IRISH: a Personal Perspective on the Immigration Subject by David Sparenberg

Fortunately the attorney general here in the state of Washington filed against reality TV’s Trump ban on immigrants and refugees, and on Friday, 3 Feb., a federal judge ruled against the ban and nationally it has been lifted. 

imm01_400_02Now I cannot speak to the entire history of immigration to the United States, but will write here a bit on one striking case.

In Ireland between 1845-49 the potato crop, food staple of the Irish people, failed throughout the land due to blight.  During the ensuing famine a million Irish died of starvation and related disease.  The famine claimed 10% of the entire population of the island country.  This was a humanitarian crisis on a scale similar to population withering and displacement in our time resulting from global warming (rapid losses of arable land and available water) and war.  Along with the million deaths, another million and a half Irish folk immigrated, relocating to the United States, Canada and Australia.  Seventy-five percent of these immigrants came to America.

Now consider: What if, all you Irish-Americans, Trump had been in the White House during the years of the Great Famine and had denied entry to our ancestry?  Of course they would have been “white,” a plus to a racist and diseased worldview, but then they would have been predominately Catholic and still Irish, with a reputation for anti-authoritarian intransigence and rebellion.

My father’s family name, obviously, is German and there is a city in the south of Germany and a ruined castle in Saxony bearing this same name.  I have a maternal great grandmother who was a full blooded Eastern Cherokee; a woman of color who married into the Floyds of Augusta, Georgia.  From that wild Indian family line came the American Robin Hood of the Great Depression, my grandfather’s cousin, Charles, popularly called “Pretty boy.”  Floyd was murdered by a zealous FBI agent for a crime he did not commit.  But he has been immortalized as a folk hero in song by  the troubadour of the Depression rails, Woody Guthrie.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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