberals who are taking the wrong lessons away from these types of discussions.

    I'd be interested in seeing some of the blog posts or articles that you're thinking of, in part because doing so may reveal that my two guesses were off base.
u/JCY2K · 2 pointsr/CringeAnarchy

Who didn't used to be considered white… at least according to the title of How the Irish Became White

u/Viat0r · 2 pointsr/canada

You should read How the Irish Became White.

u/defcon1959 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

My Irish ancestors had to read signs that said "No Irish Need Apply". In the 19th century the Irish wer not considered to be "white":

u/lawpoop · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

How the Irish became white

> In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to America, trading a ruling elite of Anglo-Irish Anglicans for one of WASPs. The Irish immigrants were (self-evidently) not Anglo-Saxon; most were not Protestant; and, as far as many of the nativists were concerned, they weren't white, either. Just how, in the years surrounding the Civil War, the Irish evolved from an oppressed, unwelcome social class to become part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev's well-researched, intriguing although haphazardly structured book. By mid-century, Irish voting solidarity gave them political power, a power augmented by the brute force of groups descended from the Molly Maguires. With help, the Irish pushed blacks out of the lower-class jobs and neighborhoods they had originally shared. And though many Irish had been oppressed by the Penal Laws, they opposed abolition?even when Daniel O'Connell, "the Liberator," threatened that Irish-Americans who countenanced slavery would be recognized "as Irishmen no longer." The book's structure lacks cohesion: chapters zigzag chronologically and geographically, and Ignatiev's writing is thick with redundancies and overlong digressions. But for the careful reader, he offers much to think about and an important perspective on the American history of race and class.

u/butterscotch_yo · 1 pointr/videos

> The difference is that those communities reinvested in themselves over generations, and until that happens in black communities, nothing is going to change.

well i guess that's one aspect. it also helped that those groups participated in the oppression of black people and thus gained [acceptance as "white people."] (

u/PRigby · 1 pointr/ireland

There's a book on that

Mostly focused on Irish in America, mainly around Irish trade unions opposing Black workers rights

u/fortfive · 1 pointr/scifi

For the social science behind this question, see How the Irish Became White.

u/JimWilliams423 · 1 pointr/TennesseePolitics

> u kike.

So, that's a yes on your name having been changed to pass as white.

> you dont have a single incident of a pole being not considered white.

Hello, McFly? Ben Franklin explicitly said you weren't white. Look, none of this is a secret, I'm not pulling this out of my ass. Its well established, uncontroversial history. if you weren't a WASP, you weren't white. You weren't black, but you weren't white either. You were considered inferior to real whites. There are literally thousands of books and papers discussing it and it was all simply common knowledge at the time because that's just how people saw it, some examples:

u/linuxluser · 1 pointr/neoliberal

Only, those groups weren't always white.

u/ImpressiveFood · 1 pointr/AskTrumpSupporters

I've been thinking a lot lately about the notion of "personal responsibility." A notion that, for many conservatives, seems to break through the clouds and let the heaven shine in. I want you to question, for a moment, this way of thinking.

This value is certainly grounded in something very real and true. We recognize that if people are not generally responsible this whole world will fall apart. Everyone needs to be a responsible person. They need to wake up and go to work and they need to take care of their children and possessions. They need to hold to a budget and have the will to deny themselves pleasure when it's in their own long term best interest. Someone who hasn't accomplished these habits is someone we would consider "immature" or childlike. In other words, they never learned, they never had to face punishment and "learn better."

We've also experienced personally moments in our lives where a lazy friend or relative has dropped the ball, made poor or reckless decisions, and as a result, caused us to suffer through no fault of our own.

I think that conservatives tend to take this character of immaturity, that anecdotally is certainly true of some immature people, and project it onto the poor populace at large, as well as anyone who has a grievance that they don't recognize as valid. (what grievances they do recognize, it turns out, has a lot to do with their own ingroup vs an outgroup, involving race and gender and nationality, etc, but that's another issue).

The result is that something true on a small intimate scale is mapped onto things that are much much larger and more complicated, like "black culture" and "black history." This leads to a very wrong narrative.

The idea that there might be something such as structures of power, or social and economic ideologies that perpetuate racism, can be dismissed as imaginary based on this simple narrative. Black poverty can instead be explained through a lack of "personal responsibility."

As evidence to back things up, you and other conservatives provide singular examples of people who have "beaten the odds," and pulled themselves up. Not all blacks were slaves, and not all do live or have lived in poverty. Isn't it the case that some black people are more well off than some white people? (Without asking, why are the odds so bad to begin with?)

Even though statistically, blacks have suffered and continue to suffer form poverty levels far beyond whites, the fact that some have beaten the odds prove that it's not impossible. How bad can discrimination really be?

