The Cultural Appropriation of St. Patrick's Day Offends Me As An Alcoholic

Let me ask you something: if, once a year, white people poured into dim sum restaurants to celebrate Chinese New Year by drinking Tsingtao, eating pork buns, wearing red silk clothing, and speaking in affected “ching chong” accents, do you think the American left would be just fine with that, or do you think we would have to endure an onslaught of think pieces and angry tweets about how “gross” and “not cool” that was?

How about if non-Muslim Americans celebrated Ramadan by donning hijabs and kufis and wearing pins that said “Kiss Me, I’m Muslim (Except Don’t Kiss Me Because Contact Between Non-Married Men and Women Is Forbidden)”? You think we’d ever stop hearing about it from any of the various Muslim advocacy groups in the country or abroad?

Well then, why is it perfectly acceptable that once a year, people wear green, speak in horrible Irish accents, and binge drink all day and night in celebration of a culture to which they don’t belong? Isn’t this precisely what the left refers to as “cultural appropriation”? Frankly, I’m sick of the hypocrisy, as well as deeply offended by seeing MY culture exploited by outsiders for fun and laughs.

You see, I’m an alcoholic.

My cultural identity as an alcoholic is no different from being black or gay: I don’t have any choice in the matter. There’s nothing I can do to change.

We’ve progressed to the point where we understand that wearing the headdress of the noble Native American on Halloween is offensive and unacceptable. And yet this is precisely the type of belittling, mocking behavior that alcoholics have to endure every year on our most sacred holiday. That shirt you plan on wearing tonight that you know you won’t mind throwing up on? Take it off. A shirt you can puke on is the traditional outfit of an alcoholic, and you have no business wearing one. A culture is not a costume.

And please, if you must join us on our national holiday, at least make the effort to celebrate our traditions correctly. Please don’t add green food coloring to your beer. This is the equivalent of putting peanut butter on a communion wafer. Please don’t announce your intention to get incredibly drunk. True alcoholics greet every day like this, and have the class and dignity not to make a formal announcement. And please, pace yourself. It’s a rookie mistake to go hard early. Remember, you want to drink throughout the night and the next day and day after that and day after that…well, you get it.

Actually, you don’t.

St. Patrick’s Day means more to us than Christmas and Thanksgiving, by which I mean we are even drunker than we are on Christmas and Thanksgiving. And just as you wouldn’t appreciate having those holidays ruined by an alcoholic—although, if you have any in your family, they probably have been ruined by an alcoholic—we don’t appreciate sober people showing up and defiling our special day by imploring us to slow down and stop picking a fight with the doorman. (The doorman fight is our version of dancing the Hora at a Jewish wedding.)

It’s not that we want you people to stop drinking altogether. Of course, that would be nice, since it would mean more alcohol for us, but part of our culture is sharing, then oversharing until we’re hysterically crying. We just want you to treat this day of paper leprechaun hats and green suspenders the same way we do: seriously.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Break.

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