And like my ancestors of the African diaspora, the Irish were once slaves a.k.a. “Indentured Servants”, and bound for the Americas by the British. King James II and Charles I enslaved them by selling 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves, making Ireland, as was done with Africa, a huge source of human livestock. The forced interbreeding of Irish females with African males was widespread on British plantations in the Caribbean and U.S. until it was outlawed in 1681, giving birth to anti-miscegenation laws.
As a matter of fact, the Irish didn’t become “white” in America until they fully participated in the wave of anti-black violence that swept the country in the 1830s and 1840s, where unskilled Irish men competed with free African Americans for jobs.
So I ask, what would St. Patrick do in this situation?
He would unquestionably welcome Irish LGBTQ, especially in a parade named after him.
St. Patrick was a man who used his experience of struggle to effect change.
As a 5th century English missionary to Ireland, St. Patrick was born in 387 and died on March 17, 461 AD. He was taken prisoner by a group of raiders attacking his family’s estate that transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.
After six years as a prisoner, St. Patrick escaped, but returned to Ireland as a missionary to convert them to Christianity. As a priest, he incorporated traditional Irish rituals rather than eradicating their native beliefs. St. Patrick used bonfires to celebrate Easter since they honored their gods with fire, and he superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what we now know as the Celtic cross.
While many parade officials may think they are honoring the St. Patrick’s Day tradition by excluding its LGBTQ communities, like the Black Church, they will only be dishonoring themselves.
And, truth be told, no one knows how to throw a party or put on a parade like the LGBTQ community.
Rev. Irene MonroeClick here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 LA Progressive