How it’s New York: Trump is from New York.
How it’s Irish: It’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, and Trump wanted to find an Irish proverb to read to Enda Kenny.
Because of the day that’s in it, Irish people, such as Irish Labour secretary Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, he of the piercing blue eyes who called Trump a “fascist” right after the election (and the video of him saying it went viral, watch it below), are in the U.S.
Ó Ríordáin is here to participate in Irish Stand, a ticketed event at Riverside Church with such people as New York-based writer Colum McCann, “West Wing” actor Richard Schiff, and representatives from the Food Bank for New York City, the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens, and politicians. Performances are curated by our friends at Artists Without Walls.
No doubt this is also why Sean Spicer wore a green tie to the press briefing today, at which he once again yelled at the press.
But the real reason for this post is that I simply could not resist the joy (O frabjous day!) of Trump reading a Nigerian poem and thinking it’s an Irish proverb.
Before you say “this is not culture!” remember: proverbs and poetry are culture…
Irish P.M. Enda Kenny is visiting.
So Trump read what he called a proverb that he’s known for “many, many years.” Some on social media say it’s actually a Nigerian poem.
— amy (@aharbo) March 16, 2017
Have literally never heard this in my entire life. https://t.co/3gSBhbvdl2
— Christine Bohan (@ChristineBohan) March 16, 2017
One of the comments on Bohan’s tweet is, “if it was something he’s heard for years then why did it sound like he’s reading it for the first time?”
I don’t know why, but this makes me all kinds of happy.
Some of my Irish friends, including Irish Rep director Ciarán O’Reilly (and Ó Ríordáin too, on Joy Reid) have lamented the Irish names in the White House– Mulvaney, Flynn, Conway, Bannon (Joy asked him, can you take him back with you?)
And then there’s the Unnamed Irish Person.
I’d be willing to bet the intern who found the “Irish proverb” by a Nigerian poet has some Celtic blood.
More power to her elbow.
Oh and… here’s that lovely speech by Ó Ríordáin:
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Copyright 2017 New York Irish Arts