In Ireland Black Was The Old Gay

From INDEPENDENT (Ireland):

In early February 1934, Dublin Corporation debated the hot issue of the day – the call to halt mongrel jazz music from debasing Ireland's pedigree culture. The Gaelic League set the agenda. The chairman of a league meeting in Leitrim decried jazz as "something that is borrowed from the language of the savages of Africa and its object is to destroy virtue in the human soul".

Jazz was seen by Irish Irelanders and Catholic clerics as a ''Jewish-Negro conspiracy'' to capsize noble Christian civilisation, and Leitrim was the crucible of the resistance. Weeks earlier, a rally in Mohill had attracted 3,000 protesters brandishing placards saying 'Down With Jazz' and 'Out With Paganism', while five bands played edifying native airs and marches.

The Leitrim Observer warned its readers not to "disgrace the heroic saints and martyrs of our race", adding that Christendom would "rush forth again to expel the last and worst invader – the jazz of Johnny Bull and the niggers and cannibals".

Bigotry, it would appear, is not very inventive. The similarities between this outbreak of mob racism in Ireland and the mob homophobia currently the hip hatred in many nations of the world are many and are marked. In fact, although those, especially the religious such as the anti same sex marriage brigade in the Church of England's college of bishops, who campaign to stop all moves to fully include out gay people in society, get all offended when you imply that there is something of the fascist about them; although such bigots will claim that the hatred and fear of gay people is not the same thing as the hatred and fear of black people and although some of the worst offenders when it comes to demonising gay people are black, the almost identical nature of how both the open hatred of black people in the past and the open hatred of gay people in the present are expressed proves beyond any reasonable doubt that they are exactly the same hatred, the same bigotry, the same fear of the different. Only the victims are different.

untitledTherefore, any accommodation of homophobia, no matter how neatly it is hidden behind phoney Christian platitudes and false logic, comes from the same pit of moral cowardice as did the institutional and social accommodation of racism that infected the Western world like gangrene in an open wound up until only a decade or so ago. We chased out that evil, to a large extent, by adopting a zero tolerance approach to racial prejudice and by not allowing the bigots any perverted philosophy to hide behind. Therefore, we should give no quarter to the haters of today. Those bishops in the Church of England who, themselves, desire justice but who cave in to the bullying of their homophobic colleagues and make demonic (in a Screwtape fashion) comments about agreeing to disagree, should be ashamed of themselves. They are no different to the good people who watched the brown-shirted fascists of the 1930s parade passed and then did nothing except make excuses for them.


In Ireland Black Was The Old Gay — 2 Comments

  1. “the call to halt mongrel jazz music from debasing Ireland’s pedigree culture”

    I’ve read this several times now, and still can’t tell which parts of it are *snark* (“mongrel” and “debasing” clearly are—but upon first reading, thought “Ireland’s pedigree culture” was too! ;-X)

    I believe it’s in “The Crying Game” where Brit soldier Jody (Forrest Whittaker’s character) says that Ireland “is the only place where they’ll call you a nigger to your face”.

  2. It was the same here. And in the ’50s when white people started recording music by Black artists like Little Richard and Chuck Barry, fathers of teenage girls were the biggest opponents of Rock ‘n’ Roll who spewed almost as badly as the Irish.