When is it OK?

June 8, 2008 at 2:29 pm 17 comments

There has been a lot of talk ( especially with the upcoming Presidential election) about “race” . I am curious as to what defines “racism” – is it based on “ethnicity “???? That seems to be the consensus from all the definitions I have looked at this morning

However ,I have found , being first born English , a certain -shall we say lack of respect for my “cultural heritage” among certain other “cultural heritage groups” ( usually the 3rd 4 th or even 5th generation- especially here in the USA- understandable – I suppose since 1776. from the purely American perspective.

This was brought home over the weekend ( and I can take a joke better that a lot of people) . A speech that bordered on not only the insulting ( for me )“cultural racism” by a priest  (Daniel O. Divis – Office of the Secretariat)who insulted every English person and non catholic at a function. He spoke of Ulster and Northern Ireland in a way that for those of us who lived through the bombings and were directly effected by the IRA and the terrorism THEY inflicted upon a population both Irish and English , that was financed primarily from this side of the Atlantic was akin to making jokes about 911. Would you tolerate jokes about 911?

June – December 1974: The year 1974 was one of the deadliest in the IRA’s bombing campaign of mainland Britain, with several blasts targeting London.

In June, the IRA bombs the House of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people. The following month, an explosion at the Tower of London kills one person and injures 41 others, including eight children. The blast leaves many victims with badly damaged or lost limbs and serious facial injuries. Though the IRA is suspected in the bombing, no group claims responsibility.

In October, a bomb explodes at a London club whose members include retired British military officers. Three club staffers are injured. In December, the London home of Conservative leader Edward Heath is bombed; Heath is unharmed.

Sept. 5, 1975: An explosion at a hotel in central London kills two people and injures 63 others. The IRA claims responsibility.

Jan. 29, 1976: During the night, a series of bombs rock London’s West End, injuring one person.

March 30, 1979: A car bomb outside the House of Commons kills Airey Neave, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland. The Irish National Liberation Army, an Irish republican paramilitary group associated with the Irish Republican Socialist Party, claims responsibility.
NOTE I personally was there at this one.
July 20, 1982: Two IRA bombs explode in central London less than two hours apart. The blasts at Hyde Park and Regents Park kill 11 people and injure 50 others.

Dec. 17, 1983: Six people are killed and as many as 90 are wounded by an IRA bombing outside of Harrods department store in west London. The blast takes place during the busy shopping period before the Christmas holiday.

July 20, 1990: The IRA bombs the London Stock Exchange. Nobody is injured in the blast.

April 10, 1992: The IRA bombs the Baltic Exchange in London, killing three people.
Enniskillen 1987
April 24, 1993: A massive truck bomb parked in Bishopsgate tears through London, killing one person and injuring more than 40. Most of the wounded are security guards and maintenance staff. The blast shakes buildings and shatters windows, destroying a medieval church and the Liverpool Street Underground station, and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. In response, the British government erects a “ring of steel” around the city.

Feb. 10, 1996: A truck bomb rips through the Canary Wharf office development in the Docklands area of London, killing two people and wounding 39 others, and causing more than $127 million in damage. In 1997, the IRA agrees to another provisional cease-fire deal. Voters in Ireland and Northern Ireland approve the peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement in May 1998.

June – September 2000: In June 2000, the Real IRA, an Irish republican splinter group opposed to the IRA cease-fire, fires an RPG rocket at the headquarters of MI-6, the British foreign intelligence agency, in London.

March 3, 2001: Early in the morning, a car bomb targets the London offices of the BBC. One man is injured. Authorities suspect the Real IRA.

April – May 2001: Two bombs strike a north London post office within a three-week period. No one is injured in either blast, which are linked to the Real IRA.

Aug. 3, 2001: A car loaded with explosives detonates at the busy Ealing Broadway shopping center in west London, injuring seven people. The blast occurs just after midnight, as hundreds of young people are exiting pubs and clubs.

So what makes it OK for a pseudo “Irish” priest of Lorain to make the jokes and insult a group of people because they are “English”? A fellow diner said it is just ignorance of the situation– I beg to differ any Catholic Priest who claims Irish lineage KNEW exactly what he was saying, which to me makes it all the more disgraceful – am I wrong??????

You tell me when is it ok for terrorism to be lauded and applauded and when is it abhorred – is it OK to make derogatry remarks as long as it is based on culture and then only one certain segment of the population’s culture – Is it Ok to do this based on culture and not colour???

