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The Irish

TrickyRicky

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The uncomfortable answer to the question you ask nfitz might be that marginalizing new groups makes good sense. We allow bad people to marginalize new groups because it serves our purposes until such a point as it does not. At the point where marginalizing groups makes no sense we attack the marginalizers not the marginalized. Why this group behaviour happens I'm not going to get into here but if it made no sense why would so much energy be wasted? In nature and behaviour energy doesn't like to be wasted on activities with no purpose.

Speaking of the Irish it is amazing for such a small country how many people come from there. Like what is the diaspora population of people with Irish heritage relative to the island's population itself? And double amazingly for a developed country it is still shedding people to strange outposts like our own City today.
 

Palma

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It's true that Muslims in Canada are being treated like most new ethnic groups to Canada have been treated (marginalized and stereotyped with pressure to assimilate to wider mainstream Canadian culture). There are some noteworthy differences though:

a) The internet. In the past marginalization and discrimination happened off the grid, now it's there for everybody to see - magnified, distorted and manipulated (politicized) - which makes discrimination against Muslims seem 'exceptional' when really it isn't. This is the effect of the internet/social media on perception, it's similar to the effect on perception with regards to violent crime or any other social ills.

b) The internet/air travel. In the past, immigrant groups coming to Canada had no option but to sever most ties to the homeland and this motivated them to integrate. Today, it is possible to maintain greater familial, cultural and economic attachment to the homeland due to technology, which means the disenfranchised can reach out more readily beyond their adopted homeland when looking for a sense of community or acceptance. This is a double-edged sword, as we are seeing.

c) Current social context in Canada. Canada today is an extremely liberal and tolerant nation, with an ethos that directly contradicts that of many non-western nations (i.e. role of women, gender equality, democracy, growing secularism etc). Previous groups of immigrants have evolved with Canada in this way, to one degree or another, whereas latter groups of immigrants (and certain Muslim groups specifically in this case) have arrived while this process was already complete. This has created a stronger cultural clash than many previous groups had to deal with.

d) Current political/foreign policy context in Canada. I can't think of too many examples where immigrant groups have come to Canada from homelands that had active and explicit political, economic or ideological conflict with prevailing Canadian policy. I'm sure there were some but the point is that Canada is currently seen as a threat and an enemy to many of the nations where recent Muslim immigrants have come from. This has created a stronger conflict of interest than many previous groups had to deal with. *I thought about the Italians, Germans and Japanese during WWII but the difference being those groups were already quite well established in Canada when those conflicts arose.

In the end, the experience of Muslims in Canada is both exceptional and unexceptional at the same time, and is probably more a reflection of the differing Canadian context they have arrived in than a reflection on them themselves.
Muslims again are not a cultural group. Its a religion. Italians and germans were cultures (other nationalities). Why do people constantly mix the 2 up?
 

Tewder

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Muslims again are not a cultural group. Its a religion. Italians and germans were cultures (other nationalities). Why do people constantly mix the 2 up?
Yes that's fair, though I wasn't mixing them up so much as being lazy about it.

Regardless, I don't think it alters the discussion much, for all intents and purposes. In 1971 there were 33,000 Muslims in Canada, now there are over a million, almost half of whom arriving since 2000. In other words it's pretty safe to say we are talking about a recent wave/group of immigrants vs past waves or groups (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Canada. Also, Muslim communities in Canada are very much faith-based and probably out of necessity as much as anything else, so the line between culture and religion is not as delineated as you imply.
 

Tewder

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Most groups seem to get picked on. Though it always seems to be an very small and ugly minority within the majority group who are the ones doing the picking. The question is, why do we put up with that small and ugly minority? For example, the evil folks amongst us who oppose gay marriage, who want Muslims to go home, and who want to allow slavery.
I don't think it's a simple as that. I think it's a function of a continuum of more conservative and more progressive elements in society, and the ongoing dialogue/negotiation between them. The net result though is that our Canadian society does move forward, it just does so gradually and in a way that it's ready for, that it feels it can sustain. Remember, we are leaps and bounds ahead of most parts of the world where it comes to any of these issues.
 

nfitz

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What do you propose -- round them all up?
Of course not. But we could stop electing them. And in particular the media needs to start being more responsible about dealing with them.

