DETROIT: Fake Irish Pub Turns Away Irish Customers In St. Patrick’s Day Lesson On Immigration [VIDEO]

USA Today reports:

The bouncer who called Irish people “lazy” and “lower-class citizens” last weekend at the door of a pub on the bustling parade route of Detroit’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade ignited more than a few tempers. But he wasn’t trying to spark a fight — just make people think.

It was all part of an experiment to raise awareness about how poorly Irish immigrants were once treated in the U.S. against the backdrop of prominent modern-day conversations about race and immigration. Creator Dan Margulis had a production company record the scene at the fake, temporary pub and produce a polished video of people’s stunned reactions. The video is posted on his website,

“On a day when everyone is proclaiming solidarity with an immigrant group … we wanted them to feel what it was like to be treated like an Irish immigrant … years ago in this country, and, hopefully, that would get them to think about the way we treat current immigrant groups,” Margulis said.

  • It wasn’t that long ago that this wasn’t just satire- it was the daily lived reality of Irish-Americans

  • TexasBoy

    Remember the scene from Blazing Saddles where the townspeople were at first reluctant to give land to the Irish for helping?

  • Mark

    The Italians were also maligned at a point in time in this country too. What is it about the United States that seems to elicit hatred to different groups of people throughout its existence? Heck, what is it about the WORLD that elicits hatred?

    • Leo

      The search for power. You always need a victim. The culture of exploitation is embedded here post-slavery that it will take generations more to even slightly make-up for. The last two years set us back about 20.

    • jeffg166

      Pecking order.

    • 🐾vorpal🐾

      Xenophobia seems to be a natural human trait, probably a product of tribal mentalities when those who were in “your group” were safe, and those who were not should be treated with suspicion because your unfamiliarity with their culture and customs possibly put you at risk.

      Any decently educated human with the most basic of critical thinking skills should recognize this as completely invalid and have gotten over it long ago.

      • Bambino

        A pyramid scheme mentality.

      • Matt G, Rochester

        Education can only do so much to overcome evolutionary insticts. Much of the “fear of other” is hard wired into our genetic memory. It will take many, many generations without violence, scarcities, and, now, weather related migrations, for the tribalism to evolve out of us.

        • 🐾vorpal🐾

          We’ll never get it completely out of us, I don’t think, but we’ve learned to suppress certain biological / evolutionary urges and feelings by recognizing them as illogical. We might still =feel= them, but we stop ourselves from acting on them.

          I just hope that we educate people to the point where people think more critically about their knee-jerk emotions.

        • JCF

          I think you exaggerate. It’s simply desensitization of a phobia. It doesn’t take much exposure to “other” people to show that “they’re just like me”.

          That’s what Coming Out is all about!

          • Matt G, Rochester

            Yet 40 years after Stonewall (2 generations,) we’re still stigmatized and discriminated against. And you can still hear words like m!ck, k!ke, n!gger, sp!c, fag, etc., in every day life.

    • from the Washington Post
      “At one time, non-English-speaking northern Europeans were scorned. Then it was French Canadians, the famine Irish, Catholic Italians, anarchist Germans, fleeing Jews, Asian workers attacked by other immigrants, and Spanish-speaking Latin Americans.”

      As each of these waves of immigrants started to become assimilated they in turn scorned the next group to come after them. As vorpal says, humans are still very “tribal” in nature

      • Natty Enquirer

        The solution is to condemn everyone. Then you will never be accused of prejudice.

      • Hue-Man

        “Between 1840 and 1930 roughly 900 000 French Canadians left Canada to emigrate to the United States.”
        Push – large families with no new agricultural lands
        Pull – New England factories needed labor

        • Matt G, Rochester

          Also, many went south to New Orleans, hence the Acadians.

          • Hue-Man

            The Acadians were expelled from their lands by the British in the 1750s and 1760s. Quebec migration to New England in the 19th and 20th centuries was not forced by British and Canadian authorities.

    • JD

      All about ‘the other”. I’m frustrated by he issues painted as this ethnicity or that, this orientation or that, this strata in the workplace or that, this age or that…it is ALL about not seeing each”other” as one of us. A prejudice worth keeping is that against somone who prefers to “other” instead of working to find ways to co-exist.

    • McSwagg

      We learned these bigotries at the knee of our civilized British forbearers. Americans seem to hate everyone the Brits hate.

    • JCF

      “The Human Condition”

  • Treant

    People kind of suck at generalizing effrontery, so I’m not sure how much good this actually did.

    The only thing you really did was victimize somebody–and probably break the law at the same time.

    • Natty Enquirer

      It’s reminiscent of the sadistic “pranks” that have become popular spectacle.

  • netxtown

    it was sunday, shitty sunday – rain and cold and dark…and i was flipping through the channels – again and again. At some point, I landed on PBS as it was doing a ‘catch-up’ marathon on Victoria. Only took a few minutes…and i was hooked.

    What came out during my viewing pleasure was the attention they paid to the Irish Potato Famine. And, of that, what caught my attention was a little blurb that came on the screen that 1 million died during the famine – and 2 million migrated to the US. All i can find in history articles says only 1 million came to US – but it doesn’t say how many died en route. Obviously, there were many as the transporting ships were even called famine ships and coffin ships. These people went through a living hell to get here. America’s welcome wasn’t – we spit on them, mistreated them, denounced them.

