Mixed Race Irish: ‘We were the dust to be swept away’

[Pictured above: Evon Brennan (left) and Rosemary Adaser of Call to Action Mixed Race Irish]

In October 1958, when Rosemary Adaser was admitted, as an 18-month-old, to a mother-and-baby home in Dublin, her admission notes described her as “illegitimate and coloured”. Fifteen years later, when she was pregnant and sent to a mother-and-baby home in Co Meath, they described her as “rather mature for her age; accepts her colour well”.

“My file is peppered with references to my colour,” she says. “The racism was relentless and brutalising. My formative years were devastated by it.”

Adaser is one of about 70 mixed-race people who have come together in the past few years as Mixed Race Irish, a campaign and support group. They believe they were taken into care because they were mixed race, that there was a different unspoken “policy” for them and that they suffered an “extra layer of abuse” because of their racial identity. They say racism was endemic, systemic and systematic, in the care system and in Irish society, and that their experiences were particular to them.

The group’s members live in Britain, the United States, China and Ireland. They would like to be included as a distinct group in the Government-appointed Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, which has begun its work under Judge Yvonne Murphy. The commission will examine the issue of race in a module alongside disability, religion and Traveller identity, to see the extent to which residents may have been treated differently on any of these grounds.

Adaser, who now lives in London, was born in 1956 to a white Irish mother, who was a telephonist at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, and a black Ghanaian father, who was a doctor there. Her mother had to leave the city to have her, such was the shame of being unmarried and pregnant – particularly by a black man.

Her mother did not bring her back to Dublin but placed her in St Clare’s Convent in Stamullen, Co Meath, and it was from there, aged 18 months, that she was transferred to Dublin, to St Patrick’s mother-and-baby home, on Navan Road.

Like other mixed-race Irish children in the mother-and-baby homes, she was never offered for adoption. She believes this was policy, based on a presumption that nobody would want to adopt a mixed-race baby. Instead she was fostered, or boarded out. “When I was four I was sent to a couple in their 60s. No, they weren’t vetted. They were invited to select a child. People were paid by the State to take in children. This couple had no pension, and I was an income source. 

“The woman was vicious. I have a clear memory of fearing the gardening gloves, because she would go and cut branches from the rose bushes and cut the flowers off. She called me filthy and nasty and would strip me naked. I was four, remember, and she would whip me with the thorns. Years later I still had scars on my back, buttocks, stomach, legs, arms and soles of my feet, but not my face,” Adaser says. “The whippings were so bad I was hospitalised. After 18 months I was returned to St Patrick’s.”

When she was six she was transferred to St Joseph’s industrial school in Kilkenny, where she says she suffered extreme day-to-day abuse because of her skin colour. “When I arrived they must have all been told a black girl was coming, because every girl was out gawping at me as I walked up to the front door.”

Adaser lists the names that nuns and older girls caller her: blackie, nigger, golliwog, rubber lips, darkie.

She describes being made to wait until last for food, and often going without, and of being made to wait until last for a bath. If she complained that the water was dirty after 30 other girls had bathed, a potty of urine and excrement was emptied on top of her, she says. Adaser was made to unblock toilets with her hands, because her skin was “already dirty”. By the time she was eight, older girls made her “sexually pleasure” them or face even harsher beatings than was normal, because “black girls like to fornicate”.

“I lived in a state of pure terror,” she says, “and each night I wondered if I would survive the racist brutality of the institution the next day.”

Nuns told her that “no man will ever want you, because you’re black”; a career counsellor said she should “consider taking man friends” to support herself. “I was told I wouldn’t amount to anything and should consider prostitution,” Adaser says.

Her black background was vilified and even denied, she says, and she was constantly told that she would never be wanted in Irish society. “I was not allowed any identity at all. That is very, very damaging for the soul.”

When Adaser was 14 she attacked a nun who sexually abused her. A psychiatrist said she needed more freedom from the institutional regime. She started going for long walks and developed a relationship with a young man, “the first person who ever showed me love”.

She became pregnant when she was 16, and although the father wanted to marry her she was sent to Ard Mhuire mother-and-baby home, in Co Meath, where her 21-day-old son was taken from her. “Not even my son was my own. I had been reared to believe I was entitled to nothing.”

