Irish born singer, Sinead O’Conner is known for never holding her tongue when it comes to political and social injustices. She demonstrated this once again with the open letter she posted on her website about the Trayvon Martin case. Here is a snippet from her lengthy and poignant letter:

“I would like to extend my very deepest sympathies to the family and other loved ones of murdered teenager, Treyvon Martin. I am very sad today (and am certain the whole of Ireland is) to learn of poor Treyvon’s terrifying ordeal and horrified by the fact his known and named and admitted killer has not been arrested, despite the crime having taken place a month ago. This is a disgrace to the entire human race.

For those out there who believe black people to be less than pure royalty, let me inform you of a little known, but scientifically proven, many times over, FACT. Which after reading, you will hopefully feel both very stupid and very sorry. For you dishonor your own mothers and grandmothers.

EVERY human being on earth, no matter what their culture, creed, skin colour, or nationality, shares one gene traceable back to one African woman. Scientists have named it ‘The Eve Gene’. This means ALL of us, even ridiculously stupid, ignorant, perverted, blaspheming racists are the descendants of one African woman.

One African woman is the mother of all of us. Africa was the first world. You come from there! Your skin may be ‘white’.. because you didn’t need it to be black any more where you lived. But as Curtis Mayfield said.. ‘You’re just the surface of our dark, deep well’. So you’re being morons. And God is having the last laugh at your ignorant expense.

If you hate black people, its yourself you hate. And the mother who bore you. If you kill or wish ill on black people, its yourself you kill and wish ill on. As well as the mother who bore you.”

O’Connor made headlines in the 1992 when she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a Saturday Night Live performance. She sang Bob Marley‘s “War,” changed some of the song’s lyrics and tore the photo to protest sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

This letter is powerful, timely and daring. O’Conner says things that few celebrities would risk saying.


  • African Mami

    why am I not getting touched?!Iunno….sumth’n ain’tright, iunno what!

  • Oneika Mays

    You’re right- And I love her. But there’s a section that bothered me. I hate to be the party pooper- but she writes that

    Don’t be guided by rap. Gangsta or otherwise. Sure.. enjoy it.. adore I do.. but realize this.. rap ain’t about your civil or spiritual rights, baby boys and girls. It.. along with most music nowadays.. is about falsenesses and vanities. Bling, drugs, sex, guns and people- dissing. Its giving you the message you ain’t ‘good enough’ if you don’t have bling and ting.. and money. Or if you’re not what it deems ‘sexy’.

    Really?This isn’t all rap music. I know it’s a small point but it really bothered me. It’s generalization of an entire genre. Felt a little bit like finger wagging. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. She goes on to say this about other popular music- but popular rap is popular music. The distinction was unnecessary and I can’t help but feel that it’s that kind of thinking that leads to stereotypes and profiling.

    I appreciated the sentiment and we are all passionate and at times in our passion we say things we don’t necessarily mean the way they sounded. At least I hope that is the case. I think it’s worth reading the entire 5 pages before saying how incredible it is…

  • CurlySue

    Her whole Kumbaya thing was a little too simplistic. So, no one can have a problem with anyone else because we’re all distant cousins? Sorry, that just doesn’t fly in the real world. There are real tensions between different races and ethnicities and there are real reasons and history behind it.

  • Reason


    To someone that doesn’t listen to rap, it’s easy to see that the most popular (and it is VERY POPULAR) versions of it are negative as she described. I have not listened to rap in years, so I’m a musical “outsider” when it comes to rap, but whenever I hear people blasting it or reciting it to themselves or see a performance on TV, it’s the bad stuff. Say what you want, the stuff that flies off the shelves is stupid.

  • Reason

    She didn’t say “no one couldn’t have a problem with no one else”. She said those problems will have to be built on SOMETHING OTHER than race superiority, because scientifically, there’s no such thing. Which you and I (hopefully) know, but the people SHE ADDRESSED in the letter do not.

    I’m also not a afraid to say that the only simplistic thing is your assessment of her words.

  • Charlita

    Your description of her letter is much to simplistic. The point isn’t not to dislike anyone for any reason because we’re all the same, the point is not to dislike your fellow human beings based on the way that they look because we all come from the same place.

  • CurlySue

    You don’t have to agree. My feeling is that her reasoning seemed too facile for me. Racism is wrong for a number of reasons. We live in a mixed race society and to hate anyone based solely on their skin color is the height of ignorance. I just think there are more tangible and practical reasons why racism should go the way of the dinosaurs than “Hundreds of thousands of years ago we were all black”.


    I think this letter is more testament to how Mr. Martin’s death has impacted those abroad as opposed the racial divide people are already starting to brew given yesterday’s events. Who would have imagined that Ireland – or anywhere else overseas- would even know about Mr. Martin’s death. Something has definitely cause people to come together; I just hope more continue to speak out against injustices such as this one.

