Remember the Irish–it's the law. In the state of New York, all public school children over 8 are required by law to study the Irish potato famine of the 1840s, which resulted in mass starvation and pressured a million Irish to emigrate to New York. This follows a 1994 law that requires New York public schools to teach students about slavery and genocide. In neighboring New Jersey, children must learn about the genocide of Armenians.
"This business of each group getting its own victimization written into legislation is a very bizarre way of studying history," Eric Foner, history professor at Columbia University, told The Post Standard of Syracuse.