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Do Irish people have white privilege?

Check your privilege. Credit: Getty

October 24, 2023 - 10:00am

In the 1991 film The Commitments, based on Roddy Doyle’s novel, one of the characters declares that “the Irish are the blacks of Europe.”

These days that line would never have made it past the corporate censors, but back then it was taken in the spirit intended. Given their own history of oppression over centuries of British rule, the idea was that the Irish had a connection with other oppressed peoples.

But times change. Secularised and globalised, the Republic of Ireland is on the up. By playing the neoliberal order at its own game and winning, the Irish are, for the moment, doing rather well for themselves.

A sure sign of the country’s growing wealth is that it can now afford luxury beliefs. In a post for the National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty comments on a particularly ripe example. According to a proposed addition to the Social, Personal, and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum, students who are “white or male or Irish” should recognise their “privileged status”.

But what does white privilege mean in a country that is still 94.1% ethnic Irish and which was almost completely so a generation ago? Has something emerged in that time to discriminate in favour of the ethnic Irish and against their non-white fellow citizens? 

There’s always prejudice — which needs no time at all to be shown to newcomers. Then there’s the natural advantage of being born in a country in which you and your family have deep roots. But privilege — which literally means “private law” — is the distinct and deliberate product of a system of oppression.

Looking at Ireland’s history, the principal systems of oppression (i.e. the various injustices of British rule) were directed at the Irish people, not by them. It’s bad enough making young people feel guilty for what their long-dead ancestors did, but it’s even worse when their forebears were the oppressed rather than the oppressors.

This weird irrelevance is no surprise because, as Dougherty notes, it’s part of an imported American ideology: “this whole vocabulary […] was only recently built on America’s historic social divisions.” Of course, all sorts of ideas can be usefully shared from one country to another, yet the concept of white privilege travels badly — and not just to Ireland.

The French side of my family comes from Alsace and Lorraine, on the German border. In the 70 years from 1870 to 1940, the Germans invaded three times — inflicting death and destruction on each occasion. I have elderly relatives who still suffer because of what happened to them as children in the Second World War. For them, and millions of people like them across Europe, this is the pattern of history that overwhelmingly shaped the present.

So, I wonder, are they too supposed to wrestle with their white privilege? Should they have their histories distorted to fit a contested framework arising from the racial politics of a foreign land on a different continent? Or, to borrow another piece of woke terminology, does the “lived experience” of a people in their own country count for more?

Obviously it should do, but that would require public officials — especially those in the education sector — who put the national interest before intellectual fads. It would also require politicians who listen as closely to their citizens as they do to their officials.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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Glyn R
Glyn R
8 months ago

The false narrative of ‘white privilege’ has been constructed in order to silence and oppress white people as they see their own countries effectively colonised. It is a clumsy attempt to stifle any dissent. The concept does not stand up to historical scrutiny, is wholly racist and must be resisted.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

It is a perverse idea. For example, white people are supposedly privileged because they are less targeted by the police for investigation of certain criminal offences than black people.
But when black people commit a grossly disproportionate amount of crimes such as: robbery, murder, theft, drug dealing, stabbings and other violent assault, naturally the police are going to target them. It is less a case of white people being privileged with the greater assumption of innocence, than black people losing that privilege through the conduct of a section of their community.
As we have seen in the US and lately in Britain with the mass, shameless theft from businesses when the threat of prosecution is taken away, it is one group who overwhelmingly abuses that privilege, and in doing so demonstrating why the police were right to target them.

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I agree the far-left version of identity politics seeks to find oppressed groups (The far-right version of Identity politics seeks to find scapegoat groups). Both versions of this ideology are evil and divisive. “White privilege” is complete BS meant to shut down debate. Other ethnic groups in the UK, such as Chinese Jewish or Indians seem to be far more successful and prosperous than most. Those groups retain strong social conservatism and value education. Is part of the root causes of the black community being disproportionally unlawful due to aspects of their own culture? Some of the factors may include fatherless families and dismissive attitudes toward education. For example, the claims of Mathematics and the rigour of the scientific method being racist, are risible. Racism exists, but it is unlikely to be anywhere near the major cause claimed for these disparities.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
8 months ago

You didn’t mention the rampant misogyny in the black culture.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

