Pub Refuses to Let Irish People In on St. Patrick's Day to Make a Point About Immigration

Dan Margulis wanted to get people thinking about immigration this St. Paddy's Day.

This is a picture of a St. Paddy's Day.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

This is a picture of a St. Paddy's Day.

A bar in Detroit turned away crowds of Irish people calling them “lazy” and “lower-class citizens” as part of a fake stunt to make a point about discrimination against immigrants in the U.S. today.

Dan Margulis hired a production company to set up a fake pub and create a video of people’s reactions as they were denied entry during Detroit’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. "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 told USA Today.

Margulis hung a sign that said “No Irish Pub” outside the fake pub situated between two popular bars in Detroit. Bouncer Bill Johns turned away people who were Irish or wearing green, reviving 100-year-old sentiments that Irish immigrants are “lazy” or a “servant race.” "We don't need no more immigrants in this country. They're ruining this country. The majority of them aren't helping anybody but themselves," Johns tells passerbys in the video.

The stunt unsurprisingly upset many guests, most of whom were not aware that they were part of an experiment and probably already wasted. “People were outraged, and they didn't understand how someone could be so racist," Margulis said. “There were few people who got extremely angry and wanted to fight, and they diffused that. Our goal wasn't to make people mad. It was to make people think.”

Margulis said the fight of Dreamers across the country inspired his “No Irish Pub” experiment, as he wanted to make people consider the history of discrimination in this country. "The general sentiment (is) that we're becoming more and more anti-immigrant," he said. "Anything that I think that allows people to experience what it feels like to be discriminated against firsthand, I think it’s good. It shocks people into empathy. I would absolutely do something like this again."

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