Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NINA (No Irish Need Apply)

from Folha de S. Paulo, Sunday 3/30/08:

The government of Ireland decided to mistreat the Brazilians arriving in that country. (By deporting 57 Brazilians in the first three months of the year, mainly under the suspicious "law" that says anyone traveling to the EU must carry a minimum of 75 Euros a day for the duration of their stay, even if they are registered to attend a conference where that amount would not seem to be necessary.) In a case resolved by Policia Federal (Brazilian FBI), half a dozen natives of Ireland were in turn deported, focusing on people who were working in Brasil with a tourist visa.

It's a shame that Ireland has forgotten the time when it exported 5 million of its wretched, destroyed by hunger and lack of work. These embattled masses were accompanied by stereotypes as barbarians, brawlers, and drunks.There was a period when American commercial establishments put up signs on their doors stating: 'We do not accept blacks, Irish or dogs.' The madames of New York and London advertised for housekeepers with a code: "NINA," (No Irish Need Apply).

This short piece only reinforces the fear of a world ever-increasingly smaller, and the inability of countries to remain 'pure.' Whether it is the US, Ireland, Spain, or Italy, amnesia is running rampant. The immigrant of yesterday is the know-nothing of today. And so it goes.

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