John W. Pinkerton

Apparently it's open season on the Irish---year round…kinda like squirrels in Texas.  Shoot 'em when you see 'em.

I set out to write an essay on Ireland and Irish history to bring some clarity to a subject which is complex and confusing, but quickly got sidetracked when I discovered  that more than a few folks don't like the Irish and don't mind saying so openly and unapologetically on the internet to anyone who will listen.  Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims---darned near all ethnic and religious groups---seem to be part of the Politically Correct Protection Program…but not the Irish.

One word which keeps coming up on the net referring to the Irish is “stupid.”  The other word was “crazy.”  As an Irishman myself, I embrace the word “crazy.”

“Stupid,” I don't think so.

My opening statement to rebut the accusation of the Irish being stupid is the following: “Kiss my old Irish butt.”

Hmmm..maybe that's part of the reason we seem so reviled…so be it.

I'll begin my rebuttal of the accusation that the Irish are stupid by reminding you of a few Irish writers:

Jonathan Swift gave us Gulliver's Travels; Oliver Goldsmith, novelist, playwright, and poet, gave us The Vicar of Wakefield, She Stoops to Conquer, and the children's story, and The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes; William Butler Yeats, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1923; Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest among many more; James Joyce, Ullyses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegans Wake; George Bernard Shaw, won an Oscar and a Nobel Prize and wrote Man and Superman, Caesar and Cleopatra, and Pygmalion.

I know you're reeling from my rebuttal, but it wouldn't be prudent to lighten up at this point.

Irishmen were responsible for Guinness, color photography, a cure for leprosy, the modern tractor, the tank, the guided missile, the ejector seat, and most important of all, a heat-exchange device which revolutionized whiskey-distilling.

Now that you appear about to go down, I'll hit you with American Presidents with Irish ancestry:

Andrew Jackson-7th President 1829-37

James Knox Polk-11th President, 1845-49

James Buchanan-15th President, 1857-61

Andrew Johnson-17th President, 1865-69

Ulysses S. Grant-18th President, 1869-77

Chester A. Arthur-21st President, 1881-85

Grover Cleveland-22nd and 24th President, 1885-89 and 1893-97

Benjamin Harrison-23rd President, 1889-93

William McKinley-25th President, 1897-1901

Theodore Roosevelt-26th President, 1901-09

William Howard Taft-27th President 1909-13

Woodrow Wilson-28th President, 1913-21

Warren G. Harding-29th President 1921-23

Harry S. Truman-33rd President 1945-53

John F. Kennedy-35th President 1961-63

Richard Nixon-37th President, 1969-74

Jimmy Carter-39th President 1977-1981

Ronald Reagan-40th President 1981-89

George H. W. Bush-41st President 1989-93

Bill Clinton-42nd President 1993-2001

George W. Bush-43rd President 2001-09

Barack Obama-44th President 2009-

On second thought, I'll withdraw my Irish-American Presidents: I'm having difficulty discerning if they are a pro or con in my argument against the accusation that the Irish are “stupid,” and, being that you appear out on your feet, I'll just dust you lightly with a brief list of Irish-American business leaders whom you might recognize.

Diamond Jim Brady

Henry Ford

Jack Welch

Now, it doesn't seem that accusing the Irish of being “stupid” is justified or defensible; however, I do think I've discovered why folks hate the Irish, their sharp tongues and bad attitudes:  in Ireland in 1848, nine men were convicted of treason against the Queen of England and were all sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead and then to be drawn and quartered after one of the guilty party, Thomas Meagher, replied to the judge who asked if any of the men wished to say anything, “My Lord, this is our first offense but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise on our word as gentlemen, to try and do better the next time. And the next time---sure we won't be fools to get caught.”

Yep, a sharp tongue matched with a bad attitude will, naturally, draw some ire.

Live with it: it's our nature.


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