Rush Limbaugh denies term 'Paddy' for Irish is insulting
By: Niall O'Dowd | Published Saturday, May 28, 2011, 11:40 AM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 10:13 PM
Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh decided our piece about him criticizing Barack Obama's trip to Ireland was worth commenting on yesterday.
Here is his take on our article that said Irish Americans would be upset that he used the term 'Paddy; to describe Obama.
RUSH: "Apparently I did a Media Tweak of the Day yesterday, and I didn't even know it. There's a blog site out there, IrishCentral.com, and apparently I've really ticked 'em off. I suggested that we ought to start calling Obama "Paddy," which is a rational Irish nickname for Patrick, just call him Paddy because he's out there saying he's the most Irish president we ever had. They say my comments are bound to cause controversy with my Irish Americans because Paddy is offensive and used in a pejorative context. Really? I had no clue. So another bunch people offended. My gosh, you cannot avoid 'em."
If he had no clue that the term Paddy is often seen as pejorative I am a little surprised.
Calling every person of a particular race by one specific name, whether it is Paddies, Guido, Hymies (remember Jesse Jackson?) is considered offensive by many especially those on the receiving end.
I don' say this as a politically correct point, I say it as a fact.
Racists like 19th century Punch cartoonist Thomas Nast used Paddy all the time as a pejorative to describe the Irish who landed in America, He portrayed Irish Catholics as ape-like creatures.
The term 'Paddy' is definitely seen as pejorative in Britain where it carries a harder edge than in Ireland or over here.
I'm not saying it is the greatest insult in the world or even close, but it is seen as pejorative by many , unlike what Rush says.
Paddy no more is what I say.