..it’s there in the white community as well.. don’t kid yourself.. no black guys in Men Behaving Badly.. ask your lady friends. They’ll put you straight!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

It’s just another example of turning truth upside down. It goes hand in hand with believing that a man can become a woman and vice versa. Or that locking down society and masking everyone will prevent death. But the first prize goes to net zero and the thought that humans can “save” our planet from changes to the global climate.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

FBI statistics show that black people, just under 13% of the population, are responsible for more than 70% of violent crime in the US.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

..the vast majority of it on their own.. Almost all serial killers are white. Killer cops are almost all white.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

When greedy, corrupt, exploitative fat cats stop legally stealing from the poor, the poor will stop illegally stealing from the rich.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

The solution, stop all immigration before it is too late

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
8 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Boom – you nailed it Glyn.
No more to add.
Born in the UK, my parents are from Galway and Cork respectively and they would most definitely agree.
My mum arrived in London during WWII to find the “no blacks, no dogs, no Irish” signs in the boarding houses. Note the order…
No, it is not an urban myth.
What a load of ****.

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul Curtin
Jessica Dalton
Jessica Dalton
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Curtin

Depends where you are on the planet. Generally speaking, the Irish have been welcome in Australia?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Jessica Dalton

I should bloody well hope so mate.. Oz is like 90% Irish init?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

You think 5.9% equates to “colonised” do you.. There are over 100 million ethnic Irish who migrated to other countries.. isn’t it a good thing they didn’t encounter the likes of you? ..although there are racists everywhere I suppose?

Richard M
Richard M
8 months ago

The whole idea of “white privilege” is fraught with bad faith, ahistoricism, inaccuracies, and contradictions.
It serves little purpose other than as a means of allowing people who are too lazy, stupid or venal to think honestly about politics, history, economics and society to shout down anyone who disagrees with them.

Richard M
Richard M
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

To expand on this a little further.
Concepts like “white privilege” are what you get when so many not especially bright people who have read a little bit of Marx and a little bit of Foucault, probably without much understanding either, are told they are very clever by universities which have a vested interest in pumping out easy humanities degrees.
Say what you will about the old-school middle-class Marxists with their leather-elbowed clothes and donkey-jacketed working class minions, but at least they had a more-or-less coherent philosophy of what privilege is, where it comes from, and how it can be corrected. Impractical, of course, but reasonably coherent.
Modern social-justice concepts just blow away in the wind under the slightest intellectual challenge, which is why their adherents spend so much time screaming at everyone who disagrees with them, like a bunch of toddlers having a tantrum about eating vegetables.

Last edited 8 months ago by Richard M
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

Very amusing and close too!

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 months ago

If everything is based on the principle of subjective experience (‘my truth’) which is only apparent to each individual at any moment in time, then ipso facto, you can not have a theory of anything at all because it would have to some extent be based on a set of shared ideas and common principles.

For instance; if mathematics is an expression of masculine, white, historic colonial privilege to the extent that 2 + 2 doesn’t necessarily make 4 any more but in fact may make 5 or anything else depending on an individual’s lived experience, you can’t then launch into a theory that has as its end point a pyramid of intersectional oppression.

Isn’t a ‘theory’ pale, male and stale and itself part of the system of oppression ? What’s a pyramid if not a mathematical concept ? My pyramid might be a sphere or a circle if I’m having a two-spirit moment or I might forbid you to mention the word pyramid since it is contributing to the ‘trans / Palestinian genocide’ in my lived world. And you can’t even refer to the ‘Pyramids’ as this would be a shocking example of cultural appropriation and you have no right to even talk about it.

So they’ve pretty much pre-empted any theory before they even start since what possible shared assumptions could it ever be based on ?

Obviously, it is merely a handy sledgehammer to break up any ‘oppressive ‘ system that already exists without any real idea of what is to follow. So like Communism, which makes some reasonable critiques of Capitalist inequalities etc, it can always knock things down, but ultimately proves incapable of building anything really superior in its place and relies on terror inevitably to stay in power against the wishes of the people it supposedly set out to liberate.

Gregory Toews
Gregory Toews
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

In my first glance of “pre-empted” I read pre-emptied, and thought, what a cleverly appropriate new term – emptying one’s own position of rationality and internal consistency. Maybe I’m naive in forgetting that internal inconsistencies are the point of certain worldviews.

