Retailers criticized for negative stereotypes against the Irish - FOX 13 News

Retailers criticized for negative stereotypes against the Irish

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

St. Patrick's Day may be more than a month away, but around this time each year the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish civil rights organization, battles retailers who they say sell merchandise that portrays negative stereotypes against the Irish.

They say shirts and slogans like, "Irish I was drunk" and "on St. Paddy's Day, I'm the designated drunk" portray the wrong message on St. Patrick's Day.

"That denigrates the Irish," Jim Harkins, Hillsborough AOH President said. "Would I buy something to denigrate the blacks or the Jews or the Muslims or the Protestants? No."

Harkins said over the years, the meaning of the feast day of St. Patrick continues to get lost in drunken debauchery, witty slogans and T-shirts.

Recently, Bed Bath & Beyond pulled merchandise after the AOH called the company out for being insensitive toward the Irish.

One item was a St. Patrick's Day drinking game calendar, and the other was a set of beer glasses with print that read "I'll be Irish in a few beers."

Harkins explained they both promote binge drinking, which has nothing to do with being Irish or St. Patrick's Day.

"St. Patrick's Day in Ireland is a holy day of obligation. We start off St. Patrick's Day by going to mass. After mass we will have a walking parade to commemorate Ireland's greatest saint," Harkins said.

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