Irish lad here, one third of the people starved, a third emigrated, the population still hasn’t reached pre-Famine levels over 150 years later
Irish diaspora here, would love nothing more than to get out of the imperial core and live out my life back in Donegal. One day...
Not just a direct result of British Imperialism, but also as a direct result of the capitalist system as a whole. Many British politicians objections to humanitarian intervention in Ireland during An Gorta Mór were that it would be interfering with "the market". Lenin was right, imperialism really is the highest stage of capitalism.
Went to Cork recently and was told by several Irish people that they don’t like calling it a famine, because there still would have been enough food for everyone even with the crop failure. The British just took what little food was left and distributed it to their own people instead.
The more I read, watch and hear about Irish history the more shocked and angry I get.
I used to live in London and there was a time that I was reading Irish history and I had to stop because I would get so angry. I remember telling a story about the 1916 Easter Rising and I mentioned the English about 20 times in my telling of the story and someone said "a bit of Irish history from itsaravemayve" and I blurted out that it's OUR history, Irish and English because the English were the ones putting people up against the wall and murdering them. It got real quiet afterwards.
My wife is Northern Irish and since meeting her I've had my eyes opened to the sheer amount of racism directed at Irish people in England. Case in point: we stayed at a farm in Oxfordshire recently. We went to the front door of the house as we'd been instructed to on AirBnB. I knocked, and a woman opened the door, beaming ear to ear. She was super chatty with me, extremely welcoming, very friendly. Then she heard my wife speak and her face dropped. Her entire demeanour changed. For the remainder of our stay there (a month to be specific) she was distant, cold and unhelpful. We later learned that she would usually invite her guests for drinks and for dinner over the course of their stay through Google Reviews. We never received any such invite.
as someone living in britain, it's horrific what happened in ireland, and we aren't fully taught the full extent of british imperialism over here, we gloss over britain's involvement in the famine and we also never touch on the atrocities in various other countries e.g. india
Shhhh, your not allowed to say that, the empire was excellent, it brought trains to the world and taught the world English language and cricket and rugger.
You can't really call it a famine when the country is still a net-exporter of foodstuffs.
Genocide is the proper term.
Yeah true story, they were transporting potato over to Britain whist we starved. The British ruling class have raped and pillaged not only my country but everywhere they plant that butchers apron
I actually learned recently that Che Guevara was a quarter Irish recently which is kinda neat
[The US leaned heavily on my city council when they proposed building a monument to Che Guevara because his granny was from here.](https://www.thejournal.ie/us-foreign-affairs-committee-chair-criticises-galways-che-guevara-project-369813-Feb2012/) They eventually caved.
Ernesto Guevara Lynch, Che's father, once famously said, [“In my son’s veins flowed the blood of Irish rebels.”](https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/04/che-guevara-ireland-latin-america-cuba)
"The worst insult to the Irish people is how the Potato Famine, and even the idea of it, has basically been taken by the rest of the world as the bud of a great historical joke as if it wasn't a massive national tragedy that killed millions and being directly caused and the result of British imperialism in Ireland."
Unrelated but I always thought the phrase was "butt of the joke" and now I need to go google it.
"Butt" used to mean an archery target, so to be the butt of the joke was to be the target of a punchline.
Irish person here also, there have been estimates that without the famine and the emigration that followed the population of Ireland would be somewhere between 20 and 40 million right now. The population is just short of 5 million currently (E: short of 7 million on the island as a whole).
The ROI population is just short of 5 million. The whole island is closer to 7 million
I definitely agree with you, but FYI it's butt of a joke, not bud.
You actually used “but” incorrectly since its use is to mark a shift in position. You should have said “I definitely agree with you. Also FYI it’s butt of a joke, not bud.”
This is the same when people use any meme laughing at colonialism. Or like, when you see those "good, bad, neutral ending" videos for different countries and the "good ending" is when they have their transcontinental empires.
I think it's also interesting that when it IS taught (I'm in the US) there's literally no mention of the British, the cause of the famine being attributed to the crops being too similar to each other. Bullshit.
There's a lot of bad things that happened to the Irish that just seems to be ignored or brushed off.
Yep. Dipshit racist Americans use them to get oppression points, so we're left either having to appear to side with them or deny what happened to us. It's disgraceful
And this isnt seen as a famine under capitalism.
Yep. Our genocide is regarded as a joke, and for some reason it's still socially acceptable to call us thick, violent alcoholics who are shit at potato farming.
Not just a direct result, like it was an accident or oversight, but a direct result of deliberate policy.
As an Englishman, fuck England for what it did to Ireland (amongst others, obviously) and fuck everyone who ignores evidence given and then continues to defend it.
