Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bill Donohoe: Bigoted Crusader Against Anti Catholic Bigotry

I watched Bill Donohue debate Christopher Hitchens on Hardball yesterday and I was struck by the repeated use of a line by Donohue which I had never heard before, which line sounded very bigoted and frankly a little weird.

The exact quote used by Donohue is "An Englishman has to be quiet when an Irishman talks." In the transcript linked above you will only see that phrase once, so here is a link to the video. Donohue uses that line at 3:30 and again at 5:00, (which in the transcript is listed as cross talk) even reiterating the second time that he is an Irishman.

The context in which he uses the line is not comedic. Hitchins and Donohue are engaged in heated debate and Donohue is trying to silence Hitchins... evidently by asserting his primacy to speak based upon Donohue's superior ethnicity. Or something...

Actually I must admit that I am mystified at why Donohue would use that line at all to be honest. It is just nonsensical. An Englishman has to be quiet when an Irishman talks? What does that even mean really? All Englishmen must be forever mute because somewhere in the universe there is certainly an Irishman talking. Does that apply to the women folk? Or is it only when they are in hearing distance of each other? The manifest implausibility of the line makes it meaningless under any reading, and the denigration of one ethnic group due to the supremacy of another, especially given the troubles between the two groups, is offensive on it's face.

Frankly that line is doubly weird coming from the mouth of a man who has made his mark on the world by being so obnoxious whenever he perceives any sort of "discriminatory" behavior towards Catholicism. Imagine how weird it would have been hearing Rosa Parks, before her passing, pop off with the quote "white people have to be quiet whenever black people are talking". The world would have been shocked! And for the love of all that is good and righteous, I am not equating Donohue with Parks!

I searched Google, and I have not found any other usage of the line listed on the internet, except one referencing last nights debate. Where Donohue heard the line is beyond me, but I think he would be well served to forget using it going forward. In fact he may be well served to offer an apology to Englishmen.

Finally let me just point out Donohue's seeming lack of understanding of one very basic tenet of every sect of Christianity that I am familiar with, including Catholicism. No human is or has been perfect except Jesus Christ. Everybody... every single one of us, with one single exception, is a sinner. With that in mind, I find it hard to understand Donohue's very opening lines: "This is laughable. I suppose next week we will find that Mother Teresa considered herself to be a sinner as well."

The response to that would be to wonder at how Donohue would support any type of assertion that Mother Teresa did NOT consider herself a sinner? I mean she was Catholic right?

Even Jesus was n't perfect, and Mother Teresa suffered from incredible depression. Donahue's assertions are racist, though the English have been down on the Irish for hundreds of years. I don't knwo what he was trying to accomplish by saying something like that, but I don't know any Irishmen who think that way, even in Ireland.
I think what Donahue was trying to do (albeit terribly) was being sarcastic about the revelation that Theresa was doubting, as in doubt is something to be expected, along with considering oneself a sinner. He's saying that this is no big surprise, nor would Theresa considering herself a sinner be.

As for the Englishman/Irishman thing, that seems ridiculous. I'm of Irish descent and I've never heard of that "rule." And it certainly doesn't seem like a rule that the English would abide by, unless it's some consolation prize, a "sorry we did all those nasty things to you over the past thousand years."

Hitchens did pretty well in this spat.
I applaud your ability to sit through a Donohoe moment. I am unable to.
I did a google search to find an answer to this exact question which is how I found this page. I have no idea either. I've never heard the saying before, neither can I find anything about it on google.
I am bewildered to notice that not one person has mentioned that he is American, not Irish? By what grounds is he an Irishman? Even if he was referencing his ancestry, that is a ridiculous thing to come out with and all claims like that do is annoy Irish people...
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