Last edited 8 months ago by Gregory Toews
Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Thanks for this! Cheered me up no end!

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
8 months ago

The concept of white privilege is itself profoundly racist in attempting to impose intergenerational responsibility on some people and not others based on the colour of their skin and nothing else.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
8 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

The same crowd screeching that not all Palestinians are terrorists, are screaming all whites are racist. They are adept at sucking and blowing at the same time

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Intergenerational responsibility DOES apply where the current generation continues to enjoy great wealth stolen from exploited people, whether stolen ‘legally’ (making up laws to accommodate doing so) or otherwise. That responsibility still applies to many superwealthy people in the UK, US, France and other white (neo)colonists; and reparation IS in order there. But happily us 90% can wash our hands of responsibility ..well, almost!

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago

There is no way Ireland is still 94% ethnic Irish. 20% of the population in the 2022 census was born outside Ireland. At independence, Ireland was one of the wealthiest countries in the world, although it managed to fall down the pecking order in the next 50 years, despite sitting out the Second World War. Many Irish people today are the descendants of those who benefited (through land inheritance for example) from the emigration of their siblings and neighbours. The British “systems of oppression” included the English language, the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, and (ultimately) heavily subsidised land reform, all of which contributed mightily to Ireland’s subsequent stability and economic growth. So yes, relative to most of the rest of the world – including those who had to emigrate from Ireland thanks to the economic incompetence of its political class in the first 40-50 years post independence – the Irish were and are highly privileged.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Try telling that to the Irish dead at English hands. There is no privilege in bloody murder.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

20% of the population of Poland were killed in the Second World War. The Irish nurse their grievances and have no appreciation of just how lucky they are. There was enough bloody murder to go round.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Again the distortion.. you cannot distinguish between an all out war and brutal oppression; but if you want to equate the Naz¡s with the British occupiers of Ireland go ahead.. I wouldn’t.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

‘You’ should NOT have invited us in 1169.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

True! LOL. It wasn’t me though, or us, or the Irish as a whole was it? It was one crazy, brutal, isolated, disowned degenerate by the name of Diarmuid McMurrough! As mad as they come.. and he only wanted them to sort out Co Wexford not the whole shebang!

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

But we only needed land refom because you stole it from us. And the rest of your post is pure BS

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Yes. “A Modest Proposal “ anyone?

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It was satire, a dying art

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Linda M Brown

I sincerely bloody hope so..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

“At independence, Ireland was one of the wealthiest countries in the world”.
What? In 1922, surely NOT? It was an agricultural backwater to put it mildly.

As the for subsequent greed and incompetence of the disproportionate number of wretched TD’s*, I couldn’t agree more!

(* MP’s in English.)

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago

Read JJ Lee “Ireland 1922-85”. Ireland was a relatively wealthy country in 1922 by European standards, never mind world standards. Most economies were heavily agricultural in those days.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Ireland’d GDP per capita was only 62% of that of the rest of the UK in 1922, Whilst comparable with other essentially
‘agricultural’ European states it was far behind the ‘Industrial’ ones.
Thus is can hardly be described
as “one of the wealthiest countries in the world “ can it?

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago

The UK was the richest country in Europe in those days. GDP per capita across Western Europe was around two thirds of the UK average, and Ireland was in line with that. 50% of the workforce was engaged in agriculture, which was higher than most of Western Europe but lower than most of Eastern Europe. And Irish agriculture was unusually market oriented.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

The ‘drop’ in population over the previous eighty years must have helped?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

It did help of course in that there were fewer mouths to feed and land holdings grew in size from hopelessly tiny ones ..brought about by our masters insisting land be divided between all male offspring rather than just the traditional firstborn male inheriting the lot. Holdings got so small as a result only potatoes could feed the peasants.. hence the blight was catastrophic instead of merely disastrous.. especially as food was exported out of Ireland a gunpoint while a million starved to death.. I’m not blaming you now Charlie, not personally anyway!

Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I come from Derry. In Donegal (3 miles down the road) people were living without electricity or running water into the 1980s. New houses outside Letterkenny ( 30 miles away) still have septic tanks rather than mains water supply.
Your acquaintance with economic history seems a little vague.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
8 months ago

Geraldine, there might have been the odd cottage up the hills that had no water or electricity in the 80s but it was exceptionally rare. Country houses everywhere have septic tanks. Let’s not go mad here

Frank Carney
Frank Carney
8 months ago

I can confirm this as true. Paul Devlin, this was my experience in my youth/teens.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

False memory syndrome.. very common.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

That was vanishingly rare anywhere in Ireland in the 1980s and was confined to extremely remote “black” valleys.. There were a few who eschewed electricity and preferred the old traditional ways (very ‘in’ these days!).. I still operate with a septic tank in my backroads rural area though in the last 20 years bio-cycle systems are mandated instead (also very ‘in’ these days, as is ‘off grid’ living).

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

You’re distorting the facts.. the country had wealth (ie the English in Ireland).. the Irish, apart from a very few, were as poor as church mice! And the RC church kept ’em that way as well!

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

‘although it managed to fall down the pecking order in the next 50 years, ‘

Wouldn’t have anything to do with exclusion from the British Empire after independence?

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago

I think it had a lot more to do with de Valera’s policy of national self sufficiency, which included wizard schemes like taxes on exports, while maintaining the link to Sterling, which was heavily overvalued and a drag on competitiveness.

michael morris
michael morris
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Now do 1847

Kieran P
Kieran P
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

It’s always hilarious when the colonized are expected to be grateful to their erstwhile colonial masters!!

William Murphy
William Murphy
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Does the large Polish minority in Ireland count as benefitting from “white privilege” or do they get a pass because of all the Polish suffering in WW2, etc?

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
8 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

rule of thumb is if you’re white (of European background) you have white privilege regardless of how your ancestors suffered previously. It doesn’t matter if they were being bombed out of existence, sent up chimneys, down mines, or locked in `satanic’ mills (Blake) for hours on end while being half starved and numbing yourself with gin, apparently you have privilege.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

You forget our continued economic oppression under English control of prices etc for decades after independence. It wasn’t until we were liberated from that by the EEC that we prospered.
You forget the inequality that pervaded Ireland pre independence which saw the bulk of Ireland’s wealth still in the hands of the colonisers. Ireland had the worst slums in Europe and dire poverty among the ‘lower’ class ethnic Irish at the time.
You also omit the brutal treatment of the Irish for centuries.
In short, your contribution is biased, selective and grossly distorted.

Muiris de Bhulbh
Muiris de Bhulbh
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

3 of my children were born outside Ireland. I have a grandson, whose mother was ‘born outside Ireland’. Statistics are pliable things.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
8 months ago

I know people from rough parts of town who have lied about their address to avoid their CVs being thrown in the bin by prospective employers. I heartily wish the social justice warriors luck in informing my friends and relatives of their white privilege.

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

Who on earth puts their postal address on their CV in the first place? It’d be as backwards as piutting a photo of yourself.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
8 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

If memory serves, they were job applications, not CVs but yes, they did require an address. This was from the 1990s but the point remains – were these people enjoying white privilege? If not then, then when did they start enjoying such privilege? 1999? 2001? Of was it more recently, when the woke mind virus hit these shores?

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
8 months ago

I was well aware of this myself back in the 80s and 90s, Lennon. Parts of Dublin were viewed as being completely lost to civilisation

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Not only that, rural addresses were also calibrated according to the estimation of the administrative classes in Dublin.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
8 months ago

As Peter Franklin mentions, “white privilege” is an import from the USA. In the USA, the “white prvilege” brainwasher has an easy task: he/she is sure to touch a nerve because most blacks in the USA have ancestors who were brought to the USA as slaves. By contrast. in Ireland, black people are there largely because they claimed that they were refugees. So the brainwasher has the tricky task of explaining why the immigrants jumped from the frying pan of oppression into the fire of Irish white privilege.
These fads come and go in the USA: in a few years, Americans will have entirely forgotten about white privilege, trans, etc., and will have taken up something even crazier. Meanwhile, in European backwaters , such as Ireland and the UK, there will still be saddos giving and receiving classes on white privilege, trans, etc. in years to come.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago

You’re right about the States. We have the attention span of a newt.

Y Way
Y Way
8 months ago

America has been on the white privilege train starting back in the early 2000s. It just was not accepted universally until George Floyd. But I was in AmeriCorps in 2006 and was getting privilege training way back then.

