It is an Irish tradition to fight on both sides of every war (mild sarcasm), and the Mexican-American war was no different. The Mexican State is unique from the US and Canada in that the Spaniards never institutionalized prison camps called “reserves” and have remained a minority ruling class in a vast Indigenous majority. That’s right, the vast majority of Mexicans are “Native Americans.” So when the US Empire decided to fight a land-stealing war of conquest to expand their borders from sea to shining sea, some Paddy’s had an attack or moral conscious and fought against the settler colonial State that they’d been exiled to.
So remember, when you’re puking up green beer tonight, what you’re really celebrating is shooting colonists (mild sarcasm). And as much as David Rovics voice grates on my nerves, at least you can understand the words in the above video.
America loves it’s strange fruit, even if it’s grown in Mexico.
Here is another episode in the history of the Nations of Turtle Island and the Island Nation. Despite so many Irish settlers acting as mercenaries and cannon fodder for the expansion of US Empire over the years, the similarities between An Gorta Mór and the Trail of Tears was not lost on these people. The human plight of suffering under colonialism is unfortunately, universal. Damo does a lovely live version of his song in the video above, and when was they last time you hear such a sincere apology? Bless your heart, Damo.
“I am sorry for that evil man, I feel shame that he came from my country.
I am sorry for that Sheridan, And the other tools used in Colonies.”
(With all the BS official apologies being issued by Canada and Britain these days, it’s nice to hear something sincere. But when will we ever hear Stephen Harper say, “I’m ashamed to be a Canadian, I am sorry for my evil country.”)
The Choctaw people have a history of helping others – one of the best examples is the $170 that was given to the Irish in 1847 during the potato famine. To realize the beauty and generosity of this story, one has to understand what a challenging couple of decades this had been for the Indian people.
In 1831 the Choctaw Indians were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in Mississippi to what is now known as Oklahoma. The Choctaws were the first of several tribes to make the trek along The Trail of Tears. The years during and immediately following this journey were very difficult for the tribal people. The winter of this particular Trail of Tears was the coldest on record – the food and clothing of the people were severely inadequate and transportation needs were not properly met. Many of the Choctaws did not survive the trip, and those that did not perish faced hardships establishing new homes, schools, and churches.
A few years after this long, sad march, the Choctaws learned of people starving to death in Ireland. The Irish were dying because although there were other crops being grown in their country, all but the potato were marked for export by the British rulers. The Irish poor were not allowed any other sustenance than the potato, and from 1845-1849 this vegetable was diseased. Only sixteen years had passed since the Choctaws themselves had faced hunger and death on the first Trail of Tears, and a great empathy was felt when they heard such a similar story coming from across the ocean. Individuals made donations totaling $170 in 1847 to send to assist the Irish people. These noble Choctaw people, who had such meager resources, gave all they could on behalf of others in greater need.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh! Rugadh mo sheanathair seanathair i Ros Comáin i rith na bliana gur bhronn tú go bhfuil airgead.
As it is Seachtain na Gaeilge and folks are preparing to play Irish for a day, especially across the US and Canada, I’m going to highlight some interesting moments in history regarding the relationship between the colonized Nations of Turtle Island and the colonized Island Nation. Following a recent post over at An Sionnach Fionn that reminded me of a few other buried histories, today I’m posting a video that never ceases to put a smile on my face every time I hear Red Crow say “Tiocfaidh ár lá.”
The Irish have been made a case study of assimilation and whiteness, but there have always been those of us who have resisted assimilation with a passion and recognized our stories of colonization being played out on the other continents that so may of us were dispossessed to. So never forget it!
Gabhaigí mo leithscéal chun é a scríobh i mBéarla! Is díchoilíniú réabhlóid mall!
Cad é atá an focal gaeilge ar WHITENESS?
Báine: a) whiteness…. c) pallor. d) waste, uncultivated, state.
An tír ag dul i mbáine, chun báine: the country becoming waste, depopulated.
Thug sé deirge ar bháine: he turned pale.
Ha! I hope this video puts the red back in you cheeks!!
This was a new one on me! Time to light the Eighth Fire!
In June 1919 Éamon de Valera, the American-born president of Ireland’s revolutionary government, was smuggled out of a war-torn country on an ocean liner and into the United States of America where he launched on a whirlwind, coast-to-coast tour that brought crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands onto the streets of several major American cities. The Irish political leader who just months earlier had escaped from a jail in Britain led rallies in New York (where he was born in 1882), addressed congressmen, governors and state legislators, and raised millions of dollars for the embattled Irish Republic, Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army. Despite the reluctance of an isolationist White House to interfere in British imperial affairs, and the outright opposition of the anglophile State Department, de Valera’s mission succeeded in…
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Chanadh mé dán do na haoiseanna, ag deireadh lá,
Rinne mé briocht a chanadh, ‘gus tú ar an lá céanna.
Tháinig ár lá, chuaigh ár lá,
Ní chloisfidh ar Dia screadanna na Bealtaine linn.
Tiocfaidh amhráin chun cun cur aird na gaoithe,
Dúirt thú go raibh na teangacha ghabhal,
An dúcheisteanna, nó dúrún, nó fáthrún i dún dhúchasach.
Rachaidh na córacha catha le luaidhe a mbeal,
Ó na Ceithre hAirde, leis na Ceithre Treoracha.
Comhairle na Seanóirí.
Comhairle na nÓg.
Comhairle na Máithreacha.
Comhairle na nAithreacha.