Although I did have a “word” with the man- I am sure it fell on deaf ears…… So when is it OK – tell me???? because I find this grey area very confusing ?

Entry filed under: AMNT, Brit take, personal opinion. Tags: .

Adieu til Monday The Ice Chest

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rev. Dr. Brad Donahue  |  June 8, 2008 at 10:04 pm


    What you and yours experienced was not OK. I am so sorry that someone from the Lorain Religious Community would act in that fashion.

    Please know that I personally was deeply sadden to hear about your experience, but I hope the rest of the time was a joyous celebration of love and a joyous time for all the families..

  • 2. Jill  |  June 9, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Loraine, I would be lying if I told you that I completely understand the scenario because I know I don’t, but I cannot imagine that it is ever okay, EVER. And this is what I try to point out in a lot of situations. Why must some behavior that isn’t acceptable have to be “so” extreme before it’s okay to say it’s not okay? I do not get that.

    So I think you are right to say – it’s not okay at any level.

    I know I do not always measure up to the standard of calling foul – I’m sure I don’t see nearly everything I should. I don’t mind being told I have no sense of humor when others say “they’re just joking” – if it’s not funny, it’s not funny. Period. But I know others don’t agree with me.

    I think we get to realizing that this behavior you’re pushing against is wrong by doing exactly what you’ve done – calling it out. Because if you don’t, how will anyone ever know?

    Thank you.

  • 3. kalin  |  June 9, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Loraine, If we ever cross paths with a little time to spare, I would love to talk with you about the unification of Ireland from your perspective. ( I don’t quite know how to describe the events with out using “war” or “situation” and being offensive.)

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 9, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Oh Kalin we would need hours and hours , starting from the Danes and then the events of the 11th Century 🙂 and even then I don’t think I could do justice to the situation.there was terror on all sides .. and wrong doings, hurt and tragedy…… and I am certainly not an expert but I can tell you my experiences . terror is terror no matter the perpetrator ( and the Brits have done their share over the centuries as well) we aren’t perfect .none of us are……. anytime you would like to talk I would be available…. My mind went back during that speech to a few years ago in Lorain when I had brought in Soccer Coaches from Europe to give a camp at Lorain Catholic some of the lads were staying with me one was a young man from Northern Ireland were all in the living room enjoying laughter and good times….. I Lorain was celebrating the 4th of July and as the fireworks commenced the young man from Northern Ireland ( himself an Irish Catholic) literally was surprised by the explosions of fireworks . and fell to the ground and under the table…. his face was sheer fear….. and that is what I saw in my minds eye when the speech was given……. Loraine

  • 5. Kalin  |  June 9, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Book suggestion:
    The Princes of Ireland
    by Edward Rutherfurd

    You might also enjoy his other books “London” and “Serum”

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 9, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Kalin I stopped writing (ha!) my column to give me more time to read .and I haven’t been able to finish a book for three years….. my best intentions haven’t come to fuition but I certainly will look at the material you suggest….. and hopefully my trip home this fall if that comes about will find a trip to Ireland as part of the itinery …..Ireland was the subject at breakfast this morning 🙂 and I did write for Celtic Cafe ( Irish site) among other websites and periodicals and we had the discussion re the term Hillbilly as well this morning 🙂

    The term Hill-Billies is first encountered in documents from 17th century Ireland. Roman Catholic King James II landed at Kinsale in Ireland in 1689 and began to raise a Catholic army in an attempt to regain the British throne. Protestant King William III, Prince of Orange, led an English counterforce into Ireland and defeated James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. A significant portion of William III’s army was composed of Protestants of Scottish descent (Planters) who had settled in Ulster in northern Ireland. The southern Irish Catholic supporters of James II referred to these northern Protestant supporters of King William as Hill-Billies[citation needed] and Billy Boys — Billy being an abbreviation of William.

    It is believed that the term hillbilly in the United States was conferred during the early 18th century by the occupying British soldiers as a carry over from the Irish term, in referring to Scots-Irish immigrants of mainly Presbyterian origin, dwelling in the frontier areas of the Appalachian Mountains.[citation needed] These Protestant Irish colonists brought their cultural traditions with them when they immigrated. Many of their stories, songs, and ballads dealt with the history of their Ulster and Lowland Scot homelands, especially relating the tale of the Protestant King William III, Prince of Orange.