Also, Asians! The reason we know why this whole business of racial decriminalization is imaginary is because Asians actually have higher per capital earning than even whites. Why? They work hard and they take advantage of the opportunities available to everyone in this country. And other ethnic groups were discriminated against as well? What about the Irish, Catholics, Slavs, or Jews?

This leads to the final claim, that life in general is hard. It should be, it has to be, otherwise we'll all become soft. And what happens when you have soft people? They become like children. They need to be taken care of. To only way to turn children into adult is to deny them. To force them to work harder, to appreciate what they have, to take personal responsibility. All of this is true when it comes to raising children, or dealing with a family black sheep, but when this is easily mapped onto large swaths of the population as an explanation for poverty and crime, well, we've short circuited.

(in fact, conservative policy tends to have the opposite effect, it actually gives people less ability to make better choices. Choices are not made abstractly, they are made by an embodied individual, and people already living in poverty live under stress, making choices you'll never have to make. And black people especially have lived under low level but constant psychological disparagement. This is changing, but to get a sense of it historically, Read Native Son, or anything James Baldwin, or The Souls of Black Folks).

Conservatives tend to think, aren't all these claims explaining black poverty really just an excuse? An excuse for a lack of personal responsibility? Typically what then gets blamed is "black culture."

I can see how this is a compelling narrative, especially if you are allergic to guilt or shame, but the reason why most of this is to me bullshit, or entirely irrelevant to policy, is because it ignores the specificity of black history. Every group that has faced discrimination in the US has a distinct history and that history matters. You can't just say well one race did fine while another one has floundered, so we can cross off race as a variable.

You have to look at each ethnic group's history to see what happened. Each story is complicated, and the real story of African Americans is incredibly complex. It's also probably the most interesting aspect of American history, to me at least.

In the case of both the Irish and the Jews, they eventually were able to disappear into whiteness. This book is especially telling:

as well as this one:

For both, their assimilation was aided by engaging in the national past time of discriminating against, you guessed it, black people. Setting themselves in opposition to them.

Whiteness as a category has been incredibly essential to American identity. This is argued famously in The Wages of Whiteness:

Basically, the book argues that American's came to be able to accept their position as wage laborers by identifying with whiteness, being able to contrast their position with that of slaves. At least they weren't slaves! At least they were white, at least they were better than someone.

This psychological drama has played out in politics and history ever since. I could go on and on and on. You might dismiss these books, and these claims, but you shouldn't. You should read and evaluate them for yourself. They are well sourced.

Basically, if there's one thing to take away here, it's that you should bracket the narrative that you have come to believe in, and you should open yourself to reading actual quality history about the black experience and race relations in this country.

A good place to start might be this book:

And if you want to find some free pdfs of these books. This is the go to site:

Just search, the books are in there.

u/timetide · 1 pointr/politics

In case you actually wanna read a book about how the Irish became white here's somewhere to buy a cheap copy:

u/superiority · 1 pointr/todayilearned

On the subject of Irish Americans and whiteness, this is a pretty interesting book.

u/chinese___throwaway3 · 1 pointr/hapas

What gene is shared between Middle Easterners and Europeans? If Southern and Northern Europeans are genetically distinguishable on home tests like 23AndMe, how could Middle Easterners and WASPs have the same genetic traits?

If the Irish had to "become" white and a person could become black by one drop of ancestry, what does that say about the "scientific" nature of race?

u/Talleyrayand · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

The term isn't specifically about intermarriage between African Americans and the Irish; that's just used by the author as evidence of a similar social stature. What the article is addressing is how race is a socially constructed phenomenon.

Irish immigrants in the United States and Britain weren't considered "white" by 19th century standards. In fact, many depictions of Irish immigrants would portray them as another race entirely separate from Anglo-Americans and Anglo-Britons. Many of the stereotypes that today are associated with non-"white" minorities - laziness, lack of intelligence, simple-mindedness, and base desires - were also leveled against the Irish. The fruit of the analysis is that even though the Irish have what we would consider to be white skin, they were not considered "white" by the standards of their day. The racial category of "white" or "black," then, is about more than just skin color.

Here is another good essay to put it into context. You can find many, many images portraying the Irish as either wild beasts or monstrous - in other words, as sub-human or not human at all. The Irish came to be considered white through a historical process.

u/MercuryCobra · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

The notion that race is purely biological has been debunked for years:

For instance, one of the major works of both history and critical race theory in the last decade Is this book: How the Irish Became White which points out that the Irish and other groups we wouldn't hesitate to call "white" were considered a separate (and inferior) race for decades.

Race is not purely biological, and there is no scientific taxonomic distinction between homo sapiens sapiens.

u/anchises868 · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

Only if that other country is Ireland.

u/borahorzagobuchol · 0 pointsr/worldnews

The lack of knowledge of history on display here is staggering. The Irish were portrayed in the press during those times as dunk, violent, hooligans who came over for debauchery and to sit in the streets unemployed. They and the Italians were considered to be a subhuman racial breed, denied the category of the white race. Italians were portrayed as coming over to have a million kids, spread organized crime and undermine the political system with anarchists and communists. I'm not even going to go into how extreme the antisemitism was.

