A Detroit pub tries to make a point by refusing to serve Irish patrons on St. Patrick’s Day

A Detroit pub tries to make a point by refusing to serve Irish patrons on St. Patrick’s Day
The No Irish Pub, situated on the city's parade route, turned away Irish patrons on St. Patrick's Day. It was all part of a social experiment cooked up by a Michigan man. (Image source: NoIrishPub video screenshot)

A bouncer berated Irish patrons and turned them away at the No Irish Pub in Detroit on St. Patrick’s Day.

The bouncer, who sat outside the door of the pub that was situated on the city’s parade route, called those who claimed their Irish heritage — or wore green — “lazy” and “lower-class citizens.”

But it was all part of a social experiment cooked up by a Michigan man, Dan Margulis, who rented an empty storefront between two popular bars and hung a sign that read: “No Irish Pub.”

Why did he do this?

Margulis told the Detroit Free Press that controversial media coverage of the so-called “Dreamers” sparked the idea. He used the pub as a reminder of a time when the Irish were considered “simians.”

“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.

Margulis, who works in advertising, hired a production crew to record the scene and create a video for his website, NoIrishPub.com.

How did people react?

The bouncer, Bill Johns, asked some passers-by why they would want to associate with a “servant race” and told others,”Go back to your own country.”

“We don’t need no more immigrants in this country. They’re ruining this country,” he said.

A sign hung in the window that read, “Help Wanted. No Irish Need Apply.”

“Why are you racist against Irish,” one woman asked in the video.

“There were a few people who got extremely angry and wanted to fight, and they diffused that,” Margulis said.

Those who got angry were allowed in on the stunt and handed a brochure that explained the experiment.

“Our goal wasn’t to make people mad. It was to make people think,” Margulis said.

“Anything that I think that allows people to experience what it feels like to be discriminated against firsthand, I think it’s good,” he added. “It shocks people into empathy. I would absolutely do something like this again.”

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