Adams Might Be A Lot Of Things But A Racist He Is Not

Mick Hall @ Organized Rage weighs in on the n word controversy, writing that:

Watching Django Unchained-A Ballymurphy N-----! not meant as a racist tweet.   

A brouhaha broke out the other week after Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams used the word n----- in a tweet. The usual suspects poured excreta on Gerry's head, plus some who really should have known better. Adams might be a lot of things but a racist he is not. Anyone who has been in front-line politics as long as he will have accumulated enemies and he has his fair share, but there is one certainty about Mr Adams, a racist he is not.

Many of those who claimed he is are little better than reactionary scum using tens of millions of black people's suffering to advance their neoliberal political cause. We have had it in England recently when the media and their political gophers claimed Ken Livingstone is a racist. 

When some of his accusers and those who have now condemned Adams were supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa,* Livingstone and Adams were in the same trench as the ANC and in the forefront of the anti racist campaigns in the UK and Ireland. 

In the late 1970's a senior ANC activist in Ireland, Kader Asmal, who went on the serve in Nelson Mandela's cabinet, asked the Irish republican movement to assistance the ANC military wing MK in an operation, Adam's and senior colleagues did not hesitate in saying yes.

The former anti apartheid campaigner in Ireland, cabinet minister and Trinity college Dublin law professor, who is now dead, revealed in his memoirs how PIRA volunteers carried out reconnaissance on one of the country’s most strategic installations, the Sasol oil refinery in Sasolburg, near Johannesburg, before it was bombed on June 1st, 1980.

The actual attack was carried out by Umkhonto we Sizwe, better known as MK, the military wing of the ANC, and struck a major blow against the apartheid state at the time. In his book, Politics in my Blood, Asmal, founder of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (IAAM), claims Gerry Adams provided the IRA volunteers to carry out the mission after he contacted go-between Michael O’Riordan, then general secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland.

Asmal recounts how he was approached in the late 1970s to help arrange training for MK cadres in Ireland. He writes:

I was very keen, but it was a delicate task because it would of necessity involve the IRA. None of us wished to place the ANC office in London in jeopardy or fuel the allegations of connivance between the ANC and IRA. I went to see the general secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, Michael O’Riordan, who was a man of great integrity and whom I trusted to keep a secret. He in turn contacted Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin and it was arranged that two military experts would come to Dublin to meet two MK personnel and take them to a safe place for two weeks of intensive training. I believe the expertise the MK cadres obtained was duly imparted to others in the ANC camps in Angola.

Asmal says he was later approached again by the MK high command who wanted two people to conduct a reconnaissance operation on the feasibility of attacking Sasol, South Africa’s major oil refinery, vital to the maintenance of the apartheid state.

Once again, I arranged the task with Adams of Sinn Féin, through the mediation of O’Riordan. Though I no longer recall the names of the persons who volunteered, if indeed I ever knew them, they laid the ground for one of the most dramatic operations carried out by MK personnel.

Does this sound like the work of a racist?

As to the Tweet, local Louth historian Brendan Matthews points out Gerry Adams was making a somewhat delicate and cack-handed, yet historically correct point when he used the word N----- in a recent tweet: 

“Watching Django Unchained-A Ballymurphy Nigger!”

Adams point was that both the Irish and blacks were dehumanised in the past by racists and regarded as less than human.

On the Pensive Quill no fan club of Gerry, Brendan Mathews wrote: 
Gerry had a good point, if only he actually had gone on to express it! The enclosed below is taken from a British rag of the 19th century. Notice how both are drawn to look less human.

There is no doubt that Irish and the Black people were compared as equally problematic within the US and British media during the 19th and early twentieth centuries, the facts speak for themselves.

Mick Hall 

* David Cameron visited SA all expenses paid by Apartheid regime and served as one of Thatcher's advisers at a time when she was a ferocious supporter of that regime and regarded Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. 

