Thursday, June 28, 2007
First Black Mayor
It's strange, or maybe not strange at all, that when I googled this story of Ireland's first black mayor possibly being elected today, the results threw out stories from the US of the historical significance of a Dallas district electing its first black mayor recently and indeed there were a number of stories commenting on the place of black elected representatives. We like to think of racism as having being a new development, emerging as a tangent to the increased number of immigrants in Ireland in the last decade. I would contend we always had an in-house problem of racism - that shown towards the Travelling community. Nevertheless, hopefully stories like this one signal a responsible and open attitude among Irish people - so that the entrenched views and indeed hatred still a part of US society does not become a part of our history. I am certainly proud that a Nigerian man, who came here 7 years ago as an asylum seeker is expected to become Ireland's first black mayor. Rotimi Adebari was elected in 2004 as a councillor in Portlaoise and it is widely expected that members of the council will elect him to office today. Story here.