The Irish Republican Socialist Party has expressed outrage after a large board commemorating the Hunger Strikers was stolen and placed on a bonfire in Derry’s Fountain Estate.
The bonfire was constructed ahead of the Apprentice Boys of Derry annual commemorations and wll be burned on Friday night, before Saturday’s annual march through the city centre.
Comment: Unionists/Loyalists are once more expressing their age-old contempt for nationalists/republicans – the IRSP in this particular instance. Unionists/Loyalists enjoy being contemptuous as contempt declares their superiority.
Who do they feel contempt for?
Republicans, Nationalists, Catholics – People without power who are distant from them.
If people are close to Unionists/Loyalists but powerless, then they feel compassion
If they are powerful but distant, Unionists/ Loyalists feel fear or envy.
What is Contempt?
1. A feeling of dislike toward somebody which leads to
2. considering the other person worthless, inferior and undeserving of respect.
3. a key element of prejudice
What causes contempt?
Violation of communal codes, such as hierarchy.
Nationalists/republicans in NI fail to carry out the duties of the prevailing community or the social hierarchy within the community. They are disloyal, disobedient or disrespectful, or break the rules of the Unionist/Loyalist community.
Loyalists are confronted with nationalists/republicans who have not changed their behaviour in reaction to their anger. Anger therefore does not seem functional, and contempt emerges as a way of coping with the lack of influence or control Loyalists have over Nationalists/republicans.
What is the function of contempt?
to preserve or even enlarge the distance between individuals, or, at a group level, between groups.
How is contempt espressed?
through social exclusion, insults, attempts to attack the other.
Unionist politicians express contempt
“Martin McGuinness spoke of having met Queen Elizabeth three times, as a gesture of reconciliation and respect to the unionist community. Yet when he walked the corridors of Stormont, he said, a great number of unionist politicians failed to pass the time of day or even establish eye-contact“.
Loyalists express contempt
- through insults like “an unrepentant Fenian bastard”
Derogatory name for a Catholic; most often used in the northeast area of Ireland.
Use: a term of abuse
2) facial expressions
4) holding their nose as SF in the Stormont Assembly
Edwin Poots, DUP, erstwhile Minister of Health
“I do not like doing business with Sinn Féin. I hold my nose about what has went on in the past, about the activities of the IRA over 25 years, of the murders that took place and there’s a stench that still rises from that in many homes across Northern Ireland.”
5)Mocking the Irish language and culture
How can nationalists /republicans cope with Loyalist contempt?
Ask a question that surprises, stuns, or shocks them.
Perhaps something like, “When you treat others with contempt and rage, are you willing to take the responsibility for starting a chain of disrespect that will not stop?”
How can Loyalists cope with their contempt?
Comment: hatred and contempt often go hand in hand in a group-based context and are dangerous because there is no hope that anything can be changed, unless the contemptuous/contemptible group takes steps to do so.