Not wanted back at St Joseph’s, she was sent to live with a family in Killiney, Co Dublin: the Rotherys, who, she says, rebuilt her. She is still in touch with them.

Adaser found work as a telephonist at the GPO, but each week, she says, she was made to wait until last to be paid. Bananas were thrown at her in the street, and men exposed themselves to her.

When she was 20 she left for England, and until a few years ago she blotted out her life in Ireland. She didn’t tell anyone she was Irish, partly because her past was too painful and partly because people didn’t believe her. “Irish people aren’t meant to be black. Or brown. Or LGBT. Or Traveller.”

She returned to education, taking a master’s degree in social policy at London School of Economics.

She now has a daughter, and grandchildren, as well as the son she gave birth to in Ireland, with whom she is in contact.

“In the end I had to reconcile my past. I was brought up in Ireland. I learned to bake soda bread. I was fluent in Gaelic. I had a lot of counselling. It has been very hard. I don’t blame the older girls in the institutions who made my life hell. They had been brutalised too and were products of the system,” Adaser says.

“The system had taken the eugenics of British imperialism, and Irish society, the church, had to ‘civilise’ us. Our Irishness was an inconvenience, and society did not want us. We were the dust of Irish society, to be swept away, never acknowledged as existing. Many still want us, and the racism, to be airbrushed away.”

“We have a growing population of young, black and mixed-race children in our schools now, facing into a society which has a huge, largely unacknowledged, problem with race. If we can’t begin to explore, in a serious way, racism in our recent history, what are we saying to these children?”

One of hundreds Adaser feels nervous talking publicly about her experience, but she says that she must for the many mixed-race Irish who cannot. “My story is one of hundreds. My story is their story. And our story is Ireland’s story too.”

Liberalism… tends to release energy rather than accumulate it, to relax, rather than to fortify. It is a movement not so much defined by its end, as by its starting point; away from, rather than towards, something definite. Our point of departure is more real to us than our destination; and the destination is likely to present a very different picture when arrived at, from the vaguer image formed in imagination. By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of getting on to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negative: the artificial, mechanized or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos.
—  T.S. Eliot
By destroying traditional social habits of the people, by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents, by licensing the opinions of the most foolish, by substituting instruction for education, by encouraging cleverness rather than wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified, by fostering a notion of getting on to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy, Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanised or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos.
—  T.S. Eliot, “The Idea of a Christian Society”, Christianity and Culture, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., 1977)

anonymous asked:

With respect to that news story about the man forced to bathe in a paddling pool, it says the photo was published "at the request of his family". I guess that doesn't automatically make it ok considering the man himself may or may not have been able to give consent himself, but, that criticism falls on his family I suppose, not the paper

that’s fair enough and it seems as though these pics were deliberately released (tho as you say family isn’t necessarily consent on the part of the guy himself), but it’s just a trend that’s happened in a lot of other cases where no real consent to having really personal pictures spread like wildfire can be ascertained

especially with deaths due to police brutality in the US, as well as images coming out of warzones, very graphic and intimate images of brutalised people get spread so quickly and voyeuristically that if family or the person themselves do object, it’s usually too late by the time they can get the message out there, and idk I think a lot of the time it’s unnecessary and robs people of dignity at the exact moment when their dignity needs respecting the most

idk I’m not telling you anything you don’t know

Meeting of Sound Mind || Rose+Alaina

The Saloon | A few nights before the full moon

Rose took the craft beer pint from the waitress that handed it to her, giving the woman a few bucks as a tip. Walking over to an open booth, Rose sat down and waited for the other blonde to arrive.

She didn’t even know what to say to Alaina. Rose remembered everything while she was in the black. It wasn’t like she went into some feuge state and forgot her psychotic tendencies. She clearly remembered using Alaina for a locator spell, and then attacking her, and when that didn’t work, flouncing off and torturing and killing the werewolf that had killed Matt’s dad.

The one thing she was grateful for was that the wolf had at least been unknown, new to town. At least they hadn’t brutalised anyone who was a friend to anyone here…really. Not that it made things any better. And overall, Rose wanted to feel guilty or bad about it…but still she didn’t. A dangerous creature had been removed, and while she could say since coming back with surety that there were some, SOME supernatural that could co-habitat with humanity, like Alaina and Marcus, as a whole she still disliked the concept. Still, she was glad she hadn’t had the chance to kill Alaina, really. She wasn’t sure if she could make that distinction while in the black.

