Union Jack. Klan outfit. Vancouver, B.C. It all makes sense if you’re Irish. But the new breed of white nationalist in the PNW is grasping at straws now. You know who they are. I will not link to their site, but it rhymes with “Fourth Chest Runt.” And I know now how sick “cultural appropriation” feels. I want to puke….in their faces. If you can stomach it, look up their page called “promotional graphics.” Ripping off the Irish. Ripping off the Cascadians. And that’s all I am.
Are they baiting me? This hits way too close to home. I now feel I have license to tear these bastards a new asshole. But, the voice of Pema Chödrön rings in my ears: “Don’t bite the hook.”
“But Pema” I say, “they took the Cascadian rebel flag and the Irish rebel flag, mixed them together, and turned it into a symbol for WHITE NATIONALISM! They’ve crossed a line with me, and now they have it coming. Nazi scum deserve nothing but to get their ignorant heads bashed in!”
“Keep breathing and think for a second. Angry and Irish is a stereotype that you don’t have to fall for every time.” says Pema. “And besides, they just want attention. So don’t give it to them. You know as well as I that no one has even seen one of them, and that it’s more than likely just a cheap counter-insurgency tactic being used by those in power against the Bioregional Movement, because they know it has mass appeal and a legal leg to stand on, because most of B.C. is unceded, stolen land. They know that racism is as good as dead in the Pacific Northwest, if we ignore the institutionalized racism written into the white supremacist US constitution and the Indian Act, so they’re just using a straw-man to discredit you and your friends.”
“I know Pema” I say, “though I don’t think you can ignore institutionalized white supremacy. Especially if your skin ain’t the color of talcum. And racism against the Indigenous people here is alive and well, probably because so many settlers feel guilty for living on stolen land. You should hear the things that come out of their mouths sometimes. So don’t tell me racism is dead. And they have the audacity to appropriate the Irish revolutionary struggles for their fake and pathetic ‘white’ nationalism. Real Irish people know they’re not white. Even Sherman Alexie called us ‘the black people of Europe.’ We know how horrible and illegitimate racism is. The British practically invented racism, and we were their guinea pigs. They sent us to Barbados as slaves along with Africans, and we had our own Civil RIghts movement in the 1960’s for the same reasons as in the American south. We were second class citizens, because those bastards invented something called ‘Race’.”
“I know this stuff. But if you hate these poor fools, you’re only going to feed their martyr complex. You know as well as I that most people who fall for ‘white nationalism’ are just marginalized people who blame everyone but those in power for their lower-class lives.” Pema says, rolling her eyes.
“Those in power, who are mostly white! Idiots!” I blurt. “I can feel sorry for them all I want, but they took a Bobby Sands quote and replaced it with their racist propaganda. They need to PAY for that one. And those bastards had the guts to pervert ‘Tiocfaidh ár lá’ with their ‘our day will come’ and ‘our time is now’ crap. That’s a slap in the face of my People. My Nation. We come from a real place, and we have our own language, our own stories, and an 844 year fight against the same kind of colonialism perpetrated by racist bastards just like these idiots. And their horse-shit ‘white nationalism’ is a slap in the face of all the Indigenous Nations of the Cascadian bioregion who everyday face REAL struggles to survive as Nations with their languages and their culture’s millennia-long relationship with their homelands. I can handle a smear campaign against Cascadians, we are a bunch of dreamers. But don’t mess with us Irish. These wannabes are the worst of all settler scum! I HATE THEM, I HATE THEM, I HATE THE, I HATE THEM!!!!! In fact, I’m posting this picture”:
“Casey Bryan Corcoran!” Pema nearly raises her voice. “I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but you know better! They WANT you to hate them. They are sad and wounded, and all they want is attention.”
“Not to mention pathetic, and completely off their rockers!” says I.
“Sure. But some people think you and your Cascadian friends are off your rockers.”
“Hey, watch it Pema.”
“My point is, if you Cascadians get all riled up about an opportunistic, nearly invisible minority, you will be the ones making them visible. And that’s what they want, assuming they actually exist and aren’t just some counter-intelligence front cooked up by the Feds to smear you all as racists. So do you really want to play into their hands?”
I sigh, knowing she’s right. “But if we don’t say something, then they will smear us. We need to stop them, NOW! And I did that interview with that controversial Keith Preston guy, not to mention the fact that I am an Irish Nationalist. And so many of my friends are Indigenous Nationalists. I’m a sitting duck for an ANTIFA smear campaign, or a media smear campaign. But we have our languages. We are REAL Nations. And none of these colonial bastards can erase this or take from us who we really are. They just call themselves ‘Nationalists’ even though they don’t have Nations to speak of, unless they figure out who their REAL ancestors are, which would show them that ‘white nationalism’ is just one more colonial rape of who they really are.”
“True.” Pema breathes deeply. Exhales. Again. “Maybe you should drop the word ‘nationalist.’ Nationhood and ‘nationalism’ are two different things.”
“But ‘Nationhood-ism’ sounds stupid. And Nation comes from the same root word as ‘native,’ and these crackers are NOT native. Why the hell should these idiots even be allowed to use that word without being publicly mocked for their laughable use of language.” I argue.
“Well, this is the English language we’re talking about. And you’re not Native, so why can you use the word Nation? Huh?”
I don’t hesitate, “I know my place and my language. Nation! I hope that word unsettles you. Even though the place where I was born is not my place, I remember that the reason I am here now is because my ancestors went through the same colonial onslaught that the Indigenous people here experienced. And this colonialism is ongoing. The racist assimilation of settler colonialism cannot and will not erase my Nation. And we are still fighting colonialism back home. Ireland was just basically sold to the Germans, and we have capitalism to thank for that. All of our struggles are connected now. We’re all fighting the same global economy. But don’t take me for a Marxist either. Nothing could be more colonial and illegitimate than their ‘scientific materialism.’ Nazis, Commies, Capitalists. Our ancestors were none of these. But all of them were bioregionalists, even thought they didn’t need that word. And the land I now live on is not my land, and never will be. So I’m a Cascadian bioregionalist, and an Irish….Nationhood-ist.”
“Breathe,” Pema says, “and quit talking like a bad political propaganda novel. Get out of your head.”
“You get out of my head! I’m imagining you for this blog post!” I rightly quip. “I just want to make it clear that this unsettled Irish….Nationhood-ist has 844 years of pissed off ancestors, and I don’t know how long I can hold them back if they decide to open a can of whoop-ass with these ‘Fourth Chest Runt’ fools. And the Indigenous people who’s homeland this REALLY is might not back down from a fight either.”
Give it up fools. Find out who you really are. You are not white. No one is.