It is deeply ironic that you have the exact view of today's immigrants being terrible for their destination country that the average person of one hundred years ago had back then, but fail to realize that the only reason you believe that is because you have been culturally trained to hate the newcomers. You are right that the parents of the current generation will have to die before these issues are resolved, but it is the passing of native parents training their children in bigotry that is necessary, not the passing of the immigrant parents struggling to better their lives.

u/CaptainIronBoobs · 0 pointsr/pics

Look man, if acknowledging whiteness causes some crises of identity for you that's fine. We can stop talking about it.

u/Afflo · 0 pointsr/ShitAmericansSay
u/boot20 · -1 pointsr/politics

It's painfully apparent that the OP and a lot of people in this thread don't know history. I highly suggest reading

  • edit: Thanks for the down mod rather than having any kind of discourse.
u/AndrewRyansRapture · -1 pointsr/altright

This isn't news or anything. What constitutes white was far more restricted before.

u/Nodbugger · -1 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

My great grandparents came from a farm town in Sicily in the early 1900s, lived on the South side of Chicago, weren't considered white until after WW2 and somehow we all did just fine.

u/Cartoonzinho · -1 pointsr/todayilearned

What I really found interesting in this 'Conservative' link, is that it represents the changing concepts of race in the United States. I would not be surprised if some day in the future, Asians are viewed as part of the "white" race (or whatever the dominant class is called, rather). The definition of 'white' and therefore the privileges that come with being part of the dominant race/class is constantly expanding. Here is the book about how the Irish became white, for example.

u/floopyloopy · -2 pointsr/news

That's exactly the "problem of whiteness". First of all, nobody's skin is literally white, just like nobody's is literally black either. So the whole concept of white and black races is inherently absurd, it doesn't make sense. Let's get that out of the way.

Also, Whiteness has an association with purity, so southern europeans who had north-african invaders mix with them, thus black and curly hair, weren't considered "white" by the blonde hair blue eyed people of northern europe. And then, the masses of Irish who came to America were often very poor, (otherwise they would have been able to afford to stay in Ireland), and they were Catholic rather than Protestant; so they were not "White" simply because most middle-class americans looked down on them, even if they were blonde and blue eyed irish. (To this day, we've only ever had 1 Catholic/non-Protestant president!)

The Problem of Whiteness isn't just about color, it's about much much more than that, it's very complex and it means different things to different people. That's exactly why a course like this might be interesting to someone.

edit: you asked for evidence: "In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to America, trading a ruling elite of Anglo-Irish Anglicans for one of WASPs. The Irish immigrants were (self-evidently) not Anglo-Saxon; most were not Protestant; and, as far as many of the nativists were concerned, they weren't white, either. Just how, in the years surrounding the Civil War, the Irish evolved from an oppressed, unwelcome social class to become part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev's well-researched, intriguing although haphazardly structured book."

u/kwhitegocubs · -2 pointsr/technology

If you think white Irish and Eastern European immigrants didn't get massive benefits from not having to compete for jobs and opportunities, and in many cases adopting the racial discriminatory policies/beliefs of the existing white class, you are really doing some bad history.

And yes, even today's Serbian immigrant doesn't face the kind of racism in hiring (for example) or policing/incarceration/disenfranchisement, or lose housing value gains due to white flight.

u/kissfan7 · -2 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

>I'm irish you stupid idiot.

You're still racist. Like a Celtic Uncle Ruckus.

>Sorry I'm not a billionaire and can jet-set around the world

I've only been to Canada.

I do have a library card, an Internet connection, a high school education, and basic people skills though. That's all one really needs to realize you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

>Did you know that they just threw chinamen at the TCRR until it was done?

"Chinamen"? That's some vintage racist shit.

>There are a lot of Polish people here too.

But you don't know anything about them because you have the people skills of a mole rat.

>Your hostility proves the un-popularity of this issue. Mr. Genius.

So one the fact that one person disagrees with an opinion makes it unpopular? Well, I guess there are no popular opinions then.

Again, read a book.

EDIT: Read another book too.

u/JeuneSovietique · -4 pointsr/againstmensrights

>Africans sold each other to white people

Totally legitimizes slavery done by white people!

>Irish people were slaves and stuff

Irish people were not considered "white" at that time (

>the first slave owner in the US was black, I think

Nice anecdote you got there, cracker, totally puts the whole slave trade in perspective. How could I not see it before? Black people were the villains all along!

>And all of these things totally vindicate all white people.

Nice revisionism you got there.

EDIT : Just noticed you post to the Blue pill, SRS subreddits and yet are still a white defender? Wow.