To the Editor, Washington Post:
Satire and sarcasm are standard tools of the opinion writing trade. However, Dana Milbank overstepped the line from drollery to denigration in his March 18 op-ed column, “A fanciful GOP budget,” when he used St. Patrick’s Day as a prop to lampoon House Republicans.
For Milbank to trivialize and denigrate St. Patrick’s Day as a “festival of inebriation in honor of the man who magically (and apocryphally) banished snakes from Ireland” is an outrage and insult to all Irish Americans.
I would direct Milbank to President Obama’s proclamation of March as Irish American Heritage Month and the numerous contributions that Irish Americans have made to this country, contributions celebrated by those who embrace the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick, himself taken as a slave, was one of the first recorded voices to condemn slavery and preached a gospel of respect for not only humanity but also the environment, messages as relevant today as they were 1,500 years ago and well worth honoring.
The insensitive denigration of Irish Americans’ patron saint is inexcusable. There should be no room in a 21st-century newspaper for the bigoted, ethnic-based tropes of the 19th.
Neil F. Cosgrove
The writer is national anti-defamation chair for the Ancient Order of Hibernians.