Sunday 17 December 2017

Poison that lurks under our skin

It would be a mistake to believe that we are prejudice-free because it can break out any time, writes Willie Kealy

Willie Kealy

Willie Kealy

Nobody in Ireland is prejudiced. Well, they can't be because everybody says: "I'm not prejudiced." This is always a confident declaration, not like "I'm not a racist, but.." or "I'm no prude, but.." There is no qualification.

We all seem to know that we don't judge others unfairly based on whether they are men, women, gay or straight, black, white or yellow, Traveller or settled person.

Of course, for centuries we were never prejudiced -- if you exclude the English -- but that was before the first people of colour started to arrive on our shores. We didn't mind the odd black baby in our midst, usually the result of a not always lasting union between one of our women and a foreign medical student or other transitory. We might even have regarded them as a bit exotic, but we didn't exactly encourage our children to marry them. But never mind, we spent tonnes of spare change and sent many holy men to save the souls of the black babies in Africa.

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