- People wear green. A lot of it. Beads, t-shirts, socks, even fake tattoos on their cheeks.
- Leprechauns are unofficially attached to this holiday.
- It has something to do with the Irish culture.
- There is green beer or just beer and a lot of drinking.
And that's it. That's what I know. And then there are news "stories" like this one.
It doesn't look good for anyone. Black folks. Irish folks. News reporters. No one comes out a winner.
I have to admit that I've watched this video at least 25 times. I have laughed, shaken my head, re-enacted parts of it (anybody see a leprechaun say 'yeah') and have even duplicated the amateur sketch and passed it along in my workplace to help us not take ourselves too seriously. - it works! Lately, I'm feeling a little bit bad about it. I mean, this teaches nothing good. Certainly there are so many more positive things that Blacks and the Irish could come together to do and share and give.
Of course, I must look at myself. Since laughter was the thing that most came from me in watching and re-watching this, I was wondering why that was. Half of me wonders if this is a hoax and the other half hopes it is. Why? Quite honestly, because these people are black and I'm black and this reflects poorly on them and me. The laughter is an attempt to separate myself because surely I would never go on television and show my "great, great, great grandfather's Irish flute" used to summon leprechauns. I mean, I should never say never. If I had the flute, I wouldn't share it with many because then I'd have to share the pot of gold. I mean...duh...
Seriously though, it's sad. I mean hilarious if a hoax and a community's practical joke. Anything else though, I ask - do you hear yourself?!?
Difficult not to watch something like this and not have it perpetuate or create stereotypes in our minds. Perhaps you may find it reckless for me to even post this as it gives the ridiculous more exposure, but I post it partially to challenge our thinking as to why something like this can even be developed, presented as news and then why it becomes so fascinating that we'd watch it over and over and then share it with our friends. And then quote it too.
I know it's not just black people that this happens with, we all do things that we can look back at and laugh at or at least that we ought to laugh at - we can be such a ridiculous people, can't we? In an age where everyone can so easily record and upload and share, I am still shocked that people so freely share such intimate things about themselves. That's not something that I'm super comfortable with and its really halted my viewing of 'reality television'.
So, to those of you have very proud Irish heritage, traditions and culture for which you have positive memories and experiences with, I apologize to you for my limited knowledge of it. This is what I know. Leprechauns are pretty important and are no longer just for you and yours. Consider yourself warned...
And then laugh.