Tomorrow anyone can bastardize and ridicule the Captain’s family lineage by playing up cultural stereotypes that have afflicted the Irish people for centuries. Any drunk punk wearing green can stumble about town consuming vast quantities of beer and whiskey all the while making a mockery of my people’s history. A history full of suffering, discrimination, oppression, forced religious conversion, and a continuing struggle for freedom and self-rule isn’t even explored or discussed on the ONE day we, Irish, get for our history. There is no Irish History month, no reflection on how the Northern states where built on the backs of our cheap labor, or how signs like this appeared all over America.
How would it go over if during Black History month everyone dressed in a Dashiki and got wasted on traditional African fermented juices? Latino month; sombreros for everyone , bottle of tequila, and a hat dance. These wouldn’t be acceptable so why is the commerciality of my heritage for general amusement perfectly acceptable?
True Believers, St. Patty’s Day is acceptable because we Irish-Americans don’t give a fuck. We have fought our battles and proven our worth. For better or worse we are now Americans, born here, brought here, raised here. We are products of American culture, I wouldn’t have the first clue how to go about living in Ireland and don’t really care to try. Sure some of the cultural history was lost, we only observe certain Irish customs in my house and they dwindle with each generation. However with each generation we celebrate more American holidays.
I encourage everyone on the 17th to raise your pint and sing a drinking song. Although St. Patty wore blue, make sure you participate by donning green. The wearing of the green shows Irish pride, symbolizes our common struggle against British rule, and stands for a human’s thirst for freedom and self-governance. With open arms the Captain welcomes anyone to be Irish for a day and celebrate the happiness of life in the face of overwhelming adversity, as countless generations of Irish before me have.
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer—and another one!
***The Captain does not attempt to speak for all Irish or Irish-Americans, just the ones like me.**