Yesterday, St. Patrick's Day was marked by a #White House speech given by Irish Prime Minister #Enda Kenny, which lauded the contributions of immigrants to the United States of America, as President Donald Trump stood, just feet away. In a recent YouTube-hosted video, Jayar Jackson, with The Young Turks, described President Trump's demeanor during the Irish PM's speech as being the result of thinking either, "I want to kill this guy," or, "I don't know what he's saying. I wish he would stop talking." Jimmy Dore, also with TYT, imagined Trump later lamenting the accents of "foreigners" in private, and stating an inability to understand his speech.
PM Kenny's speech noted the annual White House tradition of honoring St. Patrick, who, the PM ensured those gathered understood, was an immigrant. Kenny described St. Patrick as both the "patron saint of Ireland," and "immigrants." He pointed to contributions of 35 million Irish-Americans on "economic, social, political, and cultural" fronts to a nation he described as "great." He described the plight of millions of Irish, drawn to America by "liberty," "opportunity," "safety," and "even food itself."
Irish PM invokes 'Lady Liberty'
"Four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore," Enda Kenny declared, as President Trump looked on. The prime minister of Ireland held up the "shelter," the "compassion," and the "opportunity," offered by the United States, and how the Irish "became Americans." John Iadarola, with TYT, characterized the Irish PM's speech as "sticking it" to Donald Trump, citing its references to "Lady Liberty," and "teeming shore." Mr. Iadarola offered the opinion that when foreign leaders wax eloquent in Donald Trump's presence, it is with the intention of "sticking it to him."
Iadarola observed that the PM's speech acknowledged realities of American life. One central to "what we are" is accepting those in need into the U.S. cultural fold, the other being a tradition of "resisting," and "resenting," those newly arrived. The TYT host suggested that, through history, those who have resisted and resented newcomers are never able to comprehend "what they represent," when compared and contrasted with those who have come before them. Iadarola described President Trump as being the "leader" of a "movement" comprised of people falling into this group.
Iadarola, who is 34, listed Italian, Irish, and German challenges, and victories, integrating into U.S. life and stated, "That's what we are as a country." He described President Trump looking "uncomfortable" while Enda Kenny spoke, being reminded of his immigration rhetoric, particularly in the presence of the media. Jayar Jackson spoke of a perception in America that immigrants are a "new thing," and contrasted this with the reality that with every new wave of them, through history, there has been "push back."
Slaves are not immigrants
Jimmy Dore noted a time in America's past when a business sign advertising for employees might have included a qualifier, such as "Irish need not apply." The host contrasted this with a view held by some that, because they were white, early Irish immigrants to the United States did not face challenges. John Iadarola stated that the "Irish had it really hard for a long time." Jimmy Dore, who is also a comedian, then stated, to laughs from Jayar Jackson and John Iadarola, "And that's why I know exactly what it's like to be black."
The Guardian has reported on the stark difference between an immigrant and a slave being brought to light when HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently confused the terms, speaking of "immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships." Immigrants have chosen to come to America, while African slaves were brought to America against their will. The Atlantic has reported that 4,000 U.S. cases of sex-slave trafficking were reported in 2012, though there are said to be 20.9 million victims worldwide. "Many cases go unreported."