An Irish youth NGO in receipt of millions of euros in taxpayer funding has accused all white people of having “privilege.”
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) describes itself as “the representative body for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland,” and receives the vast majority of its funding in the form of state grants.
These grants, which amount to more than €2.7 million per year, come almost exclusively from state groups such as the Department of Children and Equality, the Department of Climate, the Department of Rural Development, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Irish Aid, the HSE, Pobal, and many other State agencies and departments.
In addition to this, the NYCI receives a further sum of almost €300,000 from the European Commission, bringing their total annual income to more than €3 million.
However, despite receiving huge sums in public funding, the group is openly engaged in political advocacy, having an entire tab dedicated to these activities on their website.
Issues that the group campaigns on include increasing funding for youth organisations like themselves, tax policies, climate change measures that impact the national energy sector, lowering the voting age, and much more.
💡🙁Youth work organisations shouldn't face impossible decisions about keeping the lights on or supporting young people.
📈 The limited funding increase for youth organisations in #Budget2022 is effectively a cut, with inflation set to be 5.25% for 2023. #YouthWorkChangesLives pic.twitter.com/thyj1RwONI
— NYCI (@nycinews) September 30, 2022
€60m in funding announced for community and voluntary sector organisations to deal with energy bills.
Many C&V sector organisations are struggling with costs which is impacting the delivery of services.
— NYCI (@nycinews) September 27, 2022
Now is the time for the Irish Government to move towards a low carbon economy and renewable energy #ClimateActionNow https://t.co/DV77HxZKJ8
— NYCI (@nycinews) April 20, 2016
Great to hear panel on @rtenews talk about supporting #votesat16 & establishment of an Electoral Commission which has been promised since 2007 @EOBroin @1GaryGannon @JohnLahart
— NYCI (@nycinews) February 10, 2020
In addition to all of this, one cause that the group claims to champion is the issue of opposing racism, part of which involves challenging “white privilege” – the notion that all white people have inherent advantages in life because of the colour of their skin.
“Being honest and brave, we have promised ourselves to continually explore our own racism,” the group says in a post on their website.
“We live in a racist world – we cannot help but carry racism.”
They add: “If we are white, we carry white privilege. We can learn to carry it with care. And if we are Black, Travellers and people of colour we figure out the deep impact of internalised racism and we start a healing journey.”
These remarks are expanded in a further document linked by the NYCI as part of an “extensive resource list” of “equality, inclusion, and intercultural resources.”
“This extensive resource list includes activity resources, educational resources and key contacts,” the NYCI writes.
“It is set out under headings referring to specific minority and marginalised groups, as well as headings on inclusion in general and intersectionality.”
As part of this list, it includes a document by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Trasgendeer, Queer & Intersex Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) entitled the “Norm Criticism Toolkit.”
This document hits out at “whiteness” itself, saying that “the norm of whiteness…is a part of racist oppression.”
“In large parts of the world, white people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of many societies as individuals, and are not perceived and treated as representatives of the whole group, such as people of colour often are,” it reads.
This same document includes a list of harmful “norms” that need to be challenged, including “hetero norms” (the idea that being straight is normal), “monogamy norms” (the idea that being in a relationship with just one person is normal), and “cis norms” (the idea that not being transgender is normal).
It also outlines “problems,” including “slut shaming” (the idea that being promiscuous is a bad thing), “privilege,” and more. The proposed solutions to these problems include “safe spaces,” “inclusive language,” and “radicalism.”
This is not the first time the Irish state has funded a group promoting ideas of “white privilege.”
Last year Gript revealed that a state-funded Irish school programme circulated a document which encouraged teachers to oppose the entire concept of criminal justice and policing, and asked them to study militant “black power” organisations like the Black Panther Party. Dozens of Irish schools were also encouraged to teach children about “white privilege” – the idea that all white people have an unfair head-start in life because of their race, regardless of class, upbringing or income level.
The material in question was circulated by the Yellow Flag Programme (YFP), which receives funding from both the Irish Department of Justice and the European Union.
A state-funded Irish school programme distributed materials which encourage teachers to study militant “black power” organisations, oppose the concept of police & prisons, & teach white children that they are “privileged” because of their race.#gripthttps://t.co/U98tAcM0vq
— gript (@griptmedia) August 2, 2022
In addition to this, Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) has urged teachers to hold classroom exercises dividing children along class and racial “privilege” lines.
Ireland’s curriculum body advised teachers to hold classroom exercises dividing children along class & racial lines, based on questions about ones’ race, household income, whether they were sexually abused by a family member, & more.#gripthttps://t.co/VH0UWbhkrr
— gript (@griptmedia) August 8, 2022
“White privilege” has been discussed by many mainstream Irish politicians in the recent past, with Fine Gael Junior Minister and former equality spokesperson, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD, saying that “whiteness is in itself an advantage” and that Ireland has to come to grips with its “white privilege.”
In addition, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said that even when Ireland was oppressed historically, the country had white privilege.
“While it is true that the Irish have known our fair share of oppression, the reality is that during that oppression we still maintained our invisibility cloak of white privilege,” she said.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar previously expressed disappointment that the civil service is still “very white,” saying “that needs to change.”
Ireland spends almost €6 billion per year on the NGO sector in total, and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe recently admitted to Gript that “many” of these organisations still receive taxpayer funding despite being involved in “advocacy.” The link to that clip can be found below.
WATCH: Minister Paschal Donohoe says that many NGOs involved in "advocacy" still receive State funding, because of their "expertise" and "valuable" work. #gript pic.twitter.com/TZ2skX55oY
— gript (@griptmedia) April 18, 2023