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

7 comments to ''Adams Might Be A Lot Of Things But A Racist He Is Not"

  1. I cannot understand why Gerry Adams or anyone else should feel that they must explain at considerable length and dragging up all this information to justify the use of the N-WORD. Having watched read and listened to Gerry Adams the former MP for West Belfast and the current TD for Louth for many years I tried to work out why he used the most nasty hateful word that anyone could say or print about our fellow man , Adams never makes a mistake he is cold calm and collected when he either speaks or more especially when he puts pen to paper , Mr Adams has for those who really know him a very short temper, he is a very angry man, but most of all he never forgets.
    Why does he feel the need to continually come up with excuse after excuse as to why he used the N-Word, a mistake is a mistake an unreserved apology is all that is needed not the never ending tripe he has been spewing out everyday since.
    What should be remembered at all times is that this is not something he said in the heat of the moment he deliberately logged into his Tweet web site and wrote the word down knowing that his followers and others would see it. Mr Adams TD is someone who doesn’t like to be disrespected because he believes he is a statesman, Mr Adams is not a racist in any form but he is a very angry man and angry people seek revenge, maybe we should be looking at people that have disrespected him at sometime in the past to find the reason behind his outburst

  2. "... maybe we should be looking at people that have disrespected him at sometime in the past to find the reason behind his outburst ..."

    Like not getting into the St.Patricks Day thingy at the Obama Whitehouse?

    Adams performance the at the Ard Fheis '16 was especially poor in substance and delivery too. His politcal intuition has been ruined by decades of deference, and this is what happens when you dont need to try.

  3. BR

    I've heard it said that anger is rarely the bottom line.
    It's often useful to mine down under the anger, mine down under the anger with an eye to possible fears and possible frustrations and you're more likely to come up with something more tangible if not more solid rather than explanations for anger.

    It's also worth remembering that we don't actually know the emotions being felt at the time of GA's tweet. I'm more of the opinion this was an attempt at manipulation to diffuse fearful or frustrated feelings rather than an expression of felt anger; as you say he seldom does angry outbursts. My best hunch is that this was a manipulative statement, a manipulative statement for whatever purpose that only the 'Great Leader' may or may not know!

    Despite his 'glic' he has his blind spots too. He may have 'beaten the rap' and escaped the assassin's bullet but despite what he or many others may believe, he doesn't walk on water.

    Unless, of course, he really has made a pact with the devil.

  4. Not sure it had much to do with why GA tweeted, or why he post so many, how can I say this politely, immature tweets (could a young intern has been employed to aim at the yoof) DaithiD may be nearer the mark when he wrote 'His political intuition has been ruined by decades of deference, and this is what happens when you don't need to try.'

    His life seems pretty grim to me, he seems caught in his very own groundhog day, yet where could he possibly live out a reasonable retirement, if he were to retire his enemies would have a field day picking over his bones.

  5. Mick im still surprised he hasnt started reaching for the black hair dye (ala Gaddaffi).At the peak of his powers, he was truly formidable, now its more of an 'Elvis in Vegas' feel, without the hair dye obviously.

  6. gadafi died defending his sovereign country. hate to hear that ponce mentioned in the same sentence as the colonel.a man whos country was a desert but he managed to get freewater for his people by funnelling it up from under the sahara. no water meters for the colonel. poorest country in africa when he took it over. he made it the most prosperous country in africa. 50,000 slaughtered recently in a country with a smaller population than ireland. what did sf and adams do about this monstrous attack on innocent people? gadafis hair was red the day he died. jerome g.

  7. Daithi

    Spot on, apologies if i'm insulting anyone but I always use the black boot polish, whether it comes in tin or expensive bottle as a way to detecting egotistical arsholes.


    I always had a lot of time for old Muammar Muhammad and you would have to be brain dead not to see Libyans were better off under his rule than they are today. But Daithi's dictum fits the old soldier perfectly, give any human being more than ten years in power and from then on it's downhill all the way.


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