Sadly, not a short lived fad.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
8 months ago

Something like 5% of Americans owned slaves before the Civil War, the would have included free blacks who also owned slaves. The 95% who didn’t should hardly have to bare the collective guilt for the 5% who did.
To have the sins of the fathers visited upon their children is diabolical.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

When I was a child in the 1950s you could guarantee that any black person you saw was a (trainee) doctor! The village genius was spotted by Irish missionaries in Africa and sent to Ireland to train and return so the village would have a doctor.. some stayed of course betraying the trust of their home country.. It’s very different today: we import trained medics and keep them which also deprives their home countries of costly-to-train medical staff.

Last edited 8 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

The American cultural disease continues to spread unchecked.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago

A fundamental error in asserting white privilege is the inference that all whites are privileged. Is a homeless beggar in Brighton more privileged than Barack Obama? I don’t think so.
But if activists continue to assert that I, an old white male, am privileged then I think that I will hang on to it thank you very much.

Richard M
Richard M
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Comparing a beggar to the former president of the united states is a little reductio ad absurdum, but your point still holds.
A better real world example is that in the UK ethnic Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Black African, various Mixed categories, and White Irish children all on average outperform White British children in educational attainment.^
But according to the social justice creed, those White British children have white privilege.
^ The only main ethnic groups White British children outperform are Black Caribbean, Pakistani, and Gypsy/Roma (who in many cases disengage from school before age-16 exams anyway).

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

To assume privilege benefits (or any benefits) arise solely out of academic achievement is a bit naïve isn’t it? In the UK money makes money, not academic achievement.. also old school tie, contacts, private clubs etc.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
8 months ago

I blame ‘women’ !
No, not seriously, although I am serious. I suspect the ‘rise’ of the matriarchy has something to do with all this touchy feely, be kind, be nice to the natives (that last doesn’t seem to work like it use-ter) malarkey.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

If you put it that way it almost makes sense.. but if you put it in proper terms, fairly, then what you say is almost* completely false..
* A lie, to be a good lie, must have a grain of truth in it. A great lie is marbled with small truths, eg well designed propaganda.

Ewen Mac
Ewen Mac
8 months ago

Then Ireland would be ditching one set of “sacred” ideas for another.
Critical Theory is as fundamentalist a belief system as any religion, the only difference is that it’s the only belief system which can successfully demand obedience from western democratic institutions, while (like any fundamentalism) framing dissent as a moral failing.
The claim “Irish people have white privilege” has no more right to be on the curriculum than a Scientologist’s claim to the existence of Xenu the Intergalactic Warlord. They’re both contested beliefs and they could of course be on the curriculum as contested beliefs, allowing people to decide for themselves if they want to believe them, but to present either of them as factual in an educational framework, is utterly undemocratic.
Non-belief is supposed to be a protected characteristic, yet Critical Theory is frequently presented as settled fact with no facility for non-belief.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
8 months ago

When there were signs saying ´No blacks, no dogs, no Irish’, where was the privilege?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

There were lots of Irish landladies! Very few black landladies.. no b***h landladies!

Y Way
Y Way
8 months ago

Well, I am first gen American. My family comes from serfs and outcasts and war refugees – and many American whites have such a history.

Yet, I am also a member of white privilege. And apparently owe reparations. Though none are owed to me.

The idea is that you are white in a world that favors whites due to a long history of brutal oppression of all other peoples by Western Europe and England.

It matters not one wit if you or your family or ancestors or country were also oppressed.

Only non-whites can truly be the oppressed.

That is the best I can understand this given my own family history of brutal oppression that DOES NOT count.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Y Way

But you forget.. the non whites were also poor and oppressed, ON TOP OF their (looked down on) skin colour and/or creed and/or ethnicity, ON TOP OF their slavery and (from Native Americans) land theft! The hardship your people suffered were MULTUPLIED by those other unfair discriminations and abuses.

David Butler
David Butler
8 months ago

No, but the Irish education system has been infected by Marxists, the same as everywhere else in the western world.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

Those who talk seriously about white privilege are purposefully laying down the foundations of a genocidal ideology similar to the eugenicists of the early twentieth century who were eager to find a Final Solution to the Jewish Question.
It is no coincidence that those who go on the most about white privilege are also those who are also currently cheering on the massacre of the Jews.

