Saturday, August 02, 2008
Irish Post Launches Vendetta Against Stormfront Members Who Questioned Selection Of Half-Breed Belinda Brown As London's "Rose Of Tralee" Entrant
The Irish Post is bragging about how they discovered the online identities of various Stormfront forum members who questioned the selection of a half-Jamaican Irish resident as London's new candidate for Rose of Tralee. Irish women from all over the world compete for this title every year. The overall winner will be selected at the Tralee Festival, which runs from August 22-26. The Irish Post, which is a newspaper for Irish living in England, has published a number of stories about this. The first one of interest appeared on July 23rd, 2008. The article is quite subjective and is extremely bigoted against the Stormfront posters, referring to them as "sad people" and their opinions as a "sickening campaign". Oy, vey! This story also reported August 3rd by the Sunday Tribune.
Before continuing the story, the Rose of Tralee International Festival is based on the love song The Rose of Tralee, by William Mulchinock, a 19th century wealthy merchant who was in love with Mary O’Connor, his maid. Mary was born in Broguemaker’s Lane in Tralee and worked as a nanny. When William first saw Mary he fell in love with her, but because of the difference in social class between the two families their love affair was discouraged. William emigrated, and some years later returned to Tralee only to find Mary had died of tuberculosis. He was broken hearted and expressed his love for her in the words of the song. Click to read The Rose of Tralee story.
According to the Post, the remarks on Stormfront drew widespread condemnation. Belinda Brown (pictured above left), who is half-Irish and half-Jamaican, and who wasn't even born in Ireland, was crowned London's entrant for Rose of Tralee earlier this month at the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood. But not long after this event was featured in The Irish Post, the comments began appearing on Stormfront questioning her Irish background. They are featured in a section entitled White Nationalist Issues in Ireland. There are actually two specific Stormfront threads which could qualify; one HERE, which is simply discussion, and another, which features a poll asking respondents who categorically should be allowed to compete for the honor, located HERE.
But Belinda Brown, who has not personally read the threads, says that the reports have merely spurred her on to make the most of her time in Tralee. She will use the event to spread the message of modern Irishness and proclaim her pride in her heritage. The 26-year-old — who was born in Jamaica and raised in Ahoghill in County Antrim — told the Irish Post, “I know that statements have been posted on a website but I have not even seen them and have no intention of looking for them. I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion but these people were clearly very misinformed about me to say that I’m not Irish when I clearly am. I would tell them to check their facts before they broadcast their opinions".
“Racism and bigotry are not specific to Ireland — it is everywhere. These types of people find something to pick on everyone about – if I was a size 20 no doubt I’d be hearing about that. I just think it’s sad that they have this time on their hands and this is what they choose to do with it. I don’t have to prove I am Irish to anyone”, Brown continued.
Belinda Brown also claims that “Modern Irishness is what the competition is all about — not what you look like but what you have inside of you. Particularly now, after the event has received criticism about being old-fashioned, it is embracing that sense of multiculturalism more than ever”.
The comments about the second-generation Irish woman have also sparked outrage in Irish communities both in Britain and Ireland. Radio Kerry presenter Deirdre Walsh said: “It is quite shocking the things that have been said but it’s great to hear that Belinda will not let it stop her enjoying her time in Kerry when she arrives for the competition. It is very sad — this is the first time she has encountered any racism in her life. But we have had a great response from our listeners — messages of support for the London Rose have been flooding in and we all wish her well in Tralee later this year”. The Irish Post has also received a number of letters to the editor in support of Brown.
Under the Public Order Act, publishing material which will incite racial hatred is an offence. A Home Office spokesperson said, “While we do not have a sort of webwatcher in this country who can scour the web for these types of offences it is illegal to publish this type of material and anyone who takes it upon themselves to do so faces the risk of prosecution. We encourage people to report any incidents where racial or religious hatred is incited regardless of what medium it is found in.”
A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission added, “Any incitement of racial hatred whether made on a blog or otherwise would be regarded as an offence".
But the Irish Post didn't stop there. In another July 23rd article entitled "A Real Irish Rose", they presented a more detailed profile of Belinda Brown's background. And on July 30th, in another article entitled "Police Probe Rose Hate Website", the Post discloses that police have now launched an official investigation into the Stormfront members who posted offensive messages against Belinda Brown. The police praised The Irish Post for its actions and confirmed that a CID team specialising in Internet crime are investigating to try to find the identities of the culprits.
The announcement of the police investigation in turn has triggered yet a third Stormfront thread. Most members scoff at this prospect; how will the British police impose their will upon an American-owned website on American soil? And I seriously doubt that Stormfront webmaster Don Black will give up any information to the Brits.
What an absolute waste of time for the British police to be pursuing this issue, when Britain is plagued by crime, particularly a series of knifings in Greater London. Besides, the question as to whether or not Belinda Brown should be considered Irish is a legitimate one. Ireland, like the other nations of Europe, originated as ethnic nations. When one thinks of a European, one does not visualize someone who has a overtly Negroid appearance. Or, as one Stormfront poster put it, just because a dog wakes up in a stable doesn't make him a horse. This does not mean the dog is less valuable than horse; it simply means it's different.
Besides, if anybody can be Irish, can anyone really be Irish?