Jostled and covered in spilt, green-tinged beer, interviewers approached pedestrians in Hoboken, New Jersey on St. Patrick’s Day. The interviewers asked these pedestrians to describe how they justify the racism aimed at the Irish in honor of the holiday.
“Oh man, I hate racists,” said Robert Grapp, age 37, a German-American. “I hate people that perpetuate stereotypes of POCs, like with watermelons, eating cats, or landscaping. I hate anyone that appropriates Native American dress for a Halloween costume. They’re *sssholes. But today I just want to drink, wear green clothing, and find a plastic shamrock-shaped hat to wear. There’s nothing wrong with that. The Irish are white anyway. No harm, no foul.”
“I’m friends with Irish people, so I can do whatever I want to,” said Lily Stodham, 28, a Polish- and Italian-American. “I don’t have a guilty conscience.”
“Yeah. I’m Irish myself, and Lily knows me,” chimed in Todd McGinty, 29. “She and I definitely have a pass. Luck of the Irish, baby.”
Collum Grickon, 32, slurred, “St. Patrick himself was a slave to Irish pirates in his teens. Now I’m a slave to my hereditary alcoholism. This is what tradition is about. Cheers!”
“You can read into the words ‘feast day’ however you want to,” asserted Megan York, 25, Swiss, through her mouthful of corned beef. “Annual cultural and religious celebration, day off for hedonism – same difference.”
“It’s okay to be racist when it’s fun!” exclaimed Tiffany Crane, 23, an American-American, as she savored the temporary suspension of open-container laws.
Later that day, as the festivities reached a more chaotic pitch, the interviewers watched a group of Irish and Irish-American men, women, and children forced into an alley by a drunken mob. The mob forced the Irishmen to “Do the accent!” and chug copious amounts of beer and liquor. When the Irish and Irish-Americans refused to drink any more, members of the mob physically restrained them and pinned their nostrils closed. At the exact moment the Irishmen needed to open their mouths to breathe, the mob forced still more alcohol down their throats. The cheers, jeers, and chants of the crowd persisted. “Chug, chug, chug!” “You’re incredible! That was like thirty beers!” Vomiting, sobbing, and the fighting Irish’s continuous attempts to fight back eventually dulled the pleasure of the spectacle and the mob dispersed.
The interviewers were helpless to defend the accosted against the hundreds of intoxicated assailants. They decided to get hammered and tactfully ignore all they’d seen.