'Gerry Adams is not a racist' says Republican Tim Brannigan after N-word furore

'Gerry Adams is not a racist' says Republican Tim Brannigan after N-word furore

A former Republican prisoner has defended the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams after he used the N-word on Twitter.

Gerry Adams was forced to apologise yesterday after posting the tweet on Sunday night, in which he compared the treatment of Irish nationals in the North to the struggle of black slaves in the United States.

He posted the tweet on Sunday night while watching the film 'Django Unchained'.

Mr Adams removed the tweet a short time later after it provoked a furious reaction, tweeting:

The next morning Mr Adams issued a statement, saying he had either been misunderstood by those who had taken offence at his use of the term, or they were misrepresenting the post.

While speaking in Belfast yesterday, Mr Adams said: "Django Unchained is a powerful film which highlights the injustices suffered by African Americans through its main character Django.

"In my tweets I described him as a 'Ballymurphy n****' and 'an uppity Fenian'. I have acknowledged that the use of the n-word was inappropriate.

"That is why I deleted the tweet. I apologise for any offence caused.

"I stand over the context and main point of my tweet about the Django which were the parallels between people in struggle. Like African Americans Irish nationalists were denied basic rights.

"The penal laws, Cromwell's regime, and partition are evidence of that.

"In our own time, like African Americans nationalists in the north, including those from Ballymurphy and west Belfast, were denied the right to vote; the right to work; the right to a home; and were subject to draconian laws.

"This changed because we stood up for ourselves. We need to continue to do that.

"The civil rights movement here, of which I was a founding member, was inspired and based its approach on the civil rights campaign in the USA.

"I have long been inspired by Harriet Tubman; Frederick Douglass; Rosa Parks; Martin Luther King and Malcolm X who stood up for themselves and for justice."

Former Republican prisoner, Tim Brannigan, told Newstalk Breakfast he thinks the context of Mr Adams' message was misunderstood.

He said: "The fact that Gerry used the N-word was a surprise to say the least…The difficulty with the slave analogy is that, yes, people in Belfast suffered under Unionist domination, but they weren't slaves. They weren't wearing chains and that's where black people would identify the problem (wit the analogy).

"There's a problem of degree, of proportionality I think.

"I absolutely understand what Gerry was attempting to stay. We Republicans have always identified with liberation movements around the world.

"I think (Gerry) had a moment of serious misjudgement, but I wouldn’t like to comment further than that.

"The N-word is very racist, but Gerry Adams is not."

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