by Hank McGrath
According to news reports from IrishCentral, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, America’s largest Irish organization, is now calling on Walmart to immediately cease the sale of “defaming merchandise targeting Irish Americans.”
Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/Walmarts-insulting-St-Patricks-Day-shirts-slammed-as-hypocritical.html#ixzz2vPi0ACnj
As well, a news post on February 14th,2014 by RebelForce on IrishAbroad.com, stated that the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) is also calling on national retailer Spencer’s Gifts, a holding of Acon Investments, to immediately cease the sale of denigrating and defaming merchandise targeting Irish Americans. The AOH is the largest Irish organization in the US.
AOH National President Brendan Moore told IrishCentral that the campaign had the highest priority.”No other ethnic group would stand for this type of vulgar and ignorant stereotyping,”he said.”Spencer’s have gone too far.”
The AOH, an Irish Catholic fraternal organisation, founded in 1836, drew particular attention to a Tshirt on the company’s site with the slogan “F*** me I’m Irish”.
The AOH is calling on their “40,000 members, their families, the Irish American community and our fellow Americans of all ethnicities to send a clear message to Spencer’s that there is no room in the America of the 21st century for the bigoted Thomas Nast stereotypes of the 19th.”
In a statement they said “We feel [this] sends a clear and unequivocal message on Spencer’s view of Irish Americans, their heritage and culture.”
The Irish fraternal group is calling for Spencer’s, and their parent Acon Investments, to cease the sale of their merchandise denigrating Irish Americans and to issue a formal apology to all Irish Americans via their website.
Among the defaming items for sale on-line and at Spencer’s stores include a hat with the phrase “Irish Girl Wasted”, “St. Pats Drinking Team; Drinking Other Bitches under the Table” and another shamrock emblazoned shirt with “Drunkest Bitch at the Bar”
The AOH’s National Anti-Defamation Chairman Neil Cosgrove said “We note that Spencer’s Gifts is a recidivist when it comes to denigrating the heritage and culture of Irish Americans. Spencer’s St. Pat’s [sic] merchandise seems to plumb new lows with each year.
“We have been told in the past by Spencer’s that this defaming merchandise is meant to be in a spirit of “fun”, yet we are not aware of Spencer’s engaging in such “humorous merchandise” relating to other heritages and their holidays.”
He added “We (thankfully) do not see such “fun” merchandise being offered by Spencer’s in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo for example.”
Spencer’s had previous informed the AOH that their group was not reflective of the company’s target market being 18 to 25 year olds.
Cosgrove noted “Not only as Irish Americans, but members of the broader community, that half of the demographic that Spencer’s is targeting with their St. Pat’s [sic] merchandise messages promoting irresponsible drinking are under age.”
Earlier this year the AOH had some success with the store Bed, Bath & Beyond, who agreed to pull offensive merchandise from their Christmas Tree stores.
However the AOH said “Spencer’s is unique in not only ignoring the concerns of Irish Americans but seemingly eager to engage in defamation and confrontation as expressed in the message of their F___ Me, I’m Irish” T-Shirt and their latest line of St. Pats [sic] merchandise.”
In response to the constant historical cover ups and discriminatory stereotypes that paint the Irish in a negative light, AOH’s National Anti-Defamation Chairman Neil Cosgrove stated in the October, 2013 Issue of the National Hibernian Digest, “How do we defend against this? First by educating ourselves and becoming aware of the full scope of the actual facts. As Hibernians we should all be proud of and cognizant of our heritage, history and traditions…”
The Irish have been battling the double standard regarding bias, discrimination, profiling and stereotyping FOR YEARS!
Tap the picture below which explains some examples:
If you would like to contact Spencer’s visit their Facebook page or Twitter and leave a message of support for the Irish:
*It has come to my attention that your company is waging a biased and discriminatory ad campaign against the Irish with the sale of your products. If you cannot sell the same shirts depicting denigrating jokes about other races such as Italians, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics – ONLY the IRISH – then it is evident these products intend to defame and injure those who are Irish and are targeting the Irish with harmful stereotyped propaganda that mock the race and heritage in a derogatory fashion. We do not consider this a joke.
You are advised to remove your crude, racist, anti-Irish, products from the marketplace.”
To join the Ancient Order of Hibernians or give your support visit: http://www.aoh.com/