Irish Stereotypes The Irish people have been on the receiving end of many racial stereotypes. When they migrated to America because of lack of jobs, poor living conditions, and many other reasons they were treated as the lowest member of the social class. They were given jobs that were thought to be too unsafe for blacks to carry out because the loss of a slave was an out of pocket expense (Kinsella, 2002). But The Irish were not only discriminated against in America, but in their own country as well, and England. And in the book written by Frank McCourt, he really focuses on the Irish stereotypes. But did it affect Frank when he was growing up, and why were the Irish discriminated so much by the use of these stereotypes?
When Irish families immigrated to the United States because there were no jobs in Ireland, they found much of the same conditions that made them think it would be a good reason to move to America. Irish were not thought to be good to have in a neighborhood because they were not familiar to plumbing, etc. So they were forced to live in make shift shanty towns with other Irish immigrants. When they went to go find employment, the circumstances were much the same as well. The jobs that required skilled labor were not available to the Irish because they couldn't be trusted. So they mainly got jobs doing manual unskilled labor, such as working at the docks, where the risk of injury was high.
In Boston, Massachusetts, the center of anti-Irish feelings, 295 Irish immigrants were actually sent back to Britain by the Know-Nothing-Party for being a drain on the local economy. And in the south, some Irish were called "niggers turned inside out", while black slaves were called "smoked Irish" (Greely, 1981). This shows that the Irish were not held very highly in the eyes of Americans. But the British and even their countrymen had their own prejudices against the Irish. Ireland is very Catholic.
It was brought up as a country on Catholicism and the Catholic Church had a very powerful influence in Southern Ireland. But the north was protestant. And the Catholics in Ireland blamed the North for everything that went bad and made sure they raised all of their children devout Catholics so that the Protestants couldn't get them and condemn their souls to hell. When Franks Mother Angela went to go beg for furniture for her house since all they had was old, flea infested furniture, on of the men noticed that her last name wasn't one from Limerick, but from Northern Ireland. He proceeded to ask her why she didn't go to the north and try and help her, and made her a model to all of the people in line. The English don't like the English because back in England's feudal days, Irish migrant workers would come into Ireland and work for less than any English born citizen would, so they drove a good chunk of the working class in England out of a job.