    And after all this time and all these lessons…we still frigging do it to new arrivals. Amazing how uppity some Americans can be…

    • narutomania

      The Irish got it when they emigrated to Australia, too. Much of their poor treatment at the hands of other Aussies (pronounced ‘Ozzies’) led to the now infamous actions of Ned Kelly and his gang.

    • And that is why it is so embarrassing to me that while about 60-something percent of my heritage is Irish, growing up in the south, most of my family is amazingly racist.

      • JCF

        “Let Me In!”

        {they’re let in}


        “Keep Them Out!”

        Repeat, ad nauseum. America, in a nutshell…

    • ChrisMorley

      The figures for emigration from Ireland and for immigration into the US, Canada, England, Wales and Scotland etc. are still the subject of intense academic dispute.
      Civil registration of births and deaths in Ireland was not established by law until 1863, after the worst was over. There are catholic and anglican parish records of births, marriages and deaths, but these are incomplete and of varying quality. Vicars and priests struggled to keep records in the face of the devastation.

      Much of the emigration from Ireland was from unregulated departure points, on old vessels unfit for transatlantic crossings. Few captains recorded deaths at sea. Passengers were often sick and starving when they got on the ships and sanitation was basic or absent and disease raged through the passenger holds and medical care was practically non-existent.

      The Wiki on the Great Famine is pretty good.

      • Gregory B

        25% of the population of the of Quebec (Canada) claim Irish ancestry whether English or French speaking. Intermarriage between the French and Irish has resulted in French speaking families with Irish names and English speaking families with French names. Quebec was unique at the time because the majority population was Roman Catholic and more welcoming than other nations but the Irish still faced discrimination. See

      • ChrisMorley

        Facts about Great Famine emigration out of Ireland revealed

        “The Famine emigrations represent one of the greatest population
        displacements of modern times, an exodus on a stunning scale that has no other nineteenth century parallel,” writes Dr Ciarán Ó Murchadha in his latest book, The Great Famine: Ireland’s Agony 1845 – 52, which was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Longman – History Today ‘Book of the Year’ international award.’

        This article helpfully summarises the content of this 2017 tome.

    • Bambino

      It’s the me, me, me lack of imagination generation. So long as they do not fit into the list of ticked boxes, they do not care. Also the same people who believe money and position will exempt them from any form of discrimination.

      • MichaelJ

        I don’t think lack of imagination or lack of thoughtfulness or lazy mindedness is limited to any generation.

    • stuckinthewoods

      I saw the Victoria series too. On seeing the Famine episode and Victoria portrayed as caring, I thought “wut?” While it would have been odd for the series not to have mentioned the famine, a very significant event during Victoria’s reign, the portrayal didn’t mesh with what I had previously read in books my Irish father kept. Link addresses this.

      • netxtown

        THAT is quite interesting! As such, the ‘facts’ really do cast a shade over the series. I wonder why the writers decided NOT to cast their fair lady with some flaw?

        • JCF

          Um, there are few TV shows which depict their central character w/ flaws…

          • netxtown

            but…but…how ’bout Superman? he had that kryptonite thing going on…. 🙂

    • witch

      My Dad’s People came over because of the potato famine, some of the family stories are sad and scary beyond belief

  • jeffg166

    I grew up in a neighborhood in the 50’s that was populated with lots of right off the boat British immigrants English, Welsh, Scottish. Italians, Eastern Europe’s and Jews were the other. The less then. I am mostly Irish but have a German last name. We passed.

  • Readen Reply

    how many morons didn’t know enough history to catch on?

    Any video of those who got the joke?

  • CB

    When I first lived in Brooklyn a long, long time ago, there was a crazy lady who lived on Joralemon street, where I was. In warm weather, she was always out on the street in a housecoat. One day she asked if I was Irish, and I replied that my family was. From that day on when she would see me, she would follow me for a block yelling about “the dirty Irish.” She raised more than a few eyebrows, but she was just angry and harmless. She was probably in her late 60s at the time, and that is some 35 years ago. The hatred resonated through the crazy.

    • Natty Enquirer

      That’s not “harmless” in my book.

  • Kevin Andrews

    Most excellent awareness heightening work.
    We are all the same inside.

  • Taylor Bixler

    This reminds me of the Daily Show food truck bit in NC a few years ago.

  • Gigi

    Very powerful but I’m surprised he didn’t receive stronger backlash.

    • ColdCountry

      I was thinking that. He’s lucky no one took a swing at him, or shoved him off the stool.

      • JAX

        They would then be perpetuating a stereotype.

  • Chris Craft

    And pretty soon this will be our actual fate as lgbt with the way things are going…

  • Mickey Bitsko

    St. Patrick’s Day, aka Amateur Hour.

  • JWC

    Tes disturbing to the participate but a great way to drive home a message

  • Hank

    Welcome to the club my Irish friends. Many whose grandparents and great grandparents are today as bigoted against new immigrants today. They truly have forgotten their roots and how they were treated, when their families first arrived.

  • Halou

    Pertinent, a fictionalised amalgamation of several deadly anti-immigration riots that took place across America throughout the 19th century.