Assemblyman Cites Nast’s Anti-Irish Images as Inflammatory, Offensive to Irish Catholic Community
(HAMILTON TWP.) – Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo on Tuesday called for Thomas Nast to be removed from this year’s list of nominees for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, citing concerns raised from the Irish Catholic community regarding anti-Irish imagery portrayed in the political cartoonist’s works.
In a letter to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, DeAngelo called for an expeditious removal of Nast’s name to avoid a negative shadow cast upon the voting process for honorees over the coming months.
“As an Irish Catholic myself and the state Assemblyman representing a large Irish community, I am deeply troubled by the nomination of Mr. Nast given disturbing imagery and depiction of Irish Catholics in the 19th Century,” wrote DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “I do not believe that his works represent the people of New Jerseyans from all cultural backgrounds in an appropriate or respectful manner. We should not be honoring any individual who contributed to the popularization of bigotry and prejudice in our country.”
DeAngelo served as the 2011 Grand Marshall of the Hamilton St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The statewide Ancient Order of Hibernians also has called for the removal of Nast from the list of nominated individuals.