IMELDA MAY has been receiving anonymous death threats on a daily basis ever since releasing an anti-racism poem last year.
The Irish singer-songwriter released her first ever EP of poetry last year.
The collection included the powerful poem You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish, which went viral in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and the unrest it sparked.
Rethink Ireland, a fund set up to help those most affected by inequality, later had the poem displayed on 200 billboards across Ireland.
While May drew widespread praise for her work on the poem, the anti-racism message did not sit so well with a small contingent.
And according to the Dublin-born star, plenty have let their feelings be known.
May revealed during an appearance on Sunday with Miriam she was “still getting [threats] daily” because of her work on the poem.
"A lot of hate, death threats, everything. Oh my god, I can’t even tell you what I’ve gotten but I don’t regret it for a second and I’d do it again,” she said.
“That’s the power of words, isn’t it? That’s why it’s important. Words, you have to choose your words. Words are important.
"They stir up things sometimes and like I said, language and words are important.”
May’s poem offers a unique insight and perspective on the issue.
It was created to serve as a wake-up call and reminder that Ireland’s own history of being on the receiving end of oppression makes racism on these shores inexcusable.
— Culture on RTÉ (@RTE_Culture) June 5, 2020
You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish can be read, in full, below:
You don’t get to be racist and Irish
You don’t get to be proud of your heritage,
plights and fights for freedom
while kneeling on the neck of another!
You’re not entitled to sing songs
of heroes and martyrs
mothers and fathers who cried
as they starved in a famine
Or of brave hearted
poets and artists
lined up in a yard
blindfolded and bound
Waiting for Godot
and point blank to sound
We took refuge
So cannot refuse
When it’s our time
To return the favour
Bodies crushed and swollen
unholy tokens of Christ, Nailed to a tree
(That) You hang around your neck
Like a noose of the free
Our colour pasty
Our accents thick
Hands like shovels
from mortar and bricklaying
foundation of cities
you now stand upon
Our suffering seeps from every stone
your opportunities arise from
Outstanding on the shoulders
of our forefathers and foremother’s
who bore your mother’s mother
Our music is for the righteous
Our joys have been earned
Well deserved and serve
to remind us to remember
Still labelled leprechauns, Micks, Paddy’s, louts
we’re shouting to tell you
our land, our laws
are progressively out there
We’re in a chrysalis
state of emerging into a new
and more beautiful Eire/era
40 Shades Better
Unanimous in our rainbow vote
we’ve found our stereotypical pot of gold
and my God it’s good.
So join us.. 'cause
You Don’t Get To Be Racist And Irish.