Annoyed, appalled, shocked… by this story on the Northern Ireland BBC: ‘Racist abuse’ forces woman out. Why am I all these things? You see, I figure we have this reputation for being a welcoming people and here we have a few thugs spoiling a hard earned plus trait for the Irish. We need all the positive traits emphasised that we can get in Northern Ireland.
“A south Belfast woman has claimed that racist thugs have forced her from her home. Sadhu – originally from the mountainous Himalayan region in Asia – has lived in the Ormeau Road area for 30 years.
She told BBC NI’s Nolan Show that the home she shares with her children and 80-year-old mother has been targeted by racists for three years. Sadhu said six days ago an acid bomb was thrown at the house and three days ago a gang tried to kick in her front door.
Speaking on Friday, she said racist notes with skull symbols and “whites only” written on them had also been left on her gate.
“We’re on tranquilisers and we don’t know what to do – these gangsters are allowed to do so much blatant wrong,” she said.
“This is worse than the Nazi war, happening to innocent and deeply spiritual, good people – these gangs are allowed to do whatever they want,” she said.”
So… all through the troubles was this racism just lying dormant waiting for an opportunity to raise its ugly head?
I’m of a generation old enough to remember the ugly signs I saw in guest houses in England when I first went there in the early seventies. Young people may not have heard of them but they read: No Irish, No Blacks,No Dogs.
Of course, the Irish as a people will be well used to the NO Irish thing – in New York and Boston the “No Irish need apply” signs were common as floods of Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine tried to make a new start and a new life. And our emigration has continued and continued, hasn’t it? So it’s really a bit nauseating to find that at home that immigrants are being attacked in this way? Come on… what if this was your child being attacked while trying to make a new start in America, Canada, Australia or one of the hundreds of other countries where the Irish – both Northern and Southern – are landed immigrants? What would you feel as the letter/email arrived telling of racist attacks on your child. I know how I’d feel.
Our emigrants have enriched every country in which they have made homes. Our immigrants have the same potential to enrich our country. I think they deserve the same space we carved for ourselves across the world over the last few centuries.
I’m against these attacks and I think the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland are as well. Am I right?