we people who are darker than blue

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!!

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3 thoughts on “we people who are darker than blue

  1. Your cack-handed appropriation of the Irish language surpasses naivety and arrives at the offensive end of things. I’m not even a native speaker but I have more respect for the language than to mutilate it in the pursuit of some ill-conceived identity politics (seriously, tá do chuid Gaeilge an-lochtach ar fad).

    Besides, it’s easy repeat a catchphrase like “tiocfaidh ár lá” when you don’t know anyone who’s been murdered by the Provos

  2. Of course my Irish is shit. If you bother to read what I’ve miserably attempted to write in my native language, I openly admit that I have terrible grammar and try to make fun of myself enough that it’s clear to anyone: I’m am trying to learn in near complete isolation from other speakers, on the other side of the world. What do you expect?

    At least I’m trying.

    However, I am not appropriating the Irish Language, I am learning MY indigenous language. Even if it’s worse than the “Jailtacht” spoken in Britain’s colonial concentration camps, it is still MY language, and if that offends you, then I’m not ashamed of offending a colonial chauvinist.

    I am a 5th generation survivor of genocide. I live on the other side of the world from my ancestors graves because of colonialism and deliberate genocide. I now live on the ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples who are also survivors of colonialism and genocide, which is ongoing as we speak. They are still here. They are reviving their languages from the brink of extinction. We have this in common. We have reason to make common cause against the continued cultural genocide and ecological devastation that is being perpetrated against the land of my birth. I would rather stay at home and join the fight against colonialism here, where I was born, than run away, even if I would be going “home” to Ireland. I owe this place my life. The water of this place makes my body. We are not separate. I owe this place my life.

    If this is an “ill-concieved identity politic” I have colonialism to thank for fucking me up beyond recognition. But it didn’t work. I know who I am. I remember. I know where my ancestors come from, I am learning the language they spoke. Nothing can break this spiritual connection. Even if forced migration and British-perpetrated holocaust displaced me physically into another fight against colonialism.

    Far from naivety, I am capable of embracing the complex reality of who I really am, putting it all into context, and making sense of it. I am living proof that the cultural genocide of the British Empire FAILED. I am living proof that survivors of colonialism and genocide are spiritually strong and resilient, against all odds, and that we will never give up, even if it takes lifetimes. We will not submit. Better to be cast into a den of lions.

    You are correct that is it easy to repeat catchphrases. But you know damn well who originated that phrase and what it means. It is a fundamental truth. And a commitment to decolonization does not mean blind support of all the foolish and awful things the Provos did. The Long War is a sad history of massive failure, on BOTH sides. But that doesn’t excuse the ongoing colonialism in the north of Ireland, the constructed failure of the Republic, or the bloodthirstyness of the Anglo-American (plus Global Borderless Capital) vampire that continues to rape our planet and it’s peoples.

    This is all intimately connected. We are all victims of a 10,000 year old nightmare, the war of domestication against untamed life. It’s been a very long night….ach tiocfaidh ár lá.

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