Bleeding Ireland and Black America

Bleeding Ireland and Black America - Bleeding Ireland and...

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Bleeding Ireland and Black America B Fall Road is deserted. Only a few dirt-caked, barefoot, Irishmen can be seen shivering in the adjacent park. We walk past the Catholic neighborhoods knowing, at any moment, buildings might explode and automatic weapon fire could lacerate the air on every side of us. Belfast is charming, apart from the harsh reality of guerrilla warfare and terrorism being common occurrences. For the first time, throughout my three month tour of seventeen different European countries, I feel truly threatened. The tension carries itself into a nearby pub where an old man asks "Are you jus daft? Or do ya have relatives here?" His words hinted at my grandfather's blunt, yet kindly, expression concerning his birthplace in N. Ireland, "If you haven't been there yet, don't go there." I can remember the lyrics of a Naughty by Nature song blaring over my car radio, "If you have never been to the ghetto, don't ever come to the ghetto," as I put in a tape. My thought stream continues as it takes me to another place where guerrilla warfare and terrorism are a part of daily life. The gunshots and unruly pitbull barking registers over the calm of the wet playground. Trash strings the streets and every dwelling has an eight foot, black, metal fence circuitously about it. Two white faces gape over the hood of a parked Cadillac. Besides the police parked down the block, they are probably the only Caucasians in a five mile square radius. Two companies of drug dealers fire at will scrambling for control of a superior capital making outpost. Even at nine o'clock in the morning the combat tract roars on. I was one of those faces peering over the car hood with horror and revolution in my eyes. N. Richmond is a product of the same type of oppression and violence that hacks deep into the people of N. Ireland. In the logical evolution of an oppressed people a civil rights movement was essential. "It was necessary to bravely confront our most explosive issues as a people: Racial[religious, gender, class. ..] hierarchy and the maldistribution of wealth and power." 1If only for a brief moment we achieved this, at least it happened. We must study the past in order to get to the future. If you don't know where you came from, how can you possibly figure out where you are going and that is why many people stay rooted in the same place. For centuries, England has kept Ireland under its colonial thumb, starving its people and manipulating them as slave labor. England stole much of Ireland's homeland
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and gave it to the Protestants allies from Scotland. Earlier this century, England divided Ireland into two, claiming the six northernmost counties as its own. The large number of Protestants, who remain loyal to the Crown of England, have created a system of oppression similar to the Jim Crow laws of the US. Oppression and second-class citizenship have limited the Catholics of N. Irelands opportunities and taken many lives. A Civil Rights movement was the only logical step. But first, we must discuss what
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Bleeding Ireland and Black America - Bleeding Ireland and...

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