1/28/2006

Racist Ireland?

Ireland has been branded an apartheid society by former ANC activist Patrick Maphoso. Mr. Maphoso believes that the recent threat to re-deport Nigerian student Olukunle Eluhanla shows an inherient racism in Irish political circles when it is compared with the proposals to foreign students and skilled workers from India permission for them and their families to live in Ireland.


He has been backed up in his comments by Rosanna Flynn from Residents against Racism who points out that;

It’s a question of money and class. The system is always weighted against working-class people but, if you are black and live in poverty, it is worse.While I welcome people coming into the country, the system is very unfair. It’s a case of one rule for the rich and a different rule if you are not rich

To me, this is typical of what is happening in modern day Ireland. Government and society seem only to care about the rich, while those less well-off are almost forgotten about. A society should be judged by how it treats its most vunerable and people should not be judged merely by the colour of their skin or the amount of euro in their pockets. Mr. Maphoso rightly draws a comparasion between the new migrant workers coming into Ireland and the Irish people who for many decades left this island in search of work;

These new policies will only benefit the rich in society, not the poor. A lot of Irish people have very short memories. A lot of them went all over the world and made a lot of money but they forget that now

Personally, I love my country and, while I would like to travel, I have no intention of ever emigrating permanently. However I realise that my generation has been lucky and that the generations before us did not always have that choice. The Irish economy is now thriving but that was not always the case, many young Irish men and women like myself once had no choice but to leave their homes and families to move to Britian or America in search of work. Too many young Irish people these days forget this. We should be grateful for the good fortune and good times Ireland is currently enjoying and we should not begrudge others from harder backgrounds the chance to share in that good fortune when they are willing to work and make a positive contribution to society. As the Bible says "Do unto others as you would have done unto you".

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