African people in Ireland.

A small country, with a population of just four million people, it was easy for us to be just one religion, Catholic and just one colour, white. Just over thirty years ago, You would have a hard time spotting a foreign person at all. There were only all Irish kids in our schools and there were only all Irish people living on our streets. We were all Catholic because that was what we were born into. Catholicism was a strict religion for my parents age group (mid 70’s now) all the way into the late 1980’s. And we know for sure now the damage that some of those powerful Catholic priests did to our children and the control they used over our women, preventing them from being free within their marriage.
 Having said that, I am a proud Catholic. I have had a lot of good experiences from priests and nuns in my life and I see the priests in my parish to be loving and helpful to all. I think we need a church as a base or a guidance but inevitably, being Christian is the path we need to follow. And the Catholic Church is spreading that message now.
 I was delighted to see that foreign people began travelling to our shores when I was 22 years of age, (I’m 48 now). Chinese, Indian and African people soon began settling in Ireland. I guess they liked the safety of our country first of all, since we are fairly safe from powerful, murderous leaders. Who wouldn’t want their children raised in a safe environment? With the added bonus of education? Absolutely everybody’s right in life! (Why we allow murderous leaders on our planet at all is another day’s blogging!)
I think they may have liked our climate too, because it is not extreme. You can be fairly sure we won’t have volcano’s, sunami’s or indeed a lack of water that would wipe out their generations of families. And I suppose they might have heard that the Irish people were nice, whom they could live side by side in harmony and not be ridiculed or indeed slagged by racial comments. And all of this was true in the beginning.
 Initially we were shy with these people. They looked so exotic compared to our pale Irish skins. Their hair was glossy and black and ours was fuzzy and unruly. They were a very beautiful, colourful addition to our 40 shades of green. We were afraid to talk to them in case we showed ourselves up to being just ordinary. We had never travelled. We weren’t as educated as some of the new foreigners.
 We were afraid of their religions, “What if they went around trying to convert us to the mad religions that wasn’t Cathoilc? Cults even?”
 So I guess we held our guard up for a while. But now after 26 years, I hope our foreign people are beginning to feel at home now?
 Don’t be afraid of your colour or your difference! Hold your head high and greet ‘Good Morning’ to each passer by, just like you would in Africa, India or China.
Unfortunately, for some of you guys, you arrived into the years of our ‘Celtic Tiger’ where you witnessed greed, alcohol and drug abuse, violence, racialism from some ignorant people possessed by the Devil. You never got to see the Irish people you heard about, whose motto was ‘A thousand Irish welcomes’.
Well, hopefully you will now. I have seen some changes since our recent recession hit. People are realising now that you need more prayer in life than money. That happiness is found with family and friends and neighbours. They see that African, Indian and Chinese is mixing beautifully with our pale Irish skin and creating beautiful children.
When I talk to an African person, I look straight into their eyes, I don’t even notice the colour of their skin, I do however notice their beauty.
 Isn’t it odd that nobody has ever said that it’s jealousy that causes the racial comments?  When other kids are mean to your kids, you comfort your kids by explaining it’s jealousy that’s causing the meanness: When bullies are mean to a person in the workplace, it’s normally jealousy at the route of it.
I’m not trying to lighten the issue, jealousy can destroy a person’s life.
But African, Indian and Chinese people, know it’s only jealousy behind these racial slurs.
These abusers only want what they can never have, your beautiful black skin!
Jean xx

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1 thought on “African people in Ireland.

  1. Very unique perspective…

    Like

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