Sighing, Rose looked around for any sign of the blonde witch.

In 2014, Grahamstown suffered from a severe water shortage. Reports suggested that there was a lack of basic maintenance on the major dams surrounding the Frontier town. As you can see in the image above, Rhodes University staff participated in the act of “Town and Gown” as part of the protest by Grahamstonians as well as RU students to get answers from the Makana Municipality.

Fast forward to 2015 - the black body is aware now, more than ever of its political existence. There has been protest after protest on university campuses all over the country, demanding transformation and the complete removal of racially polarising policies. Where are the gowns? Where is the staff? Why is the black child being brutalised and criminalised by the staff that was so willing to tackle a fundamentally white issue? Let’s face it, there are townships all over the Eastern Cape (SA at large) who face water (and other basic needs) shortages on a daily basis.

This is why I need people (see caucasians) to shut the complete fuck up about “apartheid is over / all lives matter”. Having an Alma Mater than spits on my black queer woman existence as Rhodes University does is shameful. Having a black Vice-Chancellor who is overseeing all of this rubbish is shameful.

Black (queer) people exist like mad. Get the fuck used to it.

© Neo Baepi 2015

roachchoir replied to your post:roachchoir replied to your post:When I was in bed…

was conscious and deliberate, not an unthinking response to stimuli. (i cant believe this is in response to people throwing a fit over stroheim though omg)

roachchoir replied to your post:roachchoir replied to your post:When I was in bed…

well, humans have the rather scary element of mens rea that other organisms do not. animals dont attack out of malign intent. its more shocking to see a human brutalise a fellow human because (in cases where intent is present) you know the violence

You’re very much right. That’s why malice is so easy to classify as ‘evil’. Killing other people is evil! And stories* that delve into justifying and explaining why people who do not see themselves as evil commit evil deeds. For some people it’s too much to see ‘human’ in what is supposed to be simply ‘evil’. Because if a human is able to embody both good and evil, that means that the person reading about the thing is also able to embody evil.

In stories evil monsters are safe for a lot of people, the concept of demons is assuring. The evil is a separate thing from yourself. And that’s one way to tell a story, one that I can appreciate because damn, giving things without physical form a physical form? Nice.
There’s a lot of beastly monsters but it’s impossible to miss the trend of ‘ultimate evil’ in modern stories being more often than not very humanoid. The representation of human duality is more and more clearly portrayed as what it is. 

Like this is so goddamn fascinating. There are villains who are human in form, like vampires *cough* but who are easily classifiable as ‘evil’ that they don’t give readers so much inner conflict. But at the moment that the evil becomes too relatable, some people flip on a defensive switch. It’s bad to relate to evil, because good and evil aren’t supposed to co-exist, ergo anything and everything the baddie does is or should be evil. 

It seems to be about purity… And now I wonder why people strive for purity. If I bring JJBA as an example, I think one good example would be Pucci. He strives for purity to make himself feel better. 
But is purity actually good for humans? Is it better to strive live as a pure, ‘good’ being or to settle for a mixed existence of good and evil? Both seem to have their clear pros and cons.

ETA: *stories and only stories gdi I know I need to add I DON’T THINK KILLING PEOPLE IS INTERESTING

Faut croire que j'aime souffrir par amour.
Plus tu me brutalise par le biais de tes mots et par le poids de ton ignorance et de tes mystères, plus je m'accroche.
—  desmots-et-desdraps

writtin’ about Liquid/Ocelot like:

Liquid: /trying to brutalise Ocelot and make him suffer during sex

Ocelot: neat. you know you could make it hurt more by doing xyz?

Liquid: shut the fuck up

Watch on

Un soldat israélien brutalise un garçon palestinien et se fait harceler par sa famille

NABI SALEH (Cisjordanie) – 28 août 2015 – Une vidéo montrant un soldat israélien aux prises avec une famille palestinienne a fait le tour des réseaux sociaux pendant le week-end.

