It’s a truth rarely acknowledged that Irish insulting stereotypes are bandied about at an alarming rate in the US and elsewhere. All you have to do is Google search the words Ireland and funny and the results are astounding.
What is truly surprising is that we as Irish and Irish Americans don’t get more annoyed.
Around St. Patrick’s Day 2012 Urban Outfitters were berated by the Irish community in the US for their insulting holiday line including an offensive hat, featuring the Irish yoga graphic, and merchandise which generally played up to the idea of the Irish and Irish Americans being drunken fools. Sadly the chain seemed to be happy with the extra publicity and went on to also insult Native Americans with another line of clothing.
Just recently the governor-elect for Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, when questioned as to whether he could achieve his business goals said, “as an Irish Catholic I’m adept at taking people out for drinks and doing whatever it takes to get things done.” The Irish fraternal organization, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, responded angrily.
Since Thomas Nast's racist cartoons, depicting the Irish as simian buffoons, the Irish have been putting up with with this kind of insulting insensitivity. Is it not time for us to be offended?
Here are just some of the images, regarded as jokes, we found online. BE WARNED - some are quite rude: