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Tag Archives: USA Irish Diaspora

Hilton Als is causing something of a controversy with his review of Martin McDonagh’s new broadway show A Behanding in Spokane as ‘shameful and vile’ and an inherently racist retelling of the tale. I haven’t seen the play but I was interested to read the last paragraph in Als article:

“Like any smart immigrant, McDonagh knows that by going after Toby’s otherness he becomes less of an outsider himself. This is how many people, certainly in the Republic’s past, have first defined themselves as Americans.”

I’m not comfortable with that statement or indictment of the Irish diaspora in the USA. And, as Als should well know, McDonagh, although his settings are Irish (the fact that the show is on Broadway shows the subjects are universal), was born in the UK, to Irish parents. I think we can comfortably ascertain McDonagh identifies with his Irish parentage and ethnicity but I’m not sure if he can support that final, damning statement with any other evidence? Am I misreading this, the way I think he did?

Your thoughts?