Déviant les peurs ancestrales, les brutales sévices infligées sur personne sanglée plusieurs jours d'affilé, la haine en bannière puisse l'écueil s'éviter, puisse le remord anéantir ces idiots profonds, pervers à vomir sur la lumière blanche de mon regard, se lit l'horreur, puis je souris un peu histoire de sembler, puis vous m'aviez traqué je représente ce que vos cerveaux étroits bannissent je pisse sur vos chaussures sales brutalise vos mouvements,vos esquisses vos malices, réfracataire à l'ennui de vos vies lentes et arrière à tous ces mécréants, que la lumière dissolve la crasse de leur bêtise innée, puisse la gloire éteindre ces médiocres puisse le pourtour dessiner mon contour limpide et faire palpiter ces lâches leurs aiguilles au fond de la veine, que ça craigne j'y suis et vous vomis conchis oublie…..


One good thing about music, when it hit you; you feel no pain. So hit me with music, brutalise me with music! #bobmarley #lyrics #music #reggae #oneofmyfavorite

29/8 Short Essay

One of the most important issues in our country at this time is police brutality against people of colour. There is absolutely no reason hundreds and hundreds of POCs have been brutalised, and murdered by police with hardly any consequences for the officers taking the lives. The argument that the number of POC individuals being murdered by the police is high because they “commit more crimes” is not only inaccurate, but extremely racist.

When a crime is depicted by the media racial coding is always used when it comes to speaking about the criminal. If a white teenage boy attempts a school shooting, his highlights are always shown, and his faults are all blamed on mental illness or going through a rough patch in life. Opposingly, when a black teenage boy is shot twenty plus times for being suspected of a crime the media shows the most thug like photos of him, and bring up small infractions in his past to make him seem like a bad person. This has been happening for years now, but recently a lot of attention has been brought to this issue sparked by the events in Ferguson, and in Baltimore.

Slowly more cops have been forced to atone for their crimes, but there are still far too many receiving only a slap on the wrist, or even rewards for their crimes against POCs. The attention is mostly on black victims of police brutality, but this happens with all other races, and a large number of them happen to Hispanic individuals as well, but those are publicised even less.

For the police to still get away with this is horrible. There needs to be far more training, better background checks, and assessments done to see if the officer is racist and unfit for this line of work. It takes more than twice as many hours for a hairdresser to receive their beautician’s license than it takes for an officer to receive his badge. That’s completely ridiculous.

I hope to see more and more discipline on the police committing these crimes, and far less people being murdered, and families being destroyed.

Heart breaks and World Shakes

Alas Max will not become Euro trash.   My beloved rescued beauty who was so scarred by the people we rescued her from cannot handle the crate for a flight.  She beat her paws bloody, and I know that the time for my baby boy to leave is now.   So Max must stay with the very kind father of his lovely girl friend.   They are considering a visit to meet us on one of our adventures.   

I had the weirdest thought the other day.   I was driving through the fields and plains of both the Netherlands and Germany, watching the millions of happy cows.   Millions just kind of hanging out in cow groups under shade trees and walking to the barn in docile rows.   Millions.   And I started wondering, why aren’t our cows raised like these cows?   When I was a kid we visited a dairy and it was a pleasant place and the cows seemed pretty happy.   these days it’s all factory farms and feed lots brutalised calves and tortured meat.   When did we lose our humanity with animals we depend on?

It was like being in the poor neighbourhoods around the Frankfurt Airport and seeing the housing.   the houses for the poor people had touches of humanity.   Balconies, on which people could and had planted flowers.   They were well made and designed to be homes.   Have you ever seen Cabrini Green or the South Bronx?

Hovels stacked on Rabbit hutches.   Dumps in which humanity is hard to find.  When we don’t treat our food sources with compassion, what does that say about who we are?

I believe this loss of soul is what has brought America to her knees, and probably will sink her.  “ What goes around comes around” is a natural law and plays no favourites and cuts no slack for stupid.   It simply lets you experience what you dish out.   And it doesn’t give a damn about your economic status, it simply hits you where you need it most.  For several decades now my beloved country has been the bully on the block, “YOU WILL DO because we say so.”  Of course it’s not reported that way because our media is programmed by the guys doing the bullying, but there it is. 

Our country brutalises its food because it  ‘SAVES’ money. Lies to sovereign nations. Steals from its citizens.   Has gone from the freest nation on earth to the 20th freest.   With countries like Finland and Hong Kong feeling more free than America.  A big reason why it was time to hit the road.

