IAUC Condemns Racism

 

OUR OUTRAGE

We, the Officers of the Irish American Unity Conference, express our outrage at the ongoing, deep-seated, brutal racism that is destroying the fabric of our country. We condemn in particular the recent cold-blooded murders of African-American fellow citizens, including children, in Minnesota, Georgia, Texas, Florida, New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, Baltimore, East St. Louis, and Louisville. We stand in solidarity with our African-American sisters and brothers not only in this time of crisis but at all times. There are disturbing parallels between America’s racism and the state-sponsored political and religious discrimination and violence imposed for over eight hundred years on native Irish people in the north of Ireland. It is not a coincidence that the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement took its inspiration and strategies from the Civil Rights movement in the United States to fight for justice and an end to oppression.

We are painfully aware that recent racist events in this country are not an anomaly or aberration, but rather are a continuation of the violence perpetrated against people of color for hundreds of years, often state-sanctioned, to intimidate and deny equal citizenship to a significant segment of our society. We declare our resolve that the United States must once and for all acknowledge and stop its endemic racism or fail its founding principles of equality and justice for all. None of us can be silent, for if we are not part of the solution then we are part of the problem.

— Statement by leadership of the Irish American Unity Conference, Peter Kissel, President, George Trainor, Vice-President, Kevin Barry, Treasurer and Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin, Secretary.

GREATLY DISTURBED

The New York Irish Center is greatly disturbed by the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of law enforcement. It is a stark reminder of the underlying injustices that are the counter-examples that have long blotted the ideal image we all hold in our minds for this great country. Sadly, we know that these injustices often lie in the divisiveness of racism, in all its forms. It is the stain that has truly been the single biggest obstacle to the pursuit of happiness for every American. Of all the groups that have been oppressed by discrimination in the United States, and this includes the Irish, African Americans have felt its cruel hand more than any others. The New York Irish Center is in solidarity with all those who stand against this discrimination and racism. Our stance is in keeping with our trackrecord of seeking to unite, not divide, be it our work with the LGBTQ community via our networking series, “The Story Continues,” or our exploration of the increasing population of mixed-race Irish in our great city through our hosting, in conjunction with the Cuala Foundation, of Lorraine Maher’s #IAmIrish exhibit, and beyond.

Being keenly familiar with the divided land of Ireland, we abhor injustice wherever we see it, and we believe in the right to protest. We cannot give in to those whose business it is to divide us, and we must not fight injustice with injustice. As my mother, may she rest in peace, would often say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Therefore, we must remember that there are countless public servants, police and politicians alike, who step out into an uncertain world every day and sincerely want to make it a better one.

We must continue to have faith that our better natures as a people will carry the day, but recent events remind us there is still much work to be done.

— Statement by Paul Finnegan, Executive Director New York Irish Center.

OUR CONDOLENCES

Emerald Isle would like to share our condolences with the family of George Floyd and all families affected by these injustices against the black community. We also share our concern with all families affected by COVID19. It is important now more than ever that we stand together in solidarity with our black communities and continue to work on making New York a better and safer place for them.

We have seen the disproportionate affect COVID19 has had on our black and brown communities. We know that we now need to strive for change and have these voices heard. At Emerald Isle we are encouraging everyone to fill out the New York Census so that our black and brown communities can be represented and receive much needed resources.

— Statement from the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in New York.

AS WE GRIEVE

“The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally…” – the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic

As we grieve in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner and so many other Black lives, Irish American Writers & Artists pauses to reflect on the following tenets of our declared mission:

IAW&A is committed both to bringing together the Irish American creative community in new self-awareness and to being a force for inter-ethnic and interracial solidarity, understanding and active cooperation.

In the long tradition of Irish resistance to oppression and struggle for liberty, IAW&A supports free speech, the rights of immigrants, the equality and dignity of all-regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation – and the process of peaceful, positive social change in the U.S., Ireland and around the world. While avoiding party affiliation and endorsing no candidates for public office, IAW&A is outspoken in defense of artistic freedom, human rights and social justice.

— Statement from the Board of Irish American Writers & Artists.

NO THANKS

Because of the opinion column calling for using the military against American citizens on American soil – and the obvious pain it causes for the paper’s journalists of color – I have decided not to seek the New York Times endorsement and I call on my opponents in this race to do the same. Sadly, any endorsement from an editorial board that supports the publication of such un-American demands at a time of great pain and turmoil is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

No U.S. Senator should be calling out the military on the pages of the New York Times. And no real progressive leader can morally accept the paper’s endorsement. We must stand with those protesting the paper’s policy, and reject their consideration until this and all similar columns are struck from the Times archives and an apology is issued by the editorial board and publisher.

No one respects the right to free speech more than I do – and no one has more respect for journalism. That’s exactly why I reject this process. And that’s why I’m canceling my interview. Every progressive seeking election in this country should do the same.

— Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel reacting to an op-ed column in the New York Times penned by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

FECKLESS MANAGEMENT

Last night a New York City Police Officer was stabbed in the neck in an unprovoked attack and two others were shot. New York City is burning to the ground on Mayor De Blasio’s watch. His feckless management and lack of leadership serve neither protestor nor police officer, not to mention the other 8 million New Yorkers. This is not just one isolated incident, this is the culmination of a lifetime record of adherence to socalled progressive ideals at the expense of police officers and citizens. It’s time for Governor Cuomo to remove him from office. The NYPD has been out doing their jobs while under attack for a week straight. Now it’s time for Cuomo to do his: remove De Blasio from office now.

— Statement from Republican Party candidate for New York’s 14th Congressional District, John Cummings.

GAME OFF

The organizers of the Aer Lingus Classic football game between Notre Dame and Navy have today announced that the game will not take place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on August 29, at an estimated cost to the Irish economy of €80 million.

Both teams have agreed that it is in the best interests of their staff and supporters to now play the U.S. Colleges Football season opener at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, USA.

In another huge blow to the Irish economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, almost 40,000 fans from both teams were due to travel to Ireland from the U.S. for the game.

The moving of the 2020 fixture from Dublin, will see a direct economic loss of €80 million to the Irish economy according to the Steering Committee of the Game Series, which is a public/private partnership.

In addition to the large number that planned to travel, the game was due to be televised coast-to-coast in the U.S. by ESPN to an estimated 6 million viewers. ESPN’s College GameDay pre-show was also due to be broadcasted live from College Green in Dublin.

The five-game Aer Lingus College Football Classic Series is now due to start in 2021, which is estimated by Grant Thornton and Fáilte Ireland to be worth a €250 million boost to the Irish economy over the coming years.

— From a report in the Irish Independent.

 

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