False Narratives on Irish History

I’ve seen the false narratives about Irish “enslavement” in the Americas going around again. You demean the true and complicated heritage, which does include a great deal of suffering and persecution, of the Irish people when you spread distortions and lies about their history to serve your own political or personal agenda. Also, many of the memes and posts make use of photos taken from other peoples, times, and countries: Accurate context and background information does matter. Please don’t spread cite images, videos, words, etc., out of context.

I would write more about this, but it’s already been done. When in doubt, investigate multiple sources on an issue. You can start here to learn about the real history behind the misleading memes and posts being spread.

This 1908 photograph of fishermen in the parish of St. John, Barbados, is often used to illustrate memes that falsely claim Irish people were slaves in colonial America.

from the above article by Liam Stack:

Open letter to Irish Central, Irish Examiner and Scientific American about their “Irish slaves” disinformation, by Liam Hogan, Medium

A review of the numbers in the “Irish slaves” meme, by Liam Hogan, Medium
This is one article from a series of seven that Hogan did. You can link to the other six through this articles.

All of my work on the “Irish slaves” meme (2015–’20), by Liam Hogan, Medium

from the above article by Liam Hogan: I geotagged a random sample of 1,500 different Facebook users who shared the ‘Irish American’ iteration of the meme

Why the Irish were both slaves and indentured servants in colonial America, by Niall O’Dowd, Irish Central
“We can’t let white racists co-opt this devastating part of Irish history.” This article provides more context on the dubious nature of indentured servitude in many instances, because no, the “contract” was not always voluntary nor always honored. However, as the author emphasizes, what the Irish endured was not the same in nature, scale, or scope as what the many distinct peoples of Africa and their descendants endured through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and institutionalized chattel slavery in the Americas.

The Irish in the Anglo-Caribbean: servants or slaves? by Liam Hogan, Laura McAtackney and Matthew C. Reilly, History Ireland
This article gets more into the actual terminology, or semantics. Why do words matter?

Were There Irish Slaves in America, Too? by David Emery, Snopes

Also, the experiences of one people (defined by whatever parameters) do not invalidate the experiences of another; no one should use one tragedy, trauma, etc., to negate that of another.

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