The Hibernians were appalled to read in the Philadelphia Magazine article “Philly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Your Need-to-Know Guide” by writer Claire Sasko the following statement
Here comes St. Patrick’s Day, and with it a wave of green-clad, likely intoxicated, Irish potato-eating Philadelphians and (plenty of) suburbanites.
Such a negative stereotype-laden, trope-ridden statement seems more in keeping with the sentiments of the nativist who burned Catholic Churches in early 19th century Philadelphia than 21st century America. Ironically, this exercise in defamation is published in parallel with another article in the same issue entitled “Philadelphia’s Politics Among the Most Partisan and Intolerant in U.S.“. The hypocrisy of Philadelphia Magazine lecturing on intolerance while themselves engaging in their own form of demeaning ethnic profiling is rife.
This odious statement defaming Americans of Irish Heritage becomes even more outrageous when one considers that it was likely reviewed and approved by a Philadelphia Magazine editor(s) before publication. We pose a simple question to the editors and management of Philadelphia Magazine: if a writer was to submit a similar article trading in prejudicial clichés regarding another ethnic community would they for a second consider publishing it? If the answer is no then why do the publishers of Philadelphia Magazine think it is appropriate to reprise the offensive stereotypes of Thomas Nast when it comes to the Irish? The Hibernians do not seek that the Irish be treated better than anyone else, but we will not accept them being treated worse.
It is appalling that these statements defaming Irish Americans should come from a magazine allegedly representing Philadelphia, a city where so many Irish Americans made their mark. Ms. Should Sasko and the editorial board should take a walk to Independence Hall where 9 Irish Americans signed the Declaration of Independence. That foundational document was edited by the Secretary of the Continental Congress Charles Thompson, and immigrant from Derry, printed at grave personal risk by John Dunlap an immigrant from Tyrone and first read to the public by Col. John Nixon, a descendant of an immigrant from Wexford. In front of Independence hall stands the statue of Commodore John Barry, an immigrant to Philadelphia from County Wexford, a hero of the American Revolution and the first Flag Officer of the United States Navy. Philadelphia Magazine should be ashamed for denigrating a community that has played such an important role in the history of Philadelphia and our nation.
The Hibernians call for Philadelphia Magazine and Ms. Sasko to issue an unambiguous public apology to its readers and the Irish American community.