The PC crowd missed St. Patrick’s Day and here’s why:
According to the doctrine of the politically correct college campus crowd, St. Patrick’s Day is an absolute train wreck of a culturally-appropriated holiday. Its a celebration filled to the brim with micro-aggressions and ethnic tropes. There could not be a more text-book example of political incorrectness. And yet the politically correct college crowd that is usually quite loud is silent today.
Here’s what you would typically hear from the PC crowd: The proper slang is not St. Patty’s Day but St. Paddy’s, from the Irish name Pádraig. We’ve culturally appropriated shamrocks, which were supposedly used by St. Patrick as a 3-pointed symbol to illustrate the Holy Trinity as he spread Christianity through Ireland. We’ve culturally appropriated the color green, which was the standard-bearer for Irish nationalism and became an emblem of political and social struggle. We’ve culturally appropriated the costumes of leprechauns, a popular Irish fairy tale. And let’s not even get started about all the drinking, which belittles an entire culture down to alcoholism, and is loosely rooted in the Catholic Church allowing alcohol to be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day despite the holiday falling on Lent.
But we don’t actually hear much of that today. Why the silence?
Because cultural appropriation is only offensive when it can be used to advance a liberal agenda.
On Cinco De Mayo for example, you’ll find outrage-and-offense-inducing stories like these: an apology for wearing a sombrero on TV; cancellations of racist college parties; cautionary guidelines to avoid reveling in racism; reasons not to throw a Cinco de Mayo party. Halloween always causes a stir on college campuses because of the fear someone might dare dress up in another culture’s costume. You can’t even wear facial cream anymore without being accused of stirring up something racial.
But on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll find more stories like this: “St. Patrick’s Day Etiquette: 20 Do’s and Don’ts From Bartenders.” There is a story today about a protest; about gay rights groups who have been demanding to be included in the Boston parade for years finally being admitted entry.
It’s certainly not for Irish groups’ lack of trying. They have been calling foul on the excesses of the holiday for years, and their grievances certainly deserve merit if you care about a basic respect for other cultures.
St. Patrick’s Day gets a giant pass in the liberal outrage industry because, to many activists on the left, cultural appropriation has never truly been about actually respecting other cultures, although that’s the cover they use. It’s instead a struggle for power.
Remember again: to the left, your identity can be constitutive in supporting their agenda. There’s a line of thinking among some conservatives that the left’s focus over social identity is the reboot of last century’s focus over economic identity. After the working class revolution that the far left had hoped for failed to materialize, its adherents focused less on economic identity and more on social identity, which could be potently used to motivate marginalized groups and then used to further their agenda.
The Irish in the United States can’t be used that way: they are white, they are (mostly) Christian, and they have been largely successful in integrating themselves into U.S. politics, business, and wider society. They are not a “marginalized” group. This is the same reason why the left will not celebrate black conservatives or hispanics: Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz would not advance the liberal agenda.
That’s the abstract view, so let me bring it back in a bit: the vast majority of the political correctness crowd are not plotting to overthrow the establishment. PC culture is an intellectual trend, a way for students to show off their enlightenment, and many of the points they raise deserve merit.
But when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, the only thing college students will be protesting is why their favorite bar suddenly has a $20 cover. Good for them. It’s a day to have fun while recognizing a culture that made innumerable contributions to the United States. We can be aware of the excessive cultural transgressions while not allowing ourselves to get paralyzed with the offensiveness of it all.
But just keep in mind that the left’s tepid reaction to St. Patrick’s Day is the height of hypocrisy. The emperor still has clothes, but its a very different outfit from what we’ve been led to believe he’s wearing.
Via: Ind. Journal