Somewhat counter-intuitively, to make the point I’m here to make, I must begin with a defense of Irish-American racism.
I don’t care who you are, or what ethnoreligious background you come from: If you got the deal we got when we came to these shores, coming off the millennium of living hell that made us the miserable bastards we are, you would have hated the shit out of Black people. In a heartbeat.
We started out being pillaged repeatedly by the Vikings from 793 to 1066, giving us 15% of our genetic code and the kingdom of England in the process. Once our eternal tormentors came into being, they spent the following six centuries invading us when they weren’t leveraging us into fighting wars we had no interest in. After that warm-up phase was over, Cromwell killed maybe 40% of us in a religiously-motivated invasion, albeit with disease doing most of the work — with us, it always does. Particularly if you count cirrhosis.
This reasonably successful genocide, which dispossessed all Catholics of our land and forfeited all of our wealth to the invaders, presaged a 250-year cultural genocide where our language, education, and flavor of Christianity were actively suppressed. Our flight to America in the mid-1800’s was kicked off by a blight that wiped out potatoes, the only food we could still afford, while the English who ostensibly ruled Ireland laughed at us for being poor and stupid enough to let ourselves die.
Now imagine that you’re poor and Irish, after a millennium of being squarely at the bottom of the social ladder in Europe — and I stand tall on the assertion that we were narrowly winning the White Oppression Olympics until at least 1936 —and upon your arrival in the United States, you discover that you’ve entered a new social hierarchy in which the cloudy weather of your homeland has given you the skin of a god. All you have to do to claim that enviable position is to believe that you’re white, and to punish Blacks for failing to be. I don’t care who you are, or what ethical underpinnings guide your faith tradition or your culture: you would take that deal.