July 12th Parades

Funny, I was also raised a fundamentalist Protestant, yet I didn’t have the nerve to cross over to the Shankhill when I was there! When I walked through the tiny West Bank Loyalist neighborhood in Derry, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The police protect KKK marches in the States, and I support such expressions of free speech over shots being fired. But “scary” and “creepy” are things you just FEEL sometimes even when your trying not to judge for the sake of a greater good.

Great post anyhow! GRMA

Choosing the Green

Everyone likes a parade. I get it. They’re all pomp and circumstance – people showing off their heritage, their music, their flags. There are parades worldwide for what seems like every single little excuse that anyone can find. Some are big, some are small, some are downright silly, and some threaten a fragile balance.

The marching season in Ulster falls into the last category. July 12th is a day that roughly half of the population celebrates the victory of William of Orange (a Dutch King, by the way) over the English King James II. It’s a huge holiday which is steeped in irony, when you think about it. This is a bunch of people who violently insist on being considered British that take to the streets to celebrate a Dutch victory over their own historical ruler. Label that one for storage in the “Things that make you go hmmmm

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