The Irish in America need to take the lead on the anti-Muslim sentiment which is now rampant.
We too faced discrimination. We should never forget that we had the ‘No Irish Need Apply’ signs to battle.
The downright anti Irish Catholic rhetoric lasted, in many cases, right up until John F. Kennedy became president.
The rhetoric back then was just as hateful and from some very surprising spokesmen.
“Faced with the election of a Catholic our culture is at stake,” said the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, famous ironically for “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
That is what Norman Vincent Peale and others tried to do to Irish Catholics back in the era of John F. Kennedy.
The attempt to paint Muslims as other along the same lines, to portray them as evil ‘ an alien presence in our midst is an attempt to demonize large numbers of American citizens.
We have seen all this before. Writing in a journal called The Survey in 1912 scientist Lesley Goddard found "82 percent of Russian immigrants, 80 percent of Hungarians, 79 percent of Italians, and 76 percent of Jews to be morons."
There was only one moron and it was Goddard
"When fascism comes to America It will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross’ Sinclair Lewis stated in 1935. We should remember that in this period of race baiting and intolerant voices.
What is needed is dialogue and calm discussion, not demented appeals to our worst natures.
We Irish can help lead the way.