‘Hatred and Identity’  by Joe McVeigh


The great African-American writer and human rights campaigner, James Baldwin, once wrote:  “I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with pain.” I think this is a perceptive observation by one of the great writers of America. It is true that there are people in the USA and in this corner of Ireland for whom hatred of ‘the other side’ is what gives them an identity. Without it they have nothing –only the pain of being nobody, the pain of not knowing who they are! The hatred of ‘them’uns’ is plain to be seen in those who walk out of council meetings and those who attack and verbally abuse those in other parties who will not do their bidding. You have only to read the reports in The Impartial Reporter any week.

Martin Luther King Jnr. had a thing or two to say about hard hearts who practiced racism and cruelty against African -Americans. He referred to the people with the soft heads and hard hearts when what was needed was wise heads and soft hearts.

You have only to read some of the comments on this blog site to see just how hard – hearted and blinkered some people have become. Those who have hard hearts have nothing to offer in terms of building a new community in the New Ireland envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement- a community which is based on respect and tolerance not bigotry and hatred. These people are self-centred, prejudiced and bigoted. They fear the pain of giving up their bigotry and hatred. They lack the generosity of spirit that is needed for any society to work or to be at peace with itself.  What is missing here in these diehards is generosity. Their hard hearts prevent generosity towards their neighbours.

Their warped minds see things in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’. They twist everything to suit their agenda. “It’s are culture”, they say when challenged about bonfires. They do not care about the hurt and offence caused to their neighbours. When I referred to the burning of an effigy of Martin McGuinness this year in a Twelfth bonfire as a typical example of the hatred that exists in our society I read: ‘but you never condemn those burned by the movement to which Martin McGuinness belonged’.

These diehards are not capable of dealing with serious debate about the reality of anti-Catholic bigotry and the need to eradicate it from our community. They will argue that it is because of the Catholic Church or the IRA that anti- Catholic bigotry exists. The IRA has gone off the scene for 20 years. The Catholic Church has changed beyond all recognition. Yet the bigots still use these as an excuse. Of course they have not been encouraged to think differently and to act with tolerance by their current leaders.

This twisted discourse leads nowhere. It might be good for the Nolan show. The hard hearts and twisted minds get a lot of air time on the BBC. They appear often on social media. It is time to call a halt to the hatred and bigotry. The boil that is bigotry needs to be lanced. The pain that results has to be faced.


35 Responses to ‘Hatred and Identity’  by Joe McVeigh

  1. gaz August 6, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    A good place to start would be with some of your contributions to this blog Joe

  2. fiosrach August 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    What about a full paragraph,gaz, instead of a library of snappy one-liners?

  3. Tam August 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, Joe.

    You and your one-sided ungenerous attitude – and refusal to condemn evil – are as much a part of the problem as the loyalist bigotry about which you choose to write .

    You mention the comments on this blog yet the most bigoted comments come from nationalist contributors.

  4. fiosrach August 6, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

    I think,for the most part, that the post condemns all bigotry and blind hatred in general terms. Joe then goes on to talk about the part that he is most qualified to talk about I.e. Anti – Catholic and anti nationalist bigotry and especially whataboutery. All attempts to show the other side of the coin get their say. Do the unionists who post here feel that they are not getting enough air time? Do they think that Joe should praise the unionists for their love of nationalists or put the unionist point of view?

  5. Eolach August 6, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

    Gaz , Tam etc …try walking in some else’s shoes….you are always so concreted in your Unionist complacency …..for you normality is the ingrained hatred and sectarianism you exude daily ….you are completely unaware of the offence you cause…you challenge us now because we confront you for your stupid and irrational smugness….you seemingly don’t have a clue because all you’ve ever known is the belittlement of your neighbours. You spend your entire existence fawning over a foreign government who tolerate you ( for political gain ) but despise you…. because you , in their eyes , are just another insignificant “Paddy”…..Perhaps it’s time to smell the coffee!

    • Tam August 6, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

      By happy coincidence Eolach has popped up to prove my point about the contributions here.

      Any hatred, bigotry, bitterness and nastiness on thus blog is only discernable in the contributions of nationalists (some, not all). Unionist contributions are, generally, more measured and reasonable.

