Is St. Patrick’s Day Racist?

So I was reading a couple of posts yesterday that basically said ‘cultural appropriation‘ is a thing and that some holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day, should not be tolerated.

First off, I’m going to state right now that I think cultural appropriation is a nonsense term meant to perpetuate the victim culture we seem to be seeing in greater and greater amounts.

However, I’m going to briefly explain why.

Here’s the definition for appropriation.

appropriation

Cultures can’t be owned, therefore you don’t need permission to take it. There is no owner to which you can direct your question.

In fact, the entire basis for multiculturalism is based on sharing and experiencing different cultures. By trying to place limits on what people can or can’t do, based on something you don’t own, is not okay when it comes to cultures.

The original blogger said this about cultural appropriation.

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No it’s not a thing. No you don’t get to label people as racist with no explanation and specious reasoning. And no, celebrating holidays doesn’t make you an asshole.

Yes, you’re being PC and I’m sick of hearing the word privilege. That word doesn’t give people the right to shut down conversation by painting them as racists or other derogatory terms, and it’s not a form of reasoned argument either.

So anyways, when I asked about what the author considered cultural appropriation, I was referred to a different post.

Here’s what it said.

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1: Just because it originated that way, doesn’t mean it has remained that way. Holidays evolve, as do societies. Christmas is a great example of this. For some, Christmas is about Jesus, and for others it’s about family, and for others it’s a day off work.

2:  It’s not just about alcohol, although that is a component. You’d be interested to know that the more modern model of St. Patrick’s Day evolved because Irish societies in the USA modernized it. As the Irish gained influence, St. Patrick’s Day was made a national holiday. That’s not racist.

Here’s a quick video on the origin and evolution of St. Patrick’s Day.

Here’s a bit more about how the holiday evolved, and you’ll notice it was a way for Irish Americans to dispel the bigotry and prejudice they were facing.

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I really wish people would stop throwing the word ‘racist’ around whenever they wish to stifle conversation. If you’re going to label people as racists or bigots, which is one of the worst things you can possibly call someone, please, please, please read up on what you’re talking about before spouting what you heard on some politically correct website or video.

Look, St. Patrick’s Day is like most holidays – it’s a day to unwind and have a little bit of fun. Not everything is about race, culture and religion. We don’t have to get offended over every little thing. If people want to wear green, have a few drinks, march in a parade, have a few laughs, then just leave them be.

Do you think St. Patrick’s Day is a racist or bigoted holiday?

Cool fact: St. Patrick might not have been Irish

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22 Comments

  1. For the record: I never said St. Patrick’s Day was racist and I said THE LEAST that people could do is know what the holiday is about if it will be used as an excuse to celebrate. That’s my personal opinion. It doesn’t mean that people have to or will. They most likely won’t.

  2. My understanding is that there are more people of Irish descent in the US than there are people living in Ireland.

    And I have no problem with St Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo. If you are of those ethnicities, celebrate that! And if you aren’t, you can still celebrate the contributions that people of those cultures have made to American culture. Even if you’re just raising a beer or eating a taco.

    The only time I would call something “cultural appropriation” is if you are taking something from another culture and claiming it as your own idea, without giving credit. Like Pat Boone performing Little Richard songs in the 50s without mentioning where those songs originally came from. Or the christians thinking that all our christmas traditions, like trees and gifts, were originally their idea, so they think they own them.

    • I agree with your comment…mostly.

      “Like Pat Boone performing Little Richard songs in the 50s without mentioning where those songs originally came from.”

      That’s just stupid and copyright infringement. If I sang Michael Jackson songs and claimed them as my own, I wouldn’t be appropriating a culture. I’d be plagiarizing his work.

      I’d also be singing and dancing very, very badly. 🙂

      • At the time singers had little say over the studio who hired and paid them. White singers like Pat Boone, Frankie Avalon, and others, while marginally good performers, were chosen by their managers to soften the then terrifying impact of marvelously goofy and talented people like Little Richard, for the white fans. Adults were, in many instances, horrified by people like Fats Domino and LittleRichard.

        I suspect copyright infringement was not the issue. Music was pretty much up for grabs, and if you could make a hit record out of an old blues tune like Hound dog, more power to ya.

        It was not so much appropriating a culture as it was a lame attempt to submerge one and hope that white teens would buy white records and not black ones. Mercifully it didnt work out that way. You gotta remember, GC, this was in the early 50s, long before segregation.

        If you read any of the YouTube documentaries about this, it’s a fascinating bit of reading.

  3. Ubi, absolutely. And try telling Christians that the trees they so valiantly defend as symbols of Christmas are actually pagan symbols and Christmas, like so many holidays, war originally a far sterner event than they realize. In the early centuries in this country Christmas was a deeply religious affair, presents were nonexistent, and The Tree was not allowed by a lot of people. My husband’s grandmother never even saw a xmas tree until she grew up.

    And wasn’t Pat Boone made to look like an idiot, snapping his fingers and pretending to be hip. Oh it was pitiful to watch…

    Having holidays like these give people who are NOT spanish or mexican or irish or dead a chance to appreciate and participate in different cultural events. Including, ahem, mardi gras.

    And you know what? If you pare off the bit about cultural appropriation, it sounds as if Su-su is a wee bit jealous because her best friend has a BarbieDoll and her parents won’t let her have one, so she decides no one should have one…

  4. Ah, the regressive left fascists are back it, I see… determining who is and is not guilty of the crime of cultural appropriation. Nice. Do I have the requisite permissions to put Swedish meatballs on my Indian rice or should I check in with Chinese first?

    Good grief. What a ridiculous criticism

    I’ve asked some friends about their family’s cultural inheritance and the answers are rather hilarious… usually involving a multi-continental mishmash of a dozen ethnicities (is that even a word?) on each side of the multi-racial, multi-linguistic family tree and saddling their children with a handy two-four (Canadian reference) of whatever-ethnicity-I-want-to-use-today. i thought the idea of ‘pure bloodlines’ – now introducing ‘culture’ as its benchmark – was a thing of the past.

    • Exactly. Once you start down that road, it just becomes ridiculous and even more divisive as each group decides what is and isn’t part of their culture. It seems so silly to me.

      It really feels like people are looking for reasons to call themselves victims. Like being a victim is the new in-thing or something.

      Thanks Tildeb!

  5. I can trace my ancestry back to Ireland on both sides of my family. I’ve got friends who actually have the Irish flag tattooed on them. Every one of them would say what I’m about to say. On behalf of myself and every Irish American I have ever known, let me say that Yes, you can be Irish for a day. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

  6. I’m just getting tired of the name calling, the hatred of people that aren’t your twin, and second guessing what a person is saying. It’s a holiday. It means something to some people, so leave it at that. I agree with Matthew.

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