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How the Irish Became White

by Noel Ignatiev

One way to be white, according to Ignatiev (history, Massachusetts College of Art) is to make sure nobody thinks you are Black. Ignatiev, also well known as a co-founder of the journal Race Traitor, notes that the Irish fled a homeland under foreign occupation and a caste system that reduced them to the lowest form of humanity. When they came to America they found their identity was defined instead by the color of their skin. Quickly, the oppressed became the oppressors and the new Irish immigrants proved they could be more brutal in their oppression of African Americans than those who had come before, with the Irish Protestant Ascendancy serving as role models. Published in 1995 and a source of controversy ever since, this is a significant part of Ignatiev's stated agenda to abolish the white race. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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