A black man walking through Bridgeport, a heavily Irish neighborhood in Chicago, might well put his life at risk.
But in Ireland, it’s a different story.
Rotimi Adebari, a Nigerian who arrived in Ireland seven years ago as an asylum-seeker, recently was elected mayor of Portlaoise, a bustling commuter town west of Dublin. Backed by both the right-wing Fine Gael party and left-wing Sinn Fein, Adebari is the first black man elected mayor in Ireland.
Adebari, 43, ran unopposed for the seat. He called his election a great honor.
Little more than a decade ago, a black person in Ireland risked being gawked at because they were so rare. But Ireland has absorbed more than 30,000 asylum seekers, particularly from Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.