Racism has reared its ugly head in Ireland in this past week. The Mayor of Naas (who’d have thought they’d even have a mayor) stated on a local radio station that he would no longer take representations from “Black Africans” as his experience with “them” in the past has been less than good. Race, is a matter of chance, a lottery depending on your gene pool, much like faith. As such it can never be a determining factor in how we treat people. Many years ago I read an article (or heard on the radio – memory fails) on this subject that has always stuck with me. When someone is spouting racist nonsense we should challenge them. If they say “blacks are lazy” we question and say – “is it laziness you dislike?” if the answer is yes, then retort “are there no lazy white people?” Inevitably there are. So it is “lazy people” you dislike, colour doesn’t come into it.
In the case of this “mayor” I could not deny that he has had difficulties dealing with certain people. But in lumping everyone into one category, he may as well suggest that he would not deal with Irish passport holders, because an Irish passport holder disagreed with him once.