Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

I am told that part of my ethnic ancestry is of Irish decent.   I do not identify with this ethnicity or culture, but the idea that I am in some small way Irish   does fascinate me.   Irish immigration to North America began as early as the 17th century.   During this period some came for financial advancement and the enticement of free land in colonial times (Schaefer, 2011), and a larger amount came for more religious freedom (Irish Diaspora, 2005).   The Irish were the largest group of immigrants during the colonial period after the English (Schaefer, 2011). Probably the most notable wave of Irish immigration came in the middle of the 19th century during the time of Ireland’s Potato Famine (Irish Diaspora, 2005). Starting in 1820, the earliest immigration records existing, around five million Irish immigrants were admitted for residence to the United States.   In 2006, the number of American’s claiming Irish Ancestry was 34.5 million, which is around nine times more than Ireland itself (Unknown, 2006)  
Irish immigrants faced prejudice, an unforced, but financially dependent segregation, and a fair amount of racism.   Irish immigrants faced prejudice from the Americans in a number of very public ways.   The derogatory terms of “Mick”, “potato-head”, “bog hopper,” or “croppie,” were common slang to describe the half -starved famine immigrants (Stevens, 2004).   Paddy and Bridget were often used in a derogatory manner to mean an Irish man or woman.   The Irish were portrayed in political cartoons of the time as simian, or ape-like people often drunken, or depicted as stupid, and criminalistic (Haug, 2003).   The Irish arrived without the education and skills to attain jobs in anything but the grunt jobs often performed by the “freed Blacks” at the time.   A few instances of newspaper want ads reporting “No Irish Need Apply” at the end of their advertisement, although they were not as common an occurrence as is popular belief (Jensen, 2002).
Segregation was common and...