When you are raised to know WHAT freedom is, you know when it has been taken away from you.

PM Modi should implement OROP for `real tribute` to 1965 war heroes: Congress

New Delhi, Aug.28 (ANI): Launching an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress Party on Friday said that “real” tribute to the heroes of 1965 India-Pakistan war will be accepting the ex-servicemen’s demand of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme and implementing it.
“Those people who fought the 1965 war are being brutalised by his police. They have been sitting on a hunger strike for over 75 days. The real tribute to the heroes of the 1965 war would be that if you accept their demand of One Rank, One Pension and implement it,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.
Earlier, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the soldiers on the social media website, saying the bravery and courage of our Armed forces is very inspiring.
One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel, who retire at the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement. (ANI)

Jail for Catholic priest over Vic assaults

The former head of the Salesian Catholic order who used a pool cue to violently abuse a Victorian boy in the 1980s has been jailed.

Priest Julian Benedict Fox, 70, will spend at least two years and eight months behind bars for sexually assaulting two 14-year-old school boys at colleges in Sunbury and Ferntree Gully more than 30 years ago.

He brutalised one of them by jamming his “weapon of choice” - a pool cue - into the boy’s bottom after hitting him with it as a method of corporal punishment, the Victorian County Court heard.

“You caused a great deal of human damage and misery,” Judge Graeme Hicks told Fox on Friday.

Fox was the Australian head of the Salesian order during the 1980s and 1990s.

He was also deputy principal at Sunbury’s Salesian College Rupertswood, and principal at St Joseph’s College in Ferntree Gully, during the 1980s when he abused the two boys.

One student from each school was sexually assaulted in a “gross breach of trust” by Fox after he told them to pull their pants down in his office and beat them as punishment.

On one occasion at St Joseph’s another priest, now dead, allegedly watched on and then tapped the victim on the shoulder and said “good boy”.

“I feel that he stole my childhood and my security from me,” the victim said of Fox in a statement.

Both schools have removed any reference to Fox from college walls.

Fox has also been fined $10,000 after pleading guilty to hitting three boys with pool cues, leaving one blistered and another hardly able to sit.

Corporal punishment was still legal at the time, but Fox’s force exceeded reason.

He has not expressed any remorse for the callous acts but showed prospects of rehabilitation, Judge Hicks said.

Fox was sentenced to four years in prison, with a non-parole period of two years and eight months, after being found guilty of three counts of indecent assault.

The maximum sentence at the time of Fox’s historic crimes was five years.

He has no prior convictions.

Fox voluntarily returned from Rome in 2013 to answer the charges against him.

Liberia union warns of rise in police attacks on journalists

Liberia’s press union on Thursday called on police to stop “whipping” journalists, condemning a rise in violence against members of the media in the west African country.

A week ago, a male and female journalist were beaten by state security forces with batons while covering a demonstration by teachers outside the office of the president, an AFP journalist witnessed.

“Journalist are not whipping dogs, this increasing violence against journalists is a calculated plan to intimidate and harass the independent media,” said the Press Union of Liberia in a statement.

Jallah Greyfield, acting president of the union told AFP of another incident during a conference at a police station in the city of Kakata in western Liberia, where a journalist was “brutalised” for asking a question an officer did not like.

“We have been receiving complaints from journalists about police violence on a daily basis for months now,” said Greyfield.

A police spokesperson contacted by AFP refused to comment on the allegations.

Liberia has in the past come under fire from international rights groups for undermining press freedom.

In 2013, an editor of one of the country’s leading newspapers was jailed over the paper’s reporting on government corruption, however libel charges against him were later dropped.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also cited an increase in harassment of reporters and media houses over their critical coverage of the government’s handling of the Ebola epidemic.

In August last year, “dozens of police officers, without a court warrant and giving no official reason, used tear gas when they stormed the Chronicle’s offices in Monrovia” and closed it down, beating three journalists, said the CPJ, referring to an incident at the National Chronicle newspaper.

At the time government spokesman Isaac Jackson told the CPJ the act was to “prevent the Chronicle from publishing further reports that would ‘incite’ an already disenchanted populace frustrated with the Ebola scourge.”