I don't think it's a simple as that.
Yes, it is that simple. We need a zero tolerance policy for bigotry. The displays we've seen lately from several elected officials are beyond disgraceful. We have to stop turning a blind eye to racism and bigory, exposing the bigots for the complete and utter evil that they are.

But we digress. Happy St. Patrick's Day ...
 

King of Kensington

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And what about the Scotch-Irish? They surely suffered for centuries yet managed to create a modern western society: America.
The Puritans of New England came almost entirely from East Anglia. The Founding Fathers were mostly of English ancestry. Although a cottage industry has developed saying that Southern whites were mostly of "Scotch-Irish" ancestry they don't really provide much evidence for that. It's basically an attempt to make Southern whites look like an "oppressed group" (we're Celts being oppressed by northern Yankees!) which is why neo-Confederates like it so much.
 

TOareaFan

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What are these Scotch-Irish you speak of? Was there a particular generation of Irish people who shunned their own whiskey in favour of the brand created in Scotland by the Scots?
 

animatronic

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What are these Scotch-Irish you speak of? Was there a particular generation of Irish people who shunned their own whiskey in favour of the brand created in Scotland by the Scots?
One constant of ethnic politics is that it eventually boils down to a level of detail that nobody else gives a shit about. It's like a Seaton Villager getting their panties in a knot because someone says they live in the Annex.
 

TrickyRicky

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Actually correct me if I'm wrong but while the United States was founded on the English model and had large contributions made by Scottish and Irish immigrants, the meat and potatoes that is America is more German in origin. I think more Americans have German ancestry than any other group save maybe Mexican now.
 

King of Kensington

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More Americans declare German ancestry in the census. But in the 1980 census English was the most common ancestry. After that, it dropped off considerably - from about 50 million in 1980 to something like 32 million today. Now a lot of people write "American" as their ancestry - and that's most common in the South, where English was by far the common ancestry in 1980.

German ancestry has a plurality in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. It is much less common in the South and New England. New England was almost entirely of English stock until the Irish influx of the 1840s (and they were later joined by large influxes of Quebecois and Italians). The South, in contrast, saw very little 19th century immigration at all. The ethnic makeup of the Southern white population in 1950 wasn't really much different from what it was in 1800 - the vast majority of British ancestry, though with some exceptions in regional pockets like Louisiana.

In colonial times, something like 50-60% of whites were of English ancestry. The Scots-Irish and Germans were the next largest groups - around 10% or so. Germans were mostly in Pennsylvania, and Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and the South. So the English had a huge head start.

The big wave of German immigration was in the 19th century though.

"English" is kind of the generic, plain vanilla ancestry. So people are less likely to report it or even know it and a lot of them see themselves as "just Americans" now.
 
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Johnny Au

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There is the Muhlenberg legend as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhlenberg_legend

Legend has it that one vote prevented the United States from adopting German as an official language. It is a popular misconception though. Note that the United States has no official language; English is its de facto national language.

No wonder why hamburgers and hot dogs are first popularized in the United States; both foods have German origins.
 
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urbandreamer

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The Puritans of New England came almost entirely from East Anglia. The Founding Fathers were mostly of English ancestry. Although a cottage industry has developed saying that Southern whites were mostly of "Scotch-Irish" ancestry they don't really provide much evidence for that. It's basically an attempt to make Southern whites look like an "oppressed group" (we're Celts being oppressed by northern Yankees!) which is why neo-Confederates like it so much.
1) The majority of Scotch-Irish Americans aren't Celts
2) It's easy to identify who is and who is not Scotch-Irish based on surname &/or city/town/county they primarily founded/settled. Eg: Pittsburgh
3) They fought on both sides of the civil war
4) Majority aren't the "hillbilly" stereotype--not that there's anything wrong with hillbillies--kind of so untrendy they're actually cool :)
5) Founding fathers were a mix of English & Scots Irish

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Some Scotch-Irish are neither Irish nor Scottish ethnically; rather, they're English.

Confused? :p
 

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