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Claims Irish lobby is racist to seek visas for their own undocumented

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The most racist, anti-Irish book I’ve read in a long time crossed my desk today.

No, it wasn’t some Celt-hating citizen of Britain who wrote it. Rather, it was an “associate” college professor, Jennifer Nugent Duffy, the Yonkers-born daughter of Irish immigrants who still run a prominent bar there called Nugent’s. I won’t be paying a visit anytime soon. 

I should have known by the name of the book, perhaps, and “Who’s Your Paddy” as a title gives the plot away. It is a blatant attempt to demonize and denigrate the Irish in Yonkers where she grew up.

Nugent Duffy is especially scathing about Irish efforts to win immigration reform. The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, she says, has adopted a “race-conscious and racist lobbying agenda.”

The basis of Nugent Duffy’s book is that she divides the Irish into “Good Paddies” and “Bad Paddies” (racist in itself), but really finds there is little difference between them.

The Good Paddies pretend to be upstanding Americans, but most become Bad Paddies and spew hate the first chance they get.

This monstrosity will be published in time for Christmas by New York University Press, surprising given that university’s stellar tradition in Irish Studies. Did they ever hear of proper editors?

Nugent Duffy is associate professor of history at Western Connecticut State University. 

Her world-view is that of a self-hating Irish Catholic woman, and everyone she encounters must fit the stereotype.

Even her own parents do not escape the name-calling and are called “White Flighters,” people, she explains, who endorsed a white-only racial mix and fled mixed neighborhoods.

Slamming your own parents? This is truly a monumental steaming pile of horse dung of a book.
Are there racists in Yonkers? Of course.

Are there racists in every community in America? Of course.

To demonize and conclude that all are racist is something else entirely.

Such nuances completely escape this colleen on a kamikaze mission against her own kind.

Coming in the week when that same Yonkers community turned out in its thousands to help the stricken Gill family, who lost their daughter in an horrific car accident, it is a dreadful indictment of a beleaguered community from one of their own.

No mention either of the great work of the Aisling Center which organizes food runs for the homeless of whatever color every week.

Because of Nugent Duffy’s local ties, she secured numerous interviews with local Irish. I’m sure many will deeply regret the access given as they are presented in the worst possible light in order to confirm her own prejudices.

Even though she uses pseudonyms, it is obvious to me who many of them are.

She even has “informants” who she sends to various events to report back to her with the worst news they can gather.

ILIR meeting
ILIR meeting

Mostly that is about Irish having drinks or carousing after events for the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR), of which I am a founder.  That’s when she says the “Bad Irish Paddy” slips out.

Nugent Duffy had one informer go to a fundraiser for ILIR, which was a variation on a popular bachelor dating game. She reports in horror that “all the bachelors were loaded.” Some also used bad words!

“What if members of Congress saw this?” the book exclaims.

What indeed! Heavens to Betsy.

She castigates another ILIR fundraiser, a “Cultchie (sic) of the Year” fundraiser – a harmless event celebrating rural Ireland at which everyone, almost all from rural parts of the country, has a good time.

But they had way too much fun for associate professor Nugent Duffy, who accuses them of “mocking a rural stereotype.” She just can’t help her political correctness.

But wait, there’s more. The esteemed professor gravely accuses the band Cray and Dempsey of changing words to a song they sang at ILIR rallies. The original lines are “We’re Irish and we’re rocking. All we wanna do is rock and roll.”

Allegedly their crime is that they changed the words on a raucous weekend night in a Yonkers bar to “We’re Irish and we’re rocking and all we wanna do is f*** and drink.”

This dreadful slight on the professor’s tender ears takes a full page in her book and is used as evidence of Bad Paddyism.

There are even bars in Yonkers who are serving underage drinkers she claims, and one was even closed down for a while. Coming from a bar owner’s daughter that is some comment to make.

On the way back from an ILIR rally in Washington, the professor is disgusted to see some “Bad Paddies” light up and smoke.

“Then,” she writes, “the Bad Irish Paddy could be kept hidden on this day, but only for so long.”

Jesus wept.

Senator Charles Schumer and ILIR President Ciaran Staunton
Senator Charles Schumer and ILIR President Ciaran Staunton

It also appears we are not allowed to lobby for our undocumented the way so many other groups lobby for theirs – and if we do we are racists for doing so.

Were the Australians racists when they got a special visa deal? How about the Mexicans when they got one? The Polish when they sought one?

But the book contains no mention of those groups. Just the racist ILIR.

The president of ILIR is my brother-in-law, Ciaran Staunton, and I often joke with him about the amount of time he spends lobbying with other groups, liaising with ethnic lobbies from across the country.

If she had bothered interviewing him instead of using secret little informers she might have learned a lot more in her research.

He and other leaders in ILIR such as Bart Murphy in San Francisco and Billy Lawless in Chicago have reached out across this country to build grassroots links with other ethnic groups to bring about immigration reform.

Billy Lawless (left) attending an immigrant rights meeting
Billy Lawless (left) attending an immigrant rights meeting

None of this permeates the dull blade of a brain of Miss Prim and Proper, but it surely should have impacted some editor to ask some pertinent questions about where the associate professor’s racist taunts came from – or has political correctness run amok in our colleges altogether?

Apparently a whole clutch of academics helped Nugent Duffy write her garbage. They too, especially those from NYU, should be listed in this Hall of Shame.

The writer gives a special shout out to her Irish family and friends, so let’s give them a rip roaring acknowledgement too.

Let’s hear it for Seamus, Nora, Jimmy and Sean Nugent, the Boyles and Boylettes and the Dundalk Duffys – not forgetting her partner Niall Duffy.

Folks, be proud. Gypo Nolan has nothing on your girl.

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