Is "bud of a joke" supposed to be a pun or something since it sounds like "spud"? The phrase is "butt of the joke."
It was a genocide. The British did nothing to help us and still exported grain and other things that would have saved lives. They then set up slave labour programs in exchange for getting scraps of food.
People were literally eating grass and their own family members while the British took our food and some even believed it was what we deserved for being Irish.
It should also be noted that the government in power in Britain at the time was one of Laisser-faire policies.
Family left in the 1620s when they saw the Irish aristocracy getting fucked. Came to Jamestown
It was clearly genocide. The Brits were directly responsible and knew just what they were doing.
My first distinct memory of learning about this was listening to Sinead O'Connor's [Famine](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZIB6MslCAo) as a child.
Never heard this before- or at least never listened to the lyrics. Jaysus, some topic for a song!
I was in a little sensitivity workshop a few years ago and we were talking about how people can be sensitive to things you might not consider racial slurs, and someone brought up Irish nicknames. We had a woman from Korea in our group who stopped and said “yeah but it’s not like the Irish have been oppressed.”
The whole group basically went “eeeeh so about that…”
To be fair Korea has definitely seen better fucking days that's for sure.
I like that this is just blank text on a black screen, we don't need to put everything on a meme to get a point across.
Well if it was in a meme I'd be a hypocrite
In high school I had a teacher who was very proud of his Irish heritage and whenever the potato famine was mention he would immediately correct the person and state that it was not a famine, it was an attempted genocide (or something to that effect; it's been quite a few years since high school).
Butt of a joke is the correct usage. Bud of a joke is nonsensical.
Probably a joke perpetrated and spread by those responsible
Settler-Colonialism and it’s consequences
When we were taught about this at my high school in America we were told the famine was due to crop failure. Not the only lie to come out of those history classes.
Do people not take it seriously? I can't imagine someone knowing about it and thinking it was funny. Is there something I'm missing here?
Irish here. Like, irish from Ireland with the accent etc. And no, many English people in particular don't take it seriously. It's not uncommon to hear "potato" yelled in high pitched mock accents when they hear you speak.
It's also a very real warning about the dangers of monocultures in farmland.
It was the imperialist system all the way through
Nvm i misunderstood
When I moved to England and started a new school some kids would just come up to me and shout "POTATO" in an Irish accent. I'm from the North so the accent was wrong as well.....
Irish Diaspora, my family still carries hate for the English 170 years on. Evidenced by the fact that my family line has a lot of Fenians and Ancient Order of Hibernian (AOH) members. I’m the first member of my family to not be part of the AOH.
Who the fuck makes jokes about the Irish potato famine?
Alot of people.
Usually it's in the context of not understanding it and thinking it wasn't that serious
Imperialist powers have a habit of downplaying their atrocities. F Britain.
Indians - "first time?"
Or maybe they just do it the best
So don't know if this will be allowed but here goes.... My dad is Irish my mum English, I identify as Irish (i'm a 48yr old guy) Many of my family volunteered for the cause joining PIRA and I'm proud of that fact. The struggle will never be truly over until a united Ireland is achivied so all I can say is Tiocfaidh Ar La. RIP Bobby Sands and all the Republican martyrs. Peace to my family and friends in the 6 counties, and solidarity with our people in Palastine
I think the issue is with the word 'potato' imo. It's an inherently funny word.
Should instead refer to it as the Great Irish Famine or the Great Famine of Ireland. Or maybe we should go a step further - the Great Irish Genocide, The Irish Holocaust. The latter alternatives would be more honest imo.
I don’t know why you’re being downvoted. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if tacking potato on there was deliberately done but the English to make it appear less sinister than it was. First time I heard of it I just shrugged. Like potato famine? C’mon. Sounds like there was just a shortage of potatoes, which triggers everyone’s Irish stereotypes.
People joking about y’all losing a war to birds is not even remotely close to people joking about the intentional genocide of the Irish people by the British
Wait, you're telling me the phrase is "bud of a joke"
Well, I've been saying that wrong for 31 years
No, the correct phrase is “butt” of a joke but that’s sort of beside the point. I was going to let it slide.
The same imperial mismanagement of ecosystems is resulting in pandemics like COVID
It wasn't mismanagement, it was intentional
I’ve never heard of the famine referred to in a joking manner. It’s taken quite seriously.
If you're Irish, people take the piss out of ot loudly in front of you. Frequently within two minutes of meeting you.
I don't think that's remotely true.
Exactly who thinks the potato famine was a joke? In my entire life, I’ve never run across a single person who’s expressed that opinion.