Another ‘Ooh, ah, up the Ra’ moment. This time, overtly intentional by a woman who clearly didn’t care that Arlene Foster’s dad was shot in the head by the ‘Ra. When moments like this happen, the first thought that comes to mind is – did this woman know Arlene’s dad was shot dead by the IRA? Did this woman realise how much hurt this would cause to Mrs. Foster personally? No doubt it caused untold hurt but this also shines a light on how young nationalists are owning their country’s rebellious past.
The nationalist youth are confident and ambitious. They’re sick of the constant and consistent demonisation of their heritage and history by Unionists. They are saying ‘no more’. No more tip-toeing around Unionism in a futile attempt at appeasement that will never ever be accepted. In NEI Unionist politicians will happily attend ceremonies alongside UDA Brigadiers and will, without a second thought, seek advice from and council with a literal Loyalist army council, the LCC, but will go hell for leather at Republicans and Nationalists for daring to commemorate the Hunger Strikers, or Bloody Sunday or the Ballymurphy or Springhill Massacres.
Speaking personally, I’m a Republican, and always have been since I can remember. However, contrary to what many within Unionism and Loyalism may think, I wasn’t ‘taught’ to be a Republican or educated in being a Nationalist. I became a Republican and a Nationalist when I took it upon myself to educate myself on what happened to Irish citizens in NEI at the hands of Britain and indeed Loyalists and Unionists in both Ireland and the UK. I looked at my history, read books by the likes of Eamon Phoenix, Diarmaid Ferriter, and others, I even read Joe Cahill by Brendan Anderson. I watched documentaries like Bloody Sunday, No Stone Unturned and more…and I got angry, very angry.
You see, I don’t need anyone to teach me to be a Nationalist or a Republican, I don’t need anyone to rewrite my history because like young Nationalists and Republicans, I know my history and I know it very well. An educated Republican is a dangerous person in the eyes of Unionism and what Unionism, both political and grassroots need to realise is unlike the IRA, educated, articulate and peaceful Republicans and Nationalists don’t go away. Educated Nationalists are still here, we know who we are, we fear no one and we will never bow again. ‘Ooh, ah, up the Ra’ is the least of Unionism’s problems. It may be a harsh way of shouting that we know our history but it is blunt and it is real and telling young Irish Nationalists and Republicans that we need to be “re-educated” in our history will always lead to an ‘in your face’ reaction. Something, Unionism might like to think about before shitting all over Irish history. A history in which Britain and Ulster Unionism are the oppressor and more often than not the instigator and the aggressor.