Irish historians add their names to open letter criticising the "racist propaganda" of 'Irish slavery'

A number of publications have published articles claiming that white Irish slaves have been forgotten by history

Irish slaves, white slavery, Liam Hogan, open letter

A meme published on Facebook promoting historically inaccurate comparisons between Irish and African slavery [Facebook]

Irish academics and historians are adding their support to an open letter calling for a number of publishers to retract articles about “forgotten white Irish slaves,” claiming these articles cite a website that is “an exercise in racist ahistorical propaganda” as their source.

Writing on Medium, Liam Hogan, a Limerick based librarian and history who researches slavery, has gathered the signatures of numerous academics asking the editors of Irish Central and Scientific American to remove their articles on so-called Irish slavery.

One of the Irish Central articles, Irish are ‘the forgotten white slaves’ claims expert, has been shared on social media more nearly 150,000 times, adding a “veneer of credibility to what is a well-known white nationalist conspiracy theory more commonly found on Neo-Nazi and Neo-Confederate forums.”

The articles quote John Martin, who writes that hundreds of thousands of Irish people were sold as slaves by British colonial powers between 17th to 19th centuries, only to be forgotten by the history books.

“The intent of [Martin’s] article is also patently clear,” Hogan writes, “To insidiously equate white indentured servitude with radicalised perpetual hereditary chattel slavery.”

The open letter also addressed the editors of the Irish Examiner for publishing a piece quoting John Martin’s “expertise,” to which the newspaper responded by deleting the article from its website.

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