John Riordan
John Riordan
8 months ago

Please don’t do this to yourself Ireland. You’ve only had mass prosperity for twenty years, not nearly enough to develop white guilt about it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

We Irish have nothing to be guilty about as a race.. we were not invaders, conquerors, slavers, exploitors, bombers, warmongers etc. except as individuals under foreign command (which I agree was reprehensible) but that is not a reflection on the country as a whole). Indeed our aid to the 3rd world, including private donations is the highest pc in the world. Our geopolitics were/are entirely peace promoting! Sure, we’re the best in the world really!

Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker
8 months ago

What about the Welsh? My mother was given the strap at school for being overheard speaking her mother tongue on the WAY to school. My wife, who is also Welsh, was taught Welsh as a ‘foreign’ language despite being only a Welsh speaker until the age of five. They were definitely treated as second class citizens in their own country but are also regarded as privileged.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
8 months ago

I have lots of family who are Irish. My mum is for a start and I have loads of cousins, though many fewer uncles and aunts these days. They do have a funny little double-think trick going on. Despite being well and truly up to their necks in colonialism, slaving, soldiering, dispossessing native American and Australian aboriginals, Even leading a pogrom against ethnic Chinese in California in 1877. , they are in their own minds whiter than white (whoops) on this complex relationship. Not for them struggling to see how you fit into being both a bit oppressed yourself but at least a fair way up the chain and mainly punching down.
It’s a nice trick to have. Those big boys did it, not us. It makes you feel all warm inside.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
8 months ago

Victimhood enjoys great status these days. No wonder the Irish are climbing aboard.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

You should know all about that.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
8 months ago

One thing my fellow countrymen can always be complimented on is knowing is what side their bread is buttered on. The education policies which are currently informing the Irish state, like the social policies implemented over the past few decades, essentially reflect the values of the current sponsors. There is also an intelligentsia obsession of how the rest of the world view Ireland – but what they regard as the rest of the world is bound by limits they impose themselves. At the moment, the US Democratic Party seems to set the Tempo in Ireland, though no doubt plenty of locals are looking at how best to use this to their own advantage. In time, this whole trend will be denounced from a great height and some of the beneficiaries will be doing their best to reinvent themselves as opponents,

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago

The game of “My ancestors were more badly treated than your ancestors…”
When what we should want is for your children to be treated the same as my children…

Frank Carney
Frank Carney
8 months ago

Jordan Peterson got it right when he said it is not White Privilege, but the privilege of the majority. For a society to be transformed – for the native culture to be disestablished – for the benefit of incoming minorities is practically the definition of colonialism.

Last edited 8 months ago by Frank Carney
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

that figure of 94.1% “ethnic Irish” cannot be correct, surely? We have a sizable Eastern European population now and lots of Africans as well; and must have twice that many Irish but not “ethnic”? I would suggest a figure closer to 80% must be more accurate? I’m not complaining btw.. all welcome (apart from criminals of course), great workers, many highly skilled, mostly very decent people.

Last edited 8 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
David Walters
David Walters
8 months ago

Re Irish ‘oppression’, tell that to the many great Irish contributors to the British & Irish Empire.

Muiris de Bhulbh
Muiris de Bhulbh
8 months ago

I was brought up with Catholic guilt. This has now been replaced with humanist/racist/‘whatever you’re having yourself’ guilt.
I utterly reject them all.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

The only people who really deserve White Privilege are the ENGLISH.

We single handily invented the Modern World, the greatest event in Human History and thus dragged the rest of ‘you’ from a state of primeval barbarism.

To plagiarise PBS:-
“ Look on our works you pygmies and “DESPAIR”.

