Echoes Of Black & Tan & Bloodshed

July 25, 2020

We are watching America burn.

A friend in Ireland posted these words on FB a couple of days ago. So many in Ireland are watching with horror what’s going on in this country. They are deeply concerned, even afraid. With good reason.

It was one hundred years ago that 10,000 men were recruited by the British government to respond to the Irish war of independence. The recruits were former military and mercenaries. They had no policing experience beyond two weeks of training. And they were unleashed with little accountability on the Irish people in a brutal reign of reprisal, subjugation and terror. They besieged many towns, looting and burning homes and businesses, and murdering civilians. The memory of the Black & Tan fills the Irish people with revulsion. A dear friend has shared stories of his father hiding in a hole in the ground in the Connemara hills from these thugs. His ‘crime’ was owning an automobile and refusing its confiscation by the storm troopers who created their own laws as suited them in any given situation. It was a century ago but the bitter memories are fresh. You may have read that earlier this year the Irish Minister for Justice proposed to host an event to commemorate the centennial of the Black & Tan. Public outrage led to his resignation. 

And now this history begins to echo in our reality. Yes. Many of us are outraged. The question I sit with is whether enough of us are outraged enough. 

Judith –

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