I came to Scotland in 2014 to better myself and improve my quality of life.
I contributed (albeit a small amount) to the debate on Scottish independence and Britain’s place in the European Union.
I knocked on doors. I voted. Several times people close to me questioned why an immigrant should be allowed contribute to Scotland’s democracy, blatantly ignoring the fact that I’m making a home here; I’m not a tourist or a holidaymaker.
I’m a 5th generation Scot, my great great grandmother moved to Ireland from Coatbridge. I’m proud of my Scottish heritage and I’m proud to call Scotland my home. Last year I undertook a PhD at Dundee university focusing on Irish immigration & integration into Scots society.
Anti-Irish racism shames this country that I love.
Telling me to “go home” is ignorant and discriminative.
I am home!
I’m making a bigger contribution to Scots society than knuckle-dragging bigots who revel in glorifying a fascist knife gang who murdered innocent Catholics and who trawl the sewers and gutters of the internet revelling in disgusting jibes about child abuse and other horrible issues.
It is me who is more welcome in this nation in the eyes of the majority of Scots than bigots such as those who sung racist songs in Glasgow city centre last weekend.
I’ve been told since the weekend that things aren’t going to change.
That this is an unfortunate part of life in Glasgow that we just have to learn to deal with.
Interestingly enough, none of the people who’ve told me this are Irish! I wonder would the tune be different if it was Jews, Muslims, Chinese or any other ethnicity who were the target of these bigots. Why is bigotry against my community acceptable?
This is a problem which needs to be faced down and tackled by Civic Scotland.
Lip service is merely lip service.
If bigots are allowed to publicly gather and tell me to go home, without fear of retribution, the message I’m being sent is that I will always be a second class citizen because of my Irish ethnicity.
This bullshit “one side is as bad as the other” is not only lazy, it is grossly offensive.
Irish republicanism is about EQUALITY between all. To suggest one is as bad as the other is akin to suggesting that this is an Irish problem imported into Scotland.
That is grossly untrue.
The club across the city need to take their responsibilities here seriously.
They have played the orange card and have profited from the bigot pound.
They need to be made face up to their responsibility in facilitating bigotry.
In no other part of the world would it be acceptable for a football club to have a policy of not signing members of the Roman Catholic faith, nor would it be acceptable for a club to officially condemn one of their icons for marrying a Roman Catholic.
The OldCo did both of these. The new club dresses in its clothes, pretends to hold its history and carries all that baggage as a consequence. They must find a way to deal with it.
The Newco afford the fascist thugs who marched last Sunday their own section at Ibrox. They profit off bigotry. This needs to be ended.
This will be a tough battle. It will take years to bring about change. You feel that spineless government ministers and council officials will drag their feet. They need to be brought to task. Anti-Irish racism needs to be an issue on which governments will fall if they fail to tackle it.
Until this is done I will always be told I’m not welcome here.
That I’m second class.
But I’m not going home; Scotland is home.
And I ask all right-minded Scots to stand behind my community and help us end this stain on this place we all love.
Ross Taylor is an Irish Celtic fan who loves Scotland.