St. Patrick’s Day Meets Political Correctness

St. Patrick’s Day Meets Political Correctness

St. Patrick’s Day Meets Political Correctness

This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone is Irish for the day. We’ll wear green, drink beer, play our Irish music playlists, and maybe go to a parade. ‘Tis a grand day for us all, even if we have little or no Irish in our heritage. Everyone loves St. Patrick’s Day! Best of all, no one cares about political correctness.

But of course there’s always got to be that turd in the punchbowl — or should I say, the Guinness? This year’s contribution comes courtesy of David McGrath, a professor emeritus from the College of DuPage near Chicago. He wrote a column for the Chicago Tribune in which he tells us “Why this Irishman does not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”

Yep, every party has its pooper.

Chicago is a big St. Patrick’s Day town. The city offers three parades this year, and will once again dye the Chicago River green in honor of the day.

But Mr. McGrath, despite his Irish surname, will not be celebrating. That’s because when he was a little boy his Polish grandparents triggered his political correctness gene.

McGrath wrote that when he was 13, his mother sent him to his grandparents’ home on an errand. When he arrived, he found they had a visitor — a distant relative from Lithuania. After the visitor left, McGrath’s grandparents asked him if he knew the man was a “Lugan.”

Now I kind of smiled at that. Growing up, I heard my mother use the word “Lugan” as a term for Lithuanians. Her parents were ethnic Germans from Lithuania who immigrated in the early 1900’s, met and married in Chicago, and then moved to Gary, IN, where both my parents grew up. Gary was like its bigger, older brother Chicago — stocked with immigrants from eastern Europe, all there to work in the steel mills.

St. Patrick's Day

Steel mill workers, circa 1900. Credit: Carnegie Library of Pittsburg @ flickr. CC BY NC-2.0.

So needless to say, they knew lots of “Lugans” (including the Lithuanian husbands of my grandfather’s sisters), and Italians, Greeks, Serbs, and many others. Each group, of course, stuck together until time passed and their children assimilated into the great American pot. And each group carried its nicknames, and its stereotypes, too. Those days, however, are gone. I’m pretty sure that not many Americans could even find Lithuania on a map of Europe (hint: it’s on the Baltic Sea, northeast of Poland and west of Belarus).

But the memory of that day is seared into David McGrath’s politically correct conscience. He wrote:

“My grandparents were wonderful and generous people. But their upbringing and acute awareness of the lines of demarcation between neighborhoods of first-generation immigrants may have influenced them to judge individuals based on their origins. Stereotypical characterizations of Lithuanians or Greeks would be extrapolated onto every individual of the same tribe, even someone they met for the very first time.”

He also told his children that this is why he doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And then he preaches to the rest of us unwashed folks:

“But too often I’ve seen obsessive preoccupation with ethnic origins translate into illusions of ethnic preference or superiority. . .”

You mean like Elizabeth Warren and her “Cherokee grandmother?” Oh, wait. . .

But McGrath doesn’t want to spoil St. Patrick’s Day for everyone else:

“On St. Patrick’s Day, I don’t wish to be a spoilsport. Yes to green beer and bagpipes wailing!”

No, he doesn’t want to spoil your day. He just wants you to know that he’s better than you because he’s woke and you’re not.

Then he proposes that cities promote an “All Ethnic St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” or “mosaic” celebrations with children wearing all the colors that represent their heritage.

Are you hearing a bunch of ’80’s rockers belting out “We Are the World”?

St. Patrick's DayCredit:

Yeah, that kind of stuff is already happening naturally. Not only do we have St. Patrick’s Day, but many places also celebrate Oktoberfest. And come May 5, lots of people will be putting back a few Cervezas in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Because we Americans, for all our political strife, love any excuse for a party. And we’ll drink the beer and play the music and eat the food that originates from all sorts of ethnicities. Because we truly are that melting pot.

As for me, I’ll wear my green on Sunday, especially since in researching my genealogy I found that on my dad’s side there was an Irishman. He was my great-great-great grandfather, his name was Moses Finley, and he emigrated from Ireland in the early 1800’s. Which makes me more Irish than Elizabeth Warren is Native American. But who cares? St. Patrick’s Day is a good day for all of us to kick back, become Irish for the day, and forget about political correctness.


Featured image: cropped, from pixabay. Pixabay license.

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Hate_me says:

    Dyngus Day is coming up in a few weeks, for any Polaks feeling under appreciated on St Pat’s.

    Never understood green beer… all the Irish beer I’ve ever seen is either black or amber.

    • GWB says:

      Oooh! I’ll have to look into that.
      (Yeah, the green beer thing is silly. And don’t you be adulteratin’ my whisky with odd colors!)

      • Hate_me says:

        Dyngus Day, in all honesty, is evidence that the Polish are geniuses (genii? Not sure, I’m clearly not Polish).

        Outside of Buffalo, NY and some small towns in Wisconsin or Minnesota, you’ll have a hard time finding Dyngus Day celebrations – but it’s more than worth the effort.

      • Hate_me says:

        Also, technically, Irish is “whiskey.” So are American bourbons and ryes and what-not. “Whisky” refers to Canadian or Scotch varieties – can’t see any reason to alter the latter, whatsoever.

