Slainte

by mollykl

I fucking hate St Patrick’s Day. There, I said it.

In the first place, it falls during Lent so how did it become twisted into a day of bacchanal-level drinking?

Secondly, do you even know who St Patrick was?

And thirdly, beer should not ever be green, and there’s a special place in purgatory for you if you think it should be.

But this year I’m going to revel in it. Well, I’m going to revel in the irony of it, because Trump’s Travel Ban II (subtitled, “let’s just keep throwing these out until one sticks or until people get tired”) was, before being struck down, supposed to take effect March 16th. On March 17th we will celebrate the culture and saint of a people that this country once thought of the equivalent of the Syrians we are now rejecting, and we will do it with big smiles on our faces and cheer in our hearts.

America’s relationship with the huddled masses yearning to breathe free has always been complicated. We are ridiculously proud of being a nation of immigrants, but we don’t want any more right now thank you. We want immigrants like us, thanks, not like them. We were hostile to the Chinese, to the German and Irish in the mid-1800’s, to the Vietnamese in the 1970’s, and now to the Syrians. We were so fearful of Jewish immigrants that in the 1930’s we turned them back, where they returned to promptly be sent off to camps. Why is it we conveniently forget? (And sweet mother of God why does “Clueless” have a better argument in favor of immigration than Trump has in opposition?) We’re pretty good at forgetting that the greater number of us were immigrants, some only a few generations back.

Tomorrow everyone will pretend to be Irish. Want to really pretend to be Irish? Pretend you just left your home and came to a country that doesn’t want you. Delve into cultural memory for a time when your ancestors came here and were treated as the “other”, when the newspapers were full of editorials on why your great-great-grandfather was going to steal jobs or bring disease and crime.

Don’t like it, do you? Enjoy your green beer.

Advertisements