“Selma”: LetsGetAlongerist Porn?

A new movie “Selma” tells the story of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. Although it is fair to say that the scale in the Old South was greater than in the North of Ireland, it is worth pointing out that there was a civil rights issue in Norn Iron and that the civil rights movement of the late 1960s was formed partly in response to what people say on their TV News screens.

There was always LetsGetAlongerism. There was always something called “liberal unionism”.

The modern generation of people, who purport to live in the “middle ground” (ground that they believe to be a higher moral ground than the ground where the rest of us live) cannot be blamed for the failings of previous generations of LetsGetAlongerists. But there are parallels.

A sectarian/racist police force. Discrimination. Supremacist politicians who tried to sell a line that civil rights was a communist or republican plot. Orange Order. Ku Klux Klan. …underpinned by violence of course. We even had our share of Uncle Toms …Catholics like GB Newe who served in a Faulkner Government as a token Taig. And Oliver Napier who was one of the founders of the Alliance Party.

But I wonder how many LetsGetAlongerists wringing their hands in angst as they watch footage of deaths of black people in Alabama even know the names “John Scullion” and “Peter Ward”, the first of the Troubles victims in 1966.

Thats the nature of LetsGetAlongerism. A committment to social justice globally while being apathetic to the social injustices in Norn Iron. Injustices suffered by Irish people, only one mile from the Belfast cinema showing “Selma”.

Voyeurism is taking pleasure in an activity but not taking part.

LetsGetAlongerim is Voyeurism ….watching people struggle for social justice without actually doing something meaningful.

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2 Responses to “Selma”: LetsGetAlongerist Porn?

  1. John McMahon says:

    I know the feeling. In August 1979 the government of Eire, led by a Mr Jack Lynch from Cork, banned a visit to Limerick by a rugby team from South Africa. Foreign Minister, O’Kennedy, from Tipperary in the province of Munster (the same province as Cork) explained “The government is opposed to discrimination in sport whether on grounds of race or religion.” Very fine sentiments. In that same month, the Linfield soccer team was allowed to play in Dundalk. Obviously, the government of Eire was more concerned about rugby discrimination against Blacks in far off South Africa than it was about soccer discrimination against Catholics in nearby Ulster. And the government of Eire had a right to be selective in its concern. People cannot help having their favourite causes. The government of Eire could not help being concerned about Black in South Africa and not being concerned about Catholics in Ulster.

    The trouble is that 3 weeks later Mr Lynch went to the USA. During his visit, the reprimanded the Ulster Catholic Americans about their support for the Ulster Catholic war effort. If Jack Lynch was not interested in Prod aggression in Ulster, he had a hell of a cheek showing any interest in the responses of the victims of that aggression. Southerners, southerners, southerners God damned bloody southerners.

    • The South African Rugby thing is interesting. I was (I think) 17 or 18 at the time and went to Ravenhill in Belfast to protest.
      I took one look at the counter demonstration, organised by players from various Ulster Clubs including Queens University.
      They were all looking forward to beating up a few uppity Fenians.
      So I ….er….went home.
      The funny thing is most of those Rugby people would then and now describe themselves as liberal unionists and moderates.
      The even funnier thing is that in 2008, Queens University …without any irony …”celebrated” 40 years of involvement in the Civil Rights movement.
      I was at a seminar and wanted to mention the Rugby club. But never got the opportunity.
      The best thing about LetsGEtAlongerists is that they re-write theirown History.

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