    • Randy Wilde says:

      The bad I went to when I was stationed in Germany had green beer. 1 liter beer (the local krystalweissen), 1 liter apple juice, and 4 shots blue curacao, in a glass boot. Didn’t even taste like alcohol. Passed around the table as part of a drinking game.

  • GWB says:

    Yes to green beer and bagpipes wailing!
    So….. WTF is your problem with it?!? EVERYONE is Irish on St Patrick’s Day.
    But, we don’t have enough days to celebrate in the US, so we have to destroy the nature of this one so all the non-black, non-latino holidays can be “inclusive”? Dude, you need to put down the bong and lighten up.

    As for me, if there were more ethnic/national days to celebrate, I would! If this guy is so multi-culturally woke, I want to say to him, “Where are you every January 25th? If you’re not eating haggis, then you’re not as multi-cultural as you think!”

    • Theo Moore says:

      Naw, that’s not point that he is trying to make. He only mentions different kinds of children so he can pretend to you that he cares about them. He does not give a rats a@@ about any kids, he just wants you to know that he’s better than you because he’s woke and you’re not.

      It is just a pose. He knows he is inferior and the knowledge gnaws away at the remnant of his shriveled up soul. So he pretends to be better than you. He can’t even convince himself, let alone anyone else. A useful idiot, or a willing accomplice of our common enemy.

    • Matthew W says:

      ” EVERYONE is Irish on St Patrick’s Day.”
      No thanks !!
      I’m Scottish and the only thing I have in common with the drunken potato eating bastards is our disdain for the British (and quite frankly I’ve gotten well past that.)
      Why isn’t the Left concerned about “Cultural Appropriation” on This day?

  • MarkInKansas says:

    Stereotypes did not develop from lack of significant quantities of examples. The Irish were stereotypically drinkers and fighters. We Germans were known for stubbornness and humor.

    A cousin-in-law (who is Norwegian heritage and is guilty of manifesting some of his own stereotypes) jokes that “you sure can tell a German, but you can’t tell him much”. Occasionally I’ll tell a joke, and if someone responds that it wasn’t funny, I’ll reply that it was German humor and it wasn’t meant to be funny.

    I claim the Irish professor has adopted the stereotypes of his adopted tribe, the SJWs, and is manifesting that culture.

    • GWB says:

      I claim the Irish professor has adopted the stereotypes of his adopted tribe, the SJWs, and is manifesting that culture.

  • James Jones says:

    At least back when I lived near Chicago in the early 80s, it was more correct to say they dyed the Chicago River a brighter shade of green than it usually was.

    (And *bagpipes*?! You’d think an Irishman would know it’s uilleann pipes.)

  • Linda Fox says:

    Thanks to Ancestry and 23 & Me, I’ve found that I am NOT as Irish as I had assumed (I’m slightly less than 1/3). That, despite reddish-brown hair and freckles.

    And, my ancestry is NOT Indian, as I had been told when younger. As it happens, “Indian Billy” Ice did have children by a Native woman (6 kids – obviously, he was a sexual slave during his captivity, which started when he was a child).

    The rest is English, Scottish, and Welsh, with a smattering of Dutch and German – in short, except for the inconvenient fact that I’m Catholic, I’m basically a WASP.

    Do I celebrate other ethnic holidays? Well, my crazed carousing days are long behind me, but – yeah, I do. I recently went to the Vietnamese Tet holiday celebration at my church, which was awesome (our church brought in some refugees years ago, and they are now mostly Americanized – at least the kids are).

    Do I think non-Irish using St. Pat’s as an excuse to get shit-faced is silly? Well, DUH! But, as long as they don’t keep it up for the other 52 weeks of the year, what the hell do I care?

  • Linda Fox says:

    Ooops, forget to mention – I’m descended from the 2nd wife – one of two non-Native spouses that followed the original. He had 3 wives total, and fathered 19 children. He wasn’t as accomplished as his Dad, but – he wouldn’t have had as much time, would he? Not with all that carrying on.

  • Bill J says:

    I am looking forward to his follow up “why I don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo day” in 6 weeks.

  • Charles N. Steele says:

    Thei and Mark have this SJW (McGrath) pegged. But I hasten to add that he’ll soon be purged for being insufficiently woke and thus a hater, since he says *everyone* should celebrate with green beer, etc., in one of the most shameful, hateful, threatening, endorsements of cultural appropriation ever written. He’s obviously a vile white male, a white supremacist, a racist and Islamophobe who hates the transgendered and no different from David Duke.

    • Scott says:

      Would that be the same David Duke that supports Ilhan Omar??? ( I guess some animals are more equal than others)

  • GWB says:

    What I want to know is why I’m not allowed to follow my native culture, like so many others?
    Because my Irish, Welsh and Scots cultures say I should just sock this idiot in the kisser so he understands he’s a dryshite, a gobdaw, a numpty, and a twmffat.
    Why am I denied my cultural heritage? Why am I being OPPRESSED?!

  • Ryan says:

    Aren’t bagpipes Scottish? What a clown.

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