Irish need not apply
I saw a replica sign that said “Irish Need Not Apply” at the Irish festival, and had some thoughts about that. I was reminded of those thoughts when I was listening to the Donegal X-Press CD I picked up over the weekend this morning. There’s a song on there called The Work Shanty that is about the job discrimination that Irish immigrants faced when they came to this country.
I am reminded of the fact that while I come from an immigrant background, my great-grandfather McBride was part of the Irish immigration around the turn of the century, Angela can trace her family in America to well before the Revolutionary War. Her forefathers were possibly the ones discriminating against the Irish immigrants.
But that’s not my point. My point is that I really came to appreciate what those immigrants went through and how hard they worked to overcome stereotypes and discrimination, because if they hadn’t, I don’t believe Angela and I being happily married, like we are, would even be a possibility. They struggled and worked, fought and clawed their way to respectability so that their children and future generations could take full part in the American Dream. It makes me proud to be an Irish-American, to understand who came before me, and who cleared the way for me to enjoy the life I have now.