  • Nat

    It’s just not that simple-maybe for white people because they aren’t oppressed and don’t experience systematic racism. It’s so easy for her to be all “Kumbaya” but for people of color, it isn’t.

  • Oneika Mays

    I agree- and I simply offer up something for discussion. Being able to talk about this is important and I applaud her efforts. I believe it’s healthy to have constructive debate. I think that social media has the ability to make the world a smaller place. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with talking about a letter that was published. The point was to have conversation. I don’t think we have to agree with every single sentence of a person’s point to nod the overall intent. Even people on the same side must be able to challenge each other. I do love that the comments here start some interesting conversations.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    “It’s just not that simple-maybe for white people because they aren’t oppressed and don’t experience systematic racism.”

    I encourage you to do a quick wiki search on the history of Ireland and its people (of which Sinead is a native), and further examine your thoughts of groups that are/aren’t “oppressed.”

  • Socially Maladjusted


    Yes but a further search might reveal that Irishmen and Scotsmen were the main players behind the Klu Klux Klan. Indeed you’ll find many of em working in law enforcement and in the Prison system today.

    My parents emmigrated to the UK in the 60s, and yes they report that the Irish were subject to similar discriminaition as blacks, however as always happens with outsider white groups – once they become part of the white mainstream, they join the shit on blacks party.

    Find it hard to shed a tear for their oppression.

    I guess I kinda feel the same way about anti-Irish “oppression” as Palestinians feel about the Holocaust . . .

  • MsQuita

    She said a mouthful.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    No, shedding a tear is unnecessary. Acknowledging that groups of whites, as well as non-whites have been oppressed, is. I’m not playing a my-oppression-is-more-painful-and-stronger-than-yours game. Right is right and wrong is wrong, as Trayvon’s mother remarked.

    And I applaud anyone and everyone that acts and speaks out against it.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    “Acknowledging that groups of whites, . . . . have been oppressed, is”

    Well not to me so much but have at it.


  • African Mami

    @ sister,

    You berra tell em like it is, and while you’re on it, pat, pat, pat your curls!

  • MarloweOverShakespeare


    Lol! Thanks for the engagement anyway!

  • CurlySue

    Lol, Mami, in this heat down in Florida, it’s more like spritz, spritz, spritz the frizz.

  • Nat

    Are whites oppressed by our current government system?

  • mamareese

    She wants to be a sister so bad….I ain’t mad at her though. Moving towards getting this young man’s family justice!

  • Alexandra

    Nice letter, she could’ve done without certain paragraphs. Besides that, I agree with the last sentence; which transcends race as well.

  • omfg

    i only skimmed the actual letter but to me it seemed pretty harmless and she meant well.

    ish, i’ve written some of the same stuff on this very blog. lol.

    i’m not mad at sinead.

  • Bee

    @Nat, I understand your sentiment. Whites here are not oppressed like others in this country, not at all. But, this woman is Irish, and if there was ever one group of whites in Europe that got royally f*cked over in Europe, it is the Irish. They were even called the Ni99ers of Europe by non-Irish people. Believe it, honey. (Even though many did migrate here and become virulent and violent racists.) But she is speaking from an Irish, not an Irish-American, background. Big difference.

    Also, it is lazily reductive to write this off as a Kumbayah letter. At least give some thought to the woman’s words. White people aren’t always wrong when they talk about race. (My only problem with the letter is all the religious language, but then as a non-religious person I can accept that Christians aren’t always wrong.)

    That said, I’m not usually one to celebrate white folks, American or otherwise, telling us black folks how to feel or think (maybe she’s not even doing that), but I LOVE this letter. And I’m going to give the sister an “Amen.” She is right, through and through, in this letter, and it is beautifully pinned.

  • FLG17

    In America TODAY, if your skin is not brown, you are considered white. No one cares about your heritage, Irish or whatever. Also the commenter above is right – no matter how oppressed the Irish were in the past, as soon as they could assimilate into anglo culture, it was a done deal. Comparing the past oppression of lower class white cultures to the present oppression and prejudices towards black people is so completely wrong.

  • babe


  • Ms. Information

    At least she acknowledged points that other white people would rather die than admit.. at least she’s trying, she has good points, and though I believe that you don’t have to be racist to benefit from racism, I applaud her effort.

  • Ms. Information

    and she is right…rap consists of sex, drugs, violence and CONSUMPTION….don’t act like rap is positive right now.

  • chinaza


  • Mush

    I have missed you in the public eye very much your songs are powerful and with great meaning. I enjoy your voice, power to you for being true to yourself, always.

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