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Malachi O'Doherty

We can oppose racism without accepting guilt for what previous generations did to compound it

Malachi O'Doherty


What really matters is the pain and injustice that lingers now ... not who suffered more in the past

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Demonstators during a Black Lives Matter protest at Marble Arch, central London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Demonstators during a Black Lives Matter protest at Marble Arch, central London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Demonstators during a Black Lives Matter protest at Marble Arch, central London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Were the Irish ever slaves? There appear to be two competing reasons for saying that they were. On the one hand, it makes the case that the Irish have a history of oppression equal to the worst that any people on Earth have suffered and deserve some recognition of that.

It identifies us with the African Americans and what they have come through; from being herded like beasts out of their native lands, sold like cattle and denied all recognition of their humanity.

This argument is one of identification with the oppressed of the world. It says: we understand you and stand beside you, because our experience is the same.