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Old 10-09-2019, 11:30 AM
SanVito is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bristol, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
The top ten nation of origin of people's ancestors in the U.S. today are these:

1. Germany
2. Mexico
3. Ireland
4. England
5. Italy
6. France
7. Poland
8. Scotland
9. Puerto Rico
10. Norway

(If all of the African continent were considered as a single nation of origin, it would rank second between Germany and Mexico.)

You couldn't make jokes about the Germans, Irish, English, French, Scottish, or Norwegians because together they were more than half of Americans, and you didn't want your snide jokes to be about the people you're talking to. You also probably thought that they looked too much like you, so you couldn't be sure you weren't talking to them. At that point (say, in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's), people of Mexican or Puerto Rican ancestry were a little less common and more confined to certain parts of the U.S. and certain neighborhoods elsewhere. You didn't want to make nasty jokes about blacks because that came across as too obviously racist. They didn't live in your neighborhood, but they lived in the next neighborhood. Italians had just become mainstream at that point, so using them in insults was a little dicey.

So if you were a white person living in a suburb of a northern U.S. city in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's, Polish people were the simplest targets. They were at most a small group in the area you lived. That meant that you could deliberately hurt people by your mean jokes, but it was unlikely that there were enough around to immediately beat you up for those stupid insults.
I don't buy this.

Quote:
You couldn't make jokes about the Germans, Irish, English, French, Scottish, or Norwegians because together they were more than half of Americans
This lot aren't a block - in fact they all either hate or take pot shots at each other. Note the English and Irish. More likely, it comes from Germany - Poles have been the butt of various German tribes for centuries.