4 Anti-racism and disavowed racism The term racism is unambiguously a negative one, morally and politically. Sectarianism and other forms of racism are often referred to as evil. Anna Lo, MLA, for example, can often be heard describing racism and sectarianism as ‘twin evils of prejudice and intolerance’.1 In 2001 a report on racism commissioned by the Northern Ireland government concluded that ‘racist harassment is a particularly pernicious and evil part of society’.2 Racisms are commonly characterised as forms of extremism. The British MP Paul Murphy, when he

in Northern Ireland and the crisis of anti-racism

In the last decade Irish society has visibly changed with the emergence of new immigrant communities of black and ethnic minorities. This book draws upon a number of academic disciplines, focusing on the relationship between ideological forms of racism and its consequences upon black and ethnic minorities. Media and political debates on racism in Ireland during this period have tended to depict it as a new phenomenon and even as one imported by asylum seekers. Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest despite a history of colonial anti-Irish racism. Citizenship reproduced inequalities between nationals on the basis of gender and race and ethnicity. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It examines the exclusionary and assimilationist consequences of Irish nationbuilding for Protestant, Jewish and Traveller minority communities. The book also considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. It examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. Finally, the book talks about anti-Traveller racism, the politics of Traveller exclusion, the work of SPIARSI, and the efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.

2 Differentiating racism and sectarianism The issue regarding whether sectarianism is racism or whether the two are distinct phenomena might initially appear to be a pedantic one. Duncan Morrow, a politics lecturer at Ulster University and former chief executive of the Community Relations Council, implies this when he says that both racism and sectarianism play a part in dividing Northern Irish society, and argues for a good relations strategy as ‘an approach that will enable racism and sectarianism to be addressed equally and together’.1 Morrow focuses on a

in Northern Ireland and the crisis of anti-racism
Abstract only

2 Racism in Ireland Introduction This chapter examines the origins and changing context of racism in Irish society. This, in the first instance, relates to shifting understandings of race and racial distinctiveness, which have impacted upon Irish society. It is argued that Ireland was never insulated from the racisms that justified the subjugation of black people by the west. Understandings of racial difference in Ireland, as elsewhere, were the product of colonial ideologies of western superiority. To some extent popular debates on prejudice and intolerance

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland

5 Rethinking anti-racism We have highlighted some inconsistencies within the Race Relations approach. In the chapter on racism and sectarianism, for example, we noted the failure to extend the UK’s Race Relations Acts to Northern Ireland in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. We also pointed out the inconsistent approach to the place of religion in Race Relations theory and policy – treating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as forms of racism, but excluding sectarianism in Northern Ireland. In the previous chapter we noted that the development of Race Relations policy

in Northern Ireland and the crisis of anti-racism

3 Racisms and the Race Relations approach In August 2005 Frank Kakopa, his wife and his two children, aged 6 and 12, arrived at Belfast City Airport on a flight from Liverpool for a weekend holiday break. Kakopa and his family had previously lived in the Republic of Ireland, and now they lived near Liverpool. They wanted to visit Northern Ireland, a part of the UK they had not visited before. The family had booked a hire car and bed and breakfast accommodation in advance and were planning to visit the Giant’s Causeway, one of Ireland’s most famous tourist sites

in Northern Ireland and the crisis of anti-racism

7 The legacy of anti-Traveller racism Introduction This chapter examines changes in responses by the state to Travellers from the establishment of a Commission on Itinerancy in 1960. The Report of the Commission on Itinerancy (1963) was followed in the ensuing decades by two major reports which outlined shifting understandings and responses to Travellers in Irish social policy. These were the Report of the Travelling People Review Body (1983) and the Report of the Task Force on the Travelling Community (1995). Together, these three reports depicted shifts in

in Racism and social change in the Republic of Ireland
Rethinking racism and sectarianism

Racism and sectarianism makes an important contribution to the discussion on the 'crisis of anti-racism' in the United Kingdom. Anti-racist theory and practice has been in crisis for more than a quarter of a century. The power of official anti-racism comes from its endorsement and institutionalisation by states in domestic and international law and in institutional practice. The book first explores whether sectarianism is racism, examining three different arguments in favour of treating racism and sectarianism as distinct phenomena. Exploring what is racism, the book examines through the prism of Race Relations theory and practice, because they constitute the dominant approach to tackling racism in the UK. The focus is on the conception of racism that underpins Race Relations policy and theory. The book agrees that the radical grassroots anti-racist movements of the 1960s and 1970s were important and that the relationship between racism and anti-racism is not straightforward. It considers the internationalisation of the Race Relations approach through the UN, and the incorporation of Race Relations into domestic UK policy. Further, the book challenges the idea that Race Relations theory is unproblematic. Anti-racisms as they actually existed in the process of historical change and development are examined. Human consciousness plays a crucial role in this process. Finally, the book explores the limitations of a Race Relations approach to harassment through a critical examination of the most recent innovation in official anti-racism, hate crime policy, which formally came into operation in Northern Ireland in September 2004.

A critical race perspective

M1426 - COULTER TEXT.qxp:GRAHAM Q7 17/7/08 08:01 Page 192 10 Whiteness, racism and exclusion: a critical race perspective Paul Connolly and Romana Khaoury The peace process has allowed us to snap out of the trance of the two traditions, that mutual obsession of nationalists and unionists, the hypnotic focus of a cobra and a mongoose about to attack each other. As the shouts and din of ancient quarrel begin to subside, we hear other voices. In Ireland today there are atheists, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, socialists, Chinese, Travellers, blacks, Muslims, gays

in Northern Ireland after the troubles

Our received narrative of the ideology of race needs to be reconsidered. It misconstrues the relationships between nineteenth-century science, race and culture, it overlooks the Victorian language of race relations which constitutes the most substantial legacy of the nineteenth century for the racism of the present, and it has no place for the

in Science, race relations and resistance