Sunday 25 February 2018

Irish victim of racial slurs goes viral with her cartoon of ongoing abuse

‘Wow! I love exotic girls’

The cartoon Úna-Minh Caomhánach posted on social media to highlight examples of racial abuse she says she has experienced.
The cartoon Úna-Minh Caomhánach posted on social media to highlight examples of racial abuse she says she has experienced.
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

A blogger from Kerry has created a cartoon image to reflect the abuse and racism that she experiences on a daily basis.

Úna-Minh Caomhánach was born in Vietnam and was adopted by a woman in Kerry.

She speaks fluent Irish, as she was taught Gaelic from the age of three by her adoptive grandfather.

Ms Caomhánach (25) has previously said that she is "more Irish than I will ever be Vietnamese". But she said she is insulted with a range of racial slurs regularly.

Over the weekend, the freelance writer posted an image online of a sample of the kind of horrific insults that are hurled at her. The disgusting remarks included "Asian slut", "slit eye weirdo" and "send this chow mein back to China".

She said: "I drew this because it has happened to me again and again. These are real comments and racial slurs from very real people."

Úna-Minh Caomhánach
Úna-Minh Caomhánach

The social media post garnered support from followers who commended her bravery. Father Ted writer Graham Linehan shared his thoughts on the post and said it reminded him of an incident that inspired him to write the episode 'Are You Right There Father?' The episode sees Fr Ted offending the Chinese population of the fictional Craggy Island with his 'Chinaman' impression and he is branded a racist.

But Ms Caomhánach's post also provoked further racist insults. She responded to the trolls by publicly retweeting their comments and responding to them.

Attack

"Incidentally, the racial attack directed at me at the very top of that drawing? This is the full version sent to me by PM," she wrote on Twitter. "Also just want to stress again I'm totally grand. This stuff just NEEDS to be highlighted not pushed under the rug.

"Just do me a favour, please don't tell me to just ignore them because that's easy to say when it's not happening to you online and offline."

Ms Caomhánach previously wrote about a sickening assault on Parnell Street when a young boy grabbed her face and spat at her. The group of boys also shouted at her that she was "a f**king chink".

Ms Caomhánach, a mental health ambassador for See Change Ireland, said she has become desensitised to all the racial comments thrown at her, but it was the first time she was physically assaulted because of her race, saying the incident, in June 2013, "shook me to the core".

"What these teenage boys did was unacceptable, disgusting and foolish," she said. "I shouldn't need to hide or feel scared in my own country. I've the right to be able to call myself Irish; sure, if anyone talked to me they'd hear a strong Kerry accent. I am an Irish citizen, and nothing will change that."

She said it wasn't the first time she has been racially abused. "I couldn't even count how many times 'ching chong' or 'slanty eyes' insults have been thrown my way," she said.

Irish Independent

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