  • 7. Kalin  |  June 9, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    That same story is told in “Princes of Ireland.” It refered to as “faction” because it is a fictional story based on fact. A suggestion for when you read it: make a photo-copy of the family tree, because it takes place aver about 20 generations. It shows a strong bias toward clan marriages.

    From my study of my father’s side of the family, we are of the celtic tribe which actually would be (as much as it is known) one off the tribes of Isreal which was being constantly forced westward through the Medetarainian Sea, up through current Spain and into Ireland over time. So we tend to be “dark” with our hair and eyes. It would have been the Nordic/Viking traders that brought the red hair, blue eyed genes that people think of with the Irish.

    The discussion that I wanted to have with you is your perspective on the fall of the British empire and how it relates to the current US empire. I see a comparision between the terrorism against the 18th century colonialism and the US influence in islamic territory.

    You and I are very similar in that we have a distinction between what we say that is based on fact, or just opinion. I like that.

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 9, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    We expanded too much and stuck our nose in everyone elses business 🙂 as far as I can tell ( speaking of the British Empire)

    One side of my family went to Ireland in the way way back few hundred years ago and changed the name ( I think they were fence sitters) as their name was protestant so in order to not be clocked by the catholics they changed it so it was neither catholic or protestant but they stopped talking to the English branch as well… pity that as apparently they had a grand manor house .wouldn’t mind staying in a grand manor house…. 🙂
    On my fathers side I am a direct descendent of John Bunyan of Pilgrims Progress ( of course he wrote that in jail and was in there for being foul mouthed and not looking after his family and being a bit of a loud mouth so see it isn’t my fault I am a product of my lineage 🙂

  • 9. Kaye Coller  |  June 9, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Edward Rutherfurd is one of my favorite authors. I’m about half-way through The Princes of Ireland and it’s excelent.

  • 10. wonderingbrit  |  January 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    there is a difference between ‘black humor’ that gets us through the worse things in life and that to which is an insult.
    I would dearly love to read a transcript of what this priest had to say because the irony is that the war of independence was neither actually won or lost. What it was replaced by was the worlds first truly international trade agreement between the US and UK. Also, by the truth of US multicultural origins (native american’s aside), it was by definition British and the people British. Ireland was also British at this time.
    Ireland is a country I love and I travel over quite a bit to see friends and my dentist – but Northern Ireland is a different beast altogether and as a former soldier I know this all too well. Simply put the IRA may of had noble beginnings but it simply turned into a massive money making organization. While they set off many bombs, they never really brought the country to a standstill and I for one can think of many ways they could have done this – this means as a terror or freedom fighting group they weren’t actually very effective at all and of course their focus was elsewhere.

  • 11. thatwoman  |  January 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Wonderingbrit. for commenting .

    There was no transcript available .it was after all a wedding and the best man was a former soldier in Northern Ireland as well, as were his father grandfather and great grandfather. Although his father and grandfather didn’t serve in Ireland.
    I am all for “black humour” and for the Americans that is translated as follows
    “black humour – the juxtaposition of morbid and farcical elements (in writing or drama) to give a disturbing effect”
    and actually here in the US I have to curtail that aspect of my personality 🙂 ( it isn’t always understood)

    The IRA may not have been effective as a terror “organization” but the harm and pain they caused to their victims was and still is unworthy and caused terror in the young and old alike .

  • 12. wonderingbrit  |  January 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I agree, I witnessed some pretty awful stuff back then and the IRA ruled over the N.I. population with a horrific iron fist of butchery.
    That is of course not to say that we weren’t protagonists when in country, but the death toll and maimed count for themselves.

    I would have been more inclined to ask the RC priest about how much contact he had with minors – but as you say, that kind of humor may well not have worked LOL

    Have a great New Year

  • 13. thatwoman  |  January 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    OOOOOOO wonderingbrit- I must say that did cross my mind if not exactly my tongue- to say I laughed out loud at that response will probably not endear me to those that think I am all sweetness and light 🙂 the British sense of humour doesn’t always translate here .again thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts Loraine

  • 14. The Troubles- again??? « That Woman’s Weblog  |  March 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    […] 8, 2009 The terror returns in time for St. Patrick’s Day “This news no doubt will be traveling fast. Only a few […]

  • 15. The Broken heart- Trigger response « That Woman’s Weblog  |  January 31, 2010 at 2:16 pm

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June 2008

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