Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has publicly apologised for using the N-word in a tweet posted just days before an election in Northern Ireland. He used the controversial term in a message about the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained, where he compared the fight against slavery in the US to the plight of Irish nationalists. The Hollywood movie, starring Jamie Foxx, is centred on slavery in America’s Deep South in the late 1850s. Mr Adams’ post compared a former slave’s struggle in the film with the treatment of Irish nationalists in Ballymurphy, a republican area of Belfast.
Watching Django Unchained - A Ballymurphy N*****!
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
The offending tweet, as well as a second that read “Django - an uppity Fenian!”, were both deleted shortly after being posted. But by then they had already been widely shared and criticised. Speaking to reporters in west Belfast, Mr Adams admitted his use of the N-word was “inappropriate” and “I apologise for that”. But he said he stood by the “context and substance of the point I was making”. Eleven civilians were killed by British soldiers in Ballymurphy in 1971 during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, three decades of largely sectarian violence in which more than 3,500 people died.
There is ample evidence historically of those parallels from the penal laws, the partition of the island, and in our own time, like African Americans, people here were denied the vote, were discriminated against, were denied jobs, and so on.