As protests spread across the United States against the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black persons lost to the institutionalized violence of white supremacy, the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) reaffirms that we stand in solidarity with marginalized peoples in their present and ongoing struggles for equality, dignity, and justice. We support all non-violent attempts to challenge the physical, social, cultural, psychological, and environmental violences levied by deeply entrenched institutionalized racism in the United States. Further, we condemn the systemic and individualized oppression of Black people in our shared past and present throughout our colonized histories and diasporas.
While we recognize that Irish and Irish-American history, literature, and culture have catalogued the systematic oppression of the Irish and their Diaspora, that record has too often been concurrently intertwined with histories of white privilege and racism. To move forward, such privilege and racism need to be shed. As scholars and teachers of Irish Studies, we commit actively to support and encourage scholarship and learning within our institutions that foster equality, social justice, and respect for all members of society– local and global.