Afrocentrism and Making Shit Up

We were talking about St Patrick’s Day at work and a couple of us mentioned that we don’t celebrate it. I gave my usual snobbish, lofty, Lace-Curtain Irish explanation that it is because it celebrates the worst Pig-Shit Irish stereotypes, but I was surprised by the reason given by a black woman, who said that she used to celebrate it until she heard the origin of the term, “paddy wagon.” According to her, the South’s slave patrols were recruited from the Irish population because they were the only white people willing to touch the beat-up, bloody escaped slaves. They then brought them back to their plantations in wagons called “paddy wagons” because they were driven by the Irish patrollers, called “paddy rollers” because they were Irish.


I tried to explain that the slave patrols were, by law, made up of all of the white males, not just the Irish; that if there were many Irish is was because of Scots-Irish immigration, not immigration from Eire; that the Scots-Irish don’t count because they weren’t really Irish and, besides, they were Protestants (there are no rules against trolling IRL! :wink: ); that beating up on black folk was a Southern white birthright, enjoyable by all; paddy wagons were likely named for their cargo of drunken Irish brawlers; and that the attitude was that the uppity slaves shouldn’t get to ride in the “lap of luxury,” but should walk, dammit.

She said she will bring in the book where she read about this. I look forward to reading it. But what struck me is how casually she explained to a person of Irish ancestry why she hates all the Irish, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to paint us all with this pseudo-historical calumny. It reminded me of listening to a white-supremacist, but without the self-awareness, and the more I read about Afrocentrism the more I see some people playing a zero-sum game, in which blacks lift themselves by pushing down whites, to the point of making shit up. I wish people didn’t do that.

I predict this will not go well.

Wiki goes into some detail.

No slave wagons mentioned. It would be simple enough if one of the dopers with date phrase searching access of old news media could see how early the phrase is used. If nothing exists before the early 1900’s then slave gathering use seems unlikely.

Disliking something current because of what it might have meant two centuries ago is fundamentally stupid…

Here’s where her confusion might be coming from.

Slave patrols wiki -

More on “pattyrollers” specifically

Where do you think they came from?
Éire is the whole island, indisputably so at the time.

and … here we go re where she might have got it.

From Slave Patrols To Paddy Wagons

The phrases are so close you can almost see how this happened where someone writing about “paddy rollers” goes right to thinking “paddy wagons” cause … well … one naturally had to come from the other. The names are even the same for goodness sake! “Paddy Rollers” used “Paddy Wagons” … they had to!

Note that I was trolling her with intra-Irish bullshit at this point. Better that than saying, “Where did you get this shit?” :wink:

astro, I read your link and thought that his

was a stretch which discounted how in cities, where police departments were first founded, nearly all of the miscreants were white. More made-up history intended to support a view that the primary purpose of white society was to suppress blacks. While that may have been partly true in slaveholding states, up north they had other people to oppress. :wink:

People will view history through their own lens. You can beat her over the head for relying on some blogger’s etymological history error, but I think you might have a better result walking her though how he made his error which is actually kind of interesting.

Default textbook white American history also has it’s fair share of made up shit so judging black people for doing, or tryin to do, the same thing is chancy.

Indeed, and I do not wish to ignore the very real oppression of blacks in this country, but the counter to Whitey’s made-up history is not making up history of your own, nor is it quoting feel-good made-up history because it supports your own prejudices. Cleopatra probably did not have features of a Sub-Saharan African, Aristotle would have been hard-pressed to steal Africa/Egyptian philosophy books from a library founded 25 years after he died, and the nobility of Western Europe was not of recent African ancestry.

This ^^
Tell that old biddy to grow up already and stop using ancient history as an excuse to play the victim card.

“Ancient?” Not so very!

There are plenty of people alive today who suffered under Jim Crow segregation. Racism is less today than in the past, but it hasn’t gone away.

That said, yeah, being mad at the Irish because they participated in slave patrols is kinda like being mad at the Quakers because of Richard Nixon.

Still Jim Crow doesn’t exist today, people should move on and get with the times. The longer they remain in the past the longer they will put forward a mentality of victimization which only drags the country down with them. Racism will never go away, there will always be a few who remain stuck in those ways. So rather than looking for racism and other bogeymen around every corner we should acknowledge the tremendous gains we have made and keep our focus on that rather than giving people excuses to be victims so they can get free sympathy.

You people are ignoring how she, while recounting her bogus history, came right out and expressed her racist hate of me, personally, for the actions of my distant relatives! It’s almost as if you think I’m incapable of being offen…d…ed. Okay, you got me there. I really did just think it was funny and ironic. But some people are more sensitive than I, and she should watch it, especially when she brags about having nothing white in her house except the toilet. I mean, some people have black toilets, and what would she think of that? :eek:

Voter ID laws, and redistricting laws (legalized again now that the Supreme Court took away any enforcement from the Voting Rights Act) still exist. There are a few other remnants.

Redistricting is constitutional

Voter ID laws are simple, go get off your lazy behind and get anID. Not hard to do. But then again there are some who feel so self entitled that they don’t need an ID to go vote. Only citizens should be voting, and voter ID laws ensure it.

Not always: the Supreme Court, and the appeals courts, have struck down many redistricting plans.

Actually, they’ve deliberately made it hard to do, and that’s the basis of a lot of bitterness around here.

So you’re saying you don’t know what a poll tax is.

…which is why it was called “ancient”.

I believe that the topic referenced was not Jim Crow laws.