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.
Social Change in the Republic of Ireland, locates racism
in Irish society within a historical context. It is argued in Chapter 2
that Ireland was never immune from the racistideologies that
governed relationships between the west and the rest, despite a
history of colonial anti-Irish racism.
The title of the book also alludes to social change resulting from
recent immigration. To some extent the politicisation of asylum
issues in Ireland has mirrored responses throughout ‘Fortress Europe’
and in other western countries. Newspaper headlines during 1997
Worley, Against the grain.indd 218
Anti-racism and the socialist left, 1968–79
The Grunwick strike
A further politically potent response emanating from socialist activists was
the effective mobilisation of the working class and trade unions in support
of racialised minority workers striking against racism and poor working
conditions. The most visible manifestation of such working-class solidarity
and the rejection of racistideologies took place between 1976 and 1978
during the Grunwick dispute. 53 Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories
interests. In this way they were
involved in the construction and manipulation of racistideologies. In
the late twentieth century the representations of inequality and racism
in advertising and culture were frequently less overt, although the
changing political and economic climate in Europe and America may lead
to this changing in the twenty-first century. Even the images that
appear to represent global
of Europe in relation to the non-European
world. The fourth section, ‘State Advertising’, tried to
draw a sense of relationship between capital and the state, through the
state’s use of similar racistideologies. The final
section, ‘The Black Consumer’, raised questions about black
people’s reception of advertisements directed at a predominantly
white audience. 3 While
jobs. It was, however, to be the Nazis’ racistideology which was to have the most impact on women’s lives, with those deemed racially inferior or of little value to the Aryan race, including those with hereditary illnesses, asocials, the Jews, and the gypsies, facing discrimination and exclusion from the national, racial community.
1 E. Weitz, ‘Weimar Germany and the Dilemmas of Liberty’, in J. C. Friedman (ed.), The Routledge History of the Holocaust (London: Routledge, 2010), p. 59.
2 An exception was to be women who lost
racistideologies of ‘white’
western superiority as well as other racisms which held the Irish to
be inferior. According to Holmes, Ireland acquired an ‘unwelcome
heritage’ of colonialism that sits ill at ease with its reputation as a
country that struggled against colonialism.24
Colonialism and Irish identity
McVeigh notes that Philip Sheridan, an Irish emigrant to the USA
who rose to be commander in chief of the American army, coined
and lived by the phrase that ‘the only good injun is a dead one’.25 The
genocide of Native Americans found ongoing ideological
unrecognized. The privilege
of mimesis is thus unintentionally arrogated to the European body,
even if the production efficiently stages national fantasies of otherness
embodied by Africa and the African native. In conceiving whether an
anti-naturalist staging escapes racistideologies, it is enough to consider how Europe’s white dress does not perform whiteness under the
same conditions that the white actor’s painted body as Africa performs
blackness. This equivalency is undermined by the direct relationship
that prevails between a symbolic practice and its
Jokes, racism and Black and Asian voices in British comedy television
against the practice from black Londoners.
See ITA Archive, File 3995803, David Pitt to the Director General of the BBC,
16 May 1967.
20 ‘Peace and Goodwill’, Till Death Us Do Part, BBC, 26 December 1966.
21 ‘Alf’s Dilemma’, Till Death Us Do Part, BBC, 27 February 1967. Television.
22 ‘TV Licence’, Till Death Us Do Part, BBC, 2 January 1974. Television.
23 See Malik, Representing Black Britain, p. 97; Husband, Charles, ‘Racist Humour
and RacistIdeology in British Television: Or I Laughed till You Cried’, in George
Paton and Chris Powell (eds), Humour in
other social and political processes to produce distinct forms of ‘racialised’ inequality. 13 The concept of racialisation describes the ways in which racistideologies and beliefs function as a mechanism for demarcating defined groups, such as ethnic minorities, in ways that legitimise their marginalisation or social exclusion. 14 Racism, then, is an imprecise term often loosely used to describe a collection of inter-related prejudices, beliefs and ideologies which assume the biological or cultural inferiority of distinct groups. Racism can be broadly defined as