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
j watson
j watson
8 months ago

Being white and male has undoubtedly been an advantage. That of course doesn’t mean every white male has been blessed with life circumstances better than anyone without those characteristics, but overall on average aggregation it’s been an advantage in the western world. (Certainly being Male an advantage through History the World over)
I don’t like the phrase ‘privilege’ myself – too suggestive life has been much easier when in fact it may be more about degrees of dreadful poverty and servitude. I also suspect some of the contention is, as Douglas Murray suggests, about revenge rather than justice – albeit I think he overstates the case as do it’s exponents.
The Irish certainly experienced awful prejudice, especially the Catholic majority. That carried on into late 20th Century where employer awareness of even the name of an applicants school the person attended made a significant difference to work prospects. Discrimination doesn’t get much worse.
But the prejudice wasn’t based on a racial theory regarding innate differences based on pseudo-science. It’s the latter that more uniquely characterised Atlantic Slave Trade and the prejudice/discrimination that followed in the West for too long. Whilst slavery existed in the East, and almost to same degree, it wasn’t based on a racial scientific theory. The racial theory in the West created a psychological inheritance that both descendants of perpetrators and victims are still recovering from. It doesn’t mean that the West doesn’t have positive stories about how it has sought to overcome this, and much else other parts of the World lack in basic individual freedoms, but historically it was unique…unfortunately.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’m intrigued.
What was the psuedo-science that was used in the 17th century to justify the Atlantic slave trade? And what ‘innate differences’ did this pseudo-science measure?

Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
8 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Steven, I do not wish to put words in j watson’s mouth; and I believe what j means is that African Americans were thought of as sub-human. Which was then used to justify behaviors toward them (i.e., treating them as somewhat sophisticated beasts of burden, if you will, but not fully human).

Let me provide an example, if I may. Two years back I took our car to a garage to get the tires changed. While I was waiting, one of the guys stated that Michelle Obama was “a gorilla in heels” and then pointedly looked at me. I believe it was an invitation to agree and join a particular group with a particular perspective.

I passed on the opportunity.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Perhaps he is referring to the prevailing thought that just because they were barefooted, uncivilized savages from the jungle that they were, somehow, subhuman. It was certainly a convenient way to deal with the guilt of requiring them to drink from separate fountains and being treated like animals.

Eamonn Toland
Eamonn Toland
8 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

The supposed innate inferiority of blacks to whites was used to justify the spread of slavery across colonial America, especially in large swathers of the South where there had been a complete ban on slavery.
One of the earliest colonists in seventeenth century Virginia to secure the return of his slave through the courts was a man named Antonio Johnson, who was commended for his service to the colony, probably in fending off Native American attacks. Antonio (later Anthony) was black, originally from Angola. Within a few decades his descendants were run out of the state, as “free negroes” were forbidden to live there.
In the 18th century, the colony of Georgia, which also contained much of modern-day Alabama and Mississippi, was supposed to be a whites-only settlement of small farm holdings that protected the southern frontier of British influence. Slavery was already considered immoral by many, and was completely banned in Georgia for decades, until colonists became “stark mad after negroes” to grow cotton.
You could trace attitudes to slavery almost perfectly by the mix of crops grown in each region. Sugar in Louisiana, rice in Carolina (“Carolina gold”), cotton in Georgia all resulted in slavery becoming highly lucrative long after people had started to challenge the morality of human bondage. The thirteen colonies were not responsible for the vast majority of the slaves transported to the Americas, but they did design highly lucrative breeding programmes which led to families in the Upper South being broken up and sold down the river.
This was problematic in a Christian society that prided itself on concepts of liberty and equality.
To avoid dissonance, any trace of equality was systematically erased. Hence under Slave Codes freed blacks were not allowed to live in slave states. Blacks were not allowed access to education, and sumptuary laws prevented them from dressing like white people. Blacks and whites were forbidden to marry under miscegenation laws, which remained on the statute books in Virginia until 1967. Yes 1967.
At the time of Independence Thomas Jefferson was lamenting how slavery debauched owner and slave alike. There was a ban on further slave importation that was hoped would see the problem fade away. By the 1830s it was clear that African-American populations were booming despite dreadful infant mortality rates. Slavery was now described as a “positive good” especially by the Scots-Irish Senator and former Vice President, JC Calhoun.
So yes, there was a very thorough ideological underpinning that was used to justify slavery, and it left a legacy of privilege that was handed down through generations, long after the economic incentives that underpinned Slave Codes had disappeared in the US. What that has to do with Ireland is another story.

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Given ‘scientific racism’ didn’t develop until the early 20th century I am not sure your theory is correct. Compare it to Arab enslavement of blacks on a gigantic scale dating back as early as the Zanj revolt

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
8 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Not to forget Arab enslavement of white (european) people.