Irish singer and poet Imelda May has penned a powerful new poem in support of the Black Lives Matter movement arguing that Irish people have no right to be racist.
"You Don't Get To Be Racist And Irish" documents Irish people's history of immigration and emigration and May says that it is now time for Irish people to return the favor.
"We emigrated. We immigrated. We took refuge," May says in the poem. "So cannot refuse. When it’s our time. To return the favor."
The poem also touches on Ireland's history and heritage, pointing out the hypocrisy of singing songs glorifying Irish freedom, the Famine, and martyrs in the struggle for Irish independence while simultaneously ignoring or looking down on people who are now suffering.
"You don’t get to be proud of your heritage, plights and fights for freedom while kneeling on the neck of another," the poem says.
"You’re not entitled to sing songs of heroes and martyrs, mothers and fathers who cried as they starved in a famine. Or of brave-hearted soft-spoken poets and artists lined up in a yard blindfolded and bound."
The poem chronicles the suffering Irish people endured as they helped to build cities across the world and the prejudice and discrimination they encountered.
The Dublin singer-songwriter also references the "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" slogan that appeared in shop windows in Britain in the mid-20th century. May, however, has crafted a more open and embracing slogan.
"More Blacks. More Dogs. More Irish."
May released her powerful poem on her Instagram account on June 3 and is set to release her debut spoken word EP "Slip of the Tongue" later this month.