      Unionist contributors clearly condemn loyalist bigotry yet many of the nationalist contributors actively support nationalist bigotry. Even Joe himself refuses to condemn the Ennsikillen bomb (and presumably other PIRA atrocities) based on the fact that it was planted by nationalists.

      • Michael August 7, 2017 at 11:45 am #

        Pointing out bigotry is not bigotry in itself.
        You need to learn the difference.

        How about writing a blog yourself Tam?
        I’m sure Jude would be accommodating.

        Or are you afraid the big bad nationalists won’t let you?

        • Tam August 7, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

          Of course pointing out bigotry is not bigotry in itself.

      • Eolach August 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

        It’s obvious Tam, that you’re not a person for self-analysis or critique. I was simply pointing out that a little bit of inward examination and even superficial dabbling in the appraisal of another person point of view may help you understand that 50% of the population are not , and have no wish to be British. Loyalism/Unionism in its entirety blame everything , like petulant children , on the IRA. They left the scene 20 years ago , paving the way for a new beginning….and what did Loyalism/Unionism do…..backpedal , furiously trying to re-establish their racist ,sectarian , supremacist regime irrespective of the wishes of the majority in this country. They clung tightly to their drug dealing , pimping paramilitaries and viciously use their muscle to supercede the power of the PSNI …..not that they’re much use anyway , same bigots , new uniform ! If you feel aggrieved , tough , …..when you treat people with equality and kindness they will respond correspondingly.

        • Tam August 7, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

          I already understand that 50% of the population does not identify as British. In fact it’s less than that according to the last Census.

          I’m not sure that it’s possible to make such a blanket statement that “Loyalism/Unionism in its entirety blame everything on the IRA”. There are many strands of loyalism and unionism and many views within them.

          I’m not aware of any efforts by “loyalism/unionism” to “try to re-establish their racist ,sectarian , supremacist regime”. That’s simply untrue.

          I don’t feel aggrieved about anything.

          Your sweeping, false and insulting comments, however, about unionists and the police, serve yet again to reinforce my original point that the bigotry on this site comes not from unionist contributors but from nationalists.

  6. fiosrach August 6, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    An innocent catholic was shot dead by the British army in Pomeroy in 1974. Why did you not condemn it? Why did The Empress Arlene not condemn it? Why did Gregory Campbell not condemn it? Why did the Mayor of Coleraine say ‘We don’t call it Bloody Sunday, We call it Good Sunday’. Did you think that was a bad thing Mr SF? It was indeed and should never have happened. Aye, but do you c.o.n.d.e.m.n it? Hah,I thought you wouldn’t. How long will we have to put up with this sh1t? Yah sucks boo. I have condemned more than you. Do you condemn terrorism? You mean like in Iraq? That was legitimate war. I mean in the Province of Ulster. I condemn all terrorism. Aye, but what about the terrorism of the IRA. It was unfortunate that anyone had to die. Aye, but do you c.o.n.d.e.m.n. it? No, I thought not.

    • Tam August 6, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

      I’ll happily condemn it, as I condemn all murders.

      That’s the difference between me and Joe.

      • fiosrach August 6, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

        Aye, but define murder.

        • Tam August 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

          Pretty easy: an unlawful premeditated killing

          • fiosrach August 6, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

            So that rules out the RUC and the British Army killings,then?It must because none of them ever served serious time in jail. Any that did do a few months were reabsorbed into their old killing gangs and even promoted.

          • Tam August 6, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

            It rules out some of them but not all. Just because nobody is prosecuted for a murder doesn’t mean it wasn’t a murder. Most PIRA murders weren’t prosecuted.

            Unlike Joe I also condemn manslaughter and all other wrongdoing no matter by whom.

  7. moser August 6, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    The State that we are discussing is what is on trial here. Catholics didn’t run the State, Unionists did.
    So, is anyone actually going to stick their hand up and say that the Unionist State did not perpetrate evil on Catholics ? If you are a Unionist then, that is your legacy. Now, if unionists are serious about reconciliation then they could begin with saying sorry. Even if we were to take the IRA out of the equation it wouldn’t make the dirty deeds of unionists disappear. The evil of the Unionist State exists on it’s own.

