Race debate: Mayor’s ‘black Africans’ comments prompt passionate arguments online
Published 23/11/2011 | 09:59
THE resignation and apology of Naas mayor Darren Scully over his remarks about ‘black Africans’ being ‘aggressive and bad mannered’ has sparked a powerful debate about the issue of race in Ireland.
Comments on independent.ie ranged from the politically correct to remarks that verged on incitement to hatred.
Mr Scully, who has quit his position of mayor but is still a member of Fine Gael attracted support and derision in the debate online.
Yashik Nanan posted: “I am an immigrant - and I'm a professional and very productive member of the Irish society.
“We are being headhunted to work here! and as unbelievable as this may seem, Ireland isn't some kind of heaven for us. moving here came with lots of sacrifices for us too.
“It's time the Irish people appreciate the very positive impact tax-paying immigrants are having on this country.
“We didn't steal the jobs from you - you weren't prepared to do the job to start with! but you're ok going to Australia or Canada and working as a waitress!”
Vincent Black added: “It is appalling but not surprising to see how many racists exist in Ireland just by reading some of the comments. If tinkers have a hard time getting a hotel to host a wedding, black Africans are surely in big trouble especially now when the Eurozone is in crisis.
“I would never look at all Irish people as drunks or even look at all Greeks as tax evaders. That is just wrong. “I've legally worked in Ireland for more than 6 years and never did I on one day join a dole queue. I have been racially abused on a few occasions, but I'm intelligent enough to understand that racist people do exist in society.
“I just hold my head up high and never take it out on my Irish friends/colleagues because I know besides the violent gangs, greedy politicians and bankers who have all in some way brought this country on its knees, the majority of the Ireland is made up of good hardworking people.
“According to CSO, Africans represent only 0.8pc of the Irish population, a very small proportion. Yes, as an African I do agree that the system is taken advantage of by not only Africans but other nationalities and even Irish people.
“This problem can only be solved by sound policies, not xenophobic statements like "kick them out" or "Darren Scully is saying what EVERY Irish person is thinking".
"I guess being black does make you stand out and that is where the problem is. I guess After the blacks are kicked out, tinkers are next. I guess the shop Claires will be overstocked with loopy earrings once tinkers are ejected.”
But Bereire objected strongly to this perspective: “We are now in the grip of the new Inquisition, where the high priests of PC will demand your head for any deviancy from the new orthodoxy.
“ This orthodoxy insists that you cannot say anything about ethnic minorities, all bastions of virtue of course. “However, you can say what you like about white males or the Catholic Church without any facts at all, Indeed, the latter is the reason why RTE are to be investigated in relation to their disgusting lies about Fr Reynolds.”
And a poster identified as Jamesk7931 said: “I am disgusted and appalled that Darren Scully has been forced to resign. He has been honest and he is been treated like a criminal.
“The Irish government and people need to be careful they do not end up like the UK. I totally understand where Mr Scully is coming from. The Irish people need to reunite before Ireland is known as just another 's***hole' (as used to describe London at the moment).”
Odonovdm wrote: “My God at last a man of the people stands up to be counted !!!
“ bad day for the common man. This country is a welfare state. Most of these people are over here to screw the system dry – free house, free entitlements, free medical.
“In an age of available contraception can so many people get pregnant. It’s all a scam to get benefits/housing and the taxpayer is footing the bill. Mr Darren Scully, I salute you.”
Michael McGrath agreed: “There's far too much PC, we're gone too far with it, especially as the mayor did not in fact make any racist remark but simply reported his bad experiences with his African constituents, that they were agressive, that they played the Race Card looking for houses, in particular.
“Now he's resigned some loony liberal nutters are still not satisfied, they want blood, their pound of flesh.”
Kildaregirl disagreed: “It’s funny how us Irish people regularly forget there are millions of us all over the world, who have migrated to so many countries in the world (and by the way still are doing so this very minute now that the country has become this way) have lived great lives and yet we do this when people come to our own country.
“It’s a shame a man in politics, elected by us, who should be a representation of our values, stands and says such a thing. I am concerned about what we are teaching our children.
“ I’m thinking so if an educated, well mannered black African walked into his office, politely asked to be represented, he would quickly refer her to another TD just because the colour of her skin is black. How stupid is that?”
Ablackafrican despaired: “The general consensus on this thread would appear to suggest a silent majority who for whatever reason have certain prejudices about immigrants in general.
Those prejudices are kind of ironic considering the history of Ireland and emigration; historically, the Irish in the Diaspora are well acquainted with prejudice of this type.”
John O’Driscoll wrote: “Can't stand the Irish as a general rule. Feckless, lazy, drunken, dirty, dishonest, untruthful, hypocritical, immoral, back-stabbing, sell their own mothers for a percentage, whinging, self-pitying, begrudging, po-faced, pig-ignorant, intolerant, sure, they have good music and of course stout peasant physiques which - when they're not bloated from too much booze and lack of exercise - can occasionally produce a sporting champion or two...but as a general rule, can't stand them.
“ Being a Brit myself of course I know what I'm talking about. 90 odd years ago we left them a perfectly good country, great infrastructure (best railway system in Europe), best in class civil service and legislation, unpolluted watercourses, some marvelous neo-classical buildings (the ones they didn't burn down that is).
“And look what a toilet they turned it into. Bloody paddy never happy unless he has a pig in the parlour and the wife half-dead from multiple pregnancies.
“Of course there are the exceptions. The occasional ''good Irish''. My mother, my father, my brother, my sisters, my kids. But as a general rule, really, give them an hundred years and they're basically back in the jungle.
“I'm not racist of course. I've absolutely loads of evidence to back up what I say. Just look about you. It's everywhere.”
IrishAfricanWorldNational wrote: “Disgusting mentality...What would be your comments if doctors refuse to see alcoholics and smokers because it’s their own fault??
“What if cleaners stop cleaning public toilets as who so ever did the s**t should clean the whole lot? What if America and Australia and Canada refuse entry to all of us as the economic down turn is our fault? For heavens sack, please get real and open up your hearts and minds as rest of the world has opened up for our ancestors in the past and for us now...
“Do not forget we are emigrating in our thousands to other countries. Put yourself in the position of an immigrant and tell me how you will think if politicians in other countries refuse to listen to you as you are Irish.”
Bearded Lady had a different position on the controversy: “Well said Scully, the majority of Ireland supports you and have been at the receiving end of this aggressiveness from that section of uninvited and unwelcomed arrivals to our country. Time more stood up and were counted. Great man indeed.”
TonyH wrote: “I worked with Africans for many years. I was called a "racist" twice: once for stopping someone from smoking in a no-smoking area, and once for stopping a guy from beating up his wife.
“For many years we had people well into their 30's coming here and claiming to be "unaccompanied minors" While it's wrong, if the system is that stupid people will sponge off it. But the party is over (for everyone).
“I can't count how many times I was told that the Irish were stupid, that ‘you pay for me!’
“The only time I heard the 'N-word' was from one black person to another.”
Mike Igoe summed hup his view: “These threads do attract extremist views... we have to believe that the majority aren't so cruel and hateful as some of the people on here.
“Of course, both sides here claim to be anointed by the 'silent majority'... this whole thing has bummed me out too.”