Steve Sailer links to a Washington Post piece which takes on the claim that the Irish were not always considered White. Funny, I had a post ready to go in which I mention, once again, that silly canard. (My post was to have been about widely-believed myths.)
I had wondered how and why this idea became so widely repeated, and it appears that the source, at least in our time, is the notorious anti-White academic Noel Ignatiev with his book How the Irish Became White. Apparently that book’s use in the de rigueur ‘whiteness studies’ movement on campuses has spread the canard.
I’ve written about the claim in past posts, usually in exasperation with somebody spreading this idea on ‘right-wing’ blogs or forums. Now, we know the left loves to assert anything that makes Whites look bad, or casts the past in a bad light. The belief that other Whites refused to include the Irish (or the Italians, or whatever other ethnic White group) makes us look exclusionary and mean-spirited.
Usually the claim is bolstered by things like old political cartoons, satirical images like those in Punch magazines of long ago. There’s this example
from an 1876 British magazine, Judy, Or the London Serio-Comic Journal.
Some people see depictions like the one above as ‘simian’ in appearance. Whatever. I think it depicts a certain ‘type’ of Irishman, but I don’t see how the man in the above picture could be called non-White.
As for the Italians and Jews being considered non-White, well, if one’s standard of Whiteness is based on the Northern European type, then obviously Italians and Jews differ from that phenotype in certain ways, sometimes by darker skin.
The Jews (and the writer of the WaPo piece is named Bernstein) are another story, apparently considering themselves White when convenient and ‘Other’ when it serves a purpose. I have personally heard some Jewish people using the term ‘White folks’ or ‘Whites’ in the third person, and they certainly seem to side, in most cases with ‘The Other’, against Whites. The DNA studies reported by Johns Hopkins in 2013, to which I’ve alluded a couple of times, show a mixed origin for Jews. However when it came to immigration they were evidently considered White.
As the article points out, and as a commenter on the Sailer blog astutely points out, none of the above-mentioned ethnicities were excluded from marrying Whites, during the time when miscegenation was illegal, and interracial marriages forbidden. I’ve noted that before, too.
So why exactly is this idea that the ‘Irish weren’t considered White’ so popular these days, cropping up repeatedly amongst even ethnonationalist or ‘WN’ commenters?
My instinct is to say that it’s popular, in part, because the victimhood card is so often played these days; why not jump on the bandwagon? It amounts to trying to shame the alleged victimizer and to claim the moral high ground, having been unjustly treated and wronged. And who then is the target of the shaming? As usual, the WASP, the Angl0-American, because he was the dominant one in America in the days when this wrong was alleged to have happened. WASPs are often pictured in fiction and in leftist history books as snobs and haughty bigots who saw everyone else as inferior. They kept certain people out of their exclusive clubs! No doubt snobs exist in any group, but for people who were so intolerant, they oddly opened up the gates to admit millions of supposedly ‘non-White’ peoples in the past.
As far as the left is concerned, they spread these kinds of false ideas to divide White Americans along ethnic lines, as if we aren’t already divided in many ways.