    • Tam August 6, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

      Joe’s blog is about bigotry.

      • fiosrach August 6, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

        I wonder what brought all this bigotry about? As Moser says, the rotten state with its rotten police and rotten media backed up by perfidious Albion is what produced the staggers in the used to be servile nationalist population. Out casts in their own country. If they complained they were told to go and live in “Ireland “. What do you think caused this cesspool to erupt in the 60s? Were the taigs on magic mushrooms? Did they suddenly think that the unionists didn’t love them anymore?

      • moser August 6, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

        Tam, is that you sticking your hand up ?

  8. ben madigan August 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    “The evil of the Unionist State exists on it’s own” –

    With no sign of its supporters donning the sackcloth and ashes and ringing the medieval leper’s bell that they demand of others

  9. giordanobruno August 6, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    “You have only to read some of the comments on this blog site to see just how hard – hearted and blinkered some people have become”
    For once I find something Joe has said which I can agree with.

  10. Cal August 7, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    Reconciliation in Ireland can’t happen until unionism jettison the culture of superiority. Marches, flags and bonfires mark territory and are designed to keep people in their place.


    This is a short video on the guardian website. It is utterly depressing and until this cancer of sectarian supremacy is tackled, we will make no significant moves towards reconciliation.

    • Tam August 7, 2017 at 10:28 am #

      Reconciliation in Ireland can’t happen until nationalism jettison the culture of terror. Marches, graveside orations and flags mark territory and intimidate.


      This is a short video on YouTube. It is utterly depressing and until this cancer of terror legitimation is tackled, we will make no significant moves towards reconciliation.

      • Michael August 7, 2017 at 11:48 am #

        You are sounding more like MT every day.

        • Brendan Hewitt August 7, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

          that flute band could be straight out of the 12th…they just have the wrong fleg! Gut wrenching to see these terrorists lauded like this….and to see Marty up and walking about!

  11. fiosrach August 7, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    What about ………. The November carry on, poppies etc every year for 100 years. What about …… The Twelfth celebrations every year for 300+ years. What about ………

  12. Cal August 7, 2017 at 11:20 am #

    For the most part, I draw a distinction between a republican commemoration in Andersontown once every 25 years and the 1000’s + orange marches taking place annually through nationalist towns and shared town centres.

    Put it this way, the British commemorate their war dead every November at the cenotaph. No issue with that, no one claims that holds back reconciliation with Germany. If, however, the cenotaph was located at the Brandenburg gate and annual marches were held throughout Berlin accompanied by drunks shouting insults at Berliners then I can see how that would adversely affect Anglo-German relations.

    So as if with most things in life, there’s a time and a place. Unionism needs to learn that childhood lesson.

    • Tam August 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

      Cal, there are scores of these terror commemorations taking place regularly throughout the year. Its not once every 25 years.

      And you’re drawing a false distinction between war remembrance and terrorist legitimation. There should be no time and no place for the latter.

  13. Bridget Cairns August 7, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Prior to the 1960,s what justification did the unionists have for their virulent anti catholicism , anti nationalism, anti irish, now that they justify their bigotry, hatred, sectaranism on the IRA.
    Tam, like many unionists is in denial of that reality. Cold house for catholics, yes indeed..

    • Tam August 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

      Bridget, you’d need to ask someone who supports virulent anti-Catholicism. I don’t support it now or in the 1960s.

      And I haven’t denied any reality.

      • fiosrach August 7, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

        I am innocent of the blood of this man. Pass the towel.

      • Bridget Cairns August 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

        Tam, your question is of courxe disingenious, where should I start
        The Free Presbyterian Church founded by Ian Paisley
        The DUP founded by Ian Paisley
        Orange Order
        The whole infrastructure of the north from its inception
        I dont think I will have to look far, but you, of course are blind to this or perhaps you are comfortable with the status quo

        • Tam August 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

          Bridget, what question is disingenuous?

          I’m neither a Free Presbyterian nor an Orange Order or DUP member and can’t speak for any of those organisations. I don’t support any of them either. I only speak for myself.

          And I’m not blind to anything. I’m not sure where you’ve got that from.

  14. ben madigan August 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    Just to project things into the future – or back to the past.