IGNATIEV HOW THE IRISH BECAME WHITE PDF

By violently subjugating African Americans, according to this courageous book by Noel Ignatiev. But once these same freedom-lovers emigrated to the United States, a peculiar thing happened: they were faced with a society based on racial segregation and industrial capitalism. In order to overcome these barriers, the Irish made a strategic choice: escape the bottom-rung of poverty and be accepted into mainstream US society by aggressively aligning themselves with the Democratic Party and doing everything they could to keep African Americans in slavery or otherwise out of the labor market. Instead, the race riots when rowdy Irish attacked African Americans were largely in response to an economic condition arising in early US capitalism: Northern industrial labor markets were saturated by waves of immigrants and freed slaves competing over lower and lower wages. To secure jobs for themselves, the Irish became the hammer that pounded away at racial segregation to force African Americans out of the factories and into poverty and the ghetto. Ignatiev explores how Irishmen found employment in Philly by systematically excluding Blacks from any workplaces they were involved in: they simply refused to work with Blacks.

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By violently subjugating African Americans, according to this courageous book by Noel Ignatiev. But once these same freedom-lovers emigrated to the United States, a peculiar thing happened: they were faced with a society based on racial segregation and industrial capitalism. In order to overcome these barriers, the Irish made a strategic choice: escape the bottom-rung of poverty and be accepted into mainstream US society by aggressively aligning themselves with the Democratic Party and doing everything they could to keep African Americans in slavery or otherwise out of the labor market.

Instead, the race riots when rowdy Irish attacked African Americans were largely in response to an economic condition arising in early US capitalism: Northern industrial labor markets were saturated by waves of immigrants and freed slaves competing over lower and lower wages.

To secure jobs for themselves, the Irish became the hammer that pounded away at racial segregation to force African Americans out of the factories and into poverty and the ghetto. Ignatiev explores how Irishmen found employment in Philly by systematically excluding Blacks from any workplaces they were involved in: they simply refused to work with Blacks.

The racial warfare which occurred throughout Philly was really quite drastic: Black churches, homes, and businesses were regularly attacked and burned during the 19th century.

These same gangs soon involved themselves in Democratic Party machine politics by stuffing ballot boxes, roughing up potential voters, and putting forth Irish candidates for offices.

The extreme violence and corruption shocked me at first, but in fact explains quite a lot about the current reality of Philadelphia, which remains racially tense and divided to this day. This is not an easy book to read. Ignatiev uses a lot of primary sources so the language can be difficult. Worse though is that he often refrains from making his points clearly and directly, instead drawing you into long stories that only tangentially explain his key thesis. Nevertheless, with a subject-matter as compelling as this, the book can be gripping, and I highly recommend it.

To overcome the racial barriers of today and tomorrow, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past. Specifically, we are forced to wonder, how can we overcome centuries of racism in America? What does the election of a Black Democrat for President explain about the arc of US politics, and what challenges does it present?

In any case, studying our troubled and dark history is the only way to escape it and open a door to a different reality.

In the morning hey were pure, loving, and innocent; in the evening, guilty — excusing their fault with the plea of expecting advantage to follow faithfulness.

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Review of “How the Irish Became White”

All the same, the current title is a very cute one. As Billy Connolly says somewhere of those of us of a Celtic disposition, we actually start off a pale blue colour and it takes us a couple of weeks in the sun to go white. This, of course, isnt true, really. In fact, a couple of weeks in the sun and we become snakes, having shed multiple layers of skin. It wasnt at all clear that the Irish might ever really become white.

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How the Irish Became White

His grandparents were from Russia. He was expelled from the POC in For twenty years, Ignatiev worked in a Gary, Indiana steel mill and also in the manufacturing of farming equipment and electrical components. A Marxist activist, he was involved in efforts by African American steel workers to achieve equality in the mills. In , Ignatiev was accepted to the Harvard Graduate School of Education without an undergraduate degree.

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