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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Trump Would Have Called Ireland a Shithole Country


Had he been around in the 1840s, he would have described Ireland -- the birthplace of most of my great-great grandparents -- as a shithole.

From The Times,  March 8, 1847:
There is one feature of the famine in Ireland which has forcibly impressed itself on the English public, and which we animadvert on now for the benefit of those whom it specially concerns. So shockingly prominent is it, that we venture to say it will ever be recorded as distinguishing the present from similar calamities. The astounding apathy of the Irish themselves to the most horrible scenes immediately under their eyes, and capable of relief by the smallest exertion, is something absolutely without a parallel in the history of civilized nations. All that we read of in the description of Turkish or Chinese fatalism, of the indifference to life on the banks of the Ganges, or the brutality of piratical tribes, sinks to nothing, taking examples and opportunities into account, compared with the absolute inertia of the Irish in the midst of the most horrifying scenes.
The Turkish predestinarian sees a fellow-creature struggling for life in the water, and will not even throw him a rope though it lies at his feet. He sees a poor wretch assaulted by assassins in the street, and does not even take the pipe from his mouth to lend a hand or raise an alarm.We can understand this, shocking as it is; but we cannot understand what appears to be of daily occurrence in Ireland, and what we have on the authority of persons who seem to share the general stupidity.