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if a non white person tried to order a meal back in 1850 would they serve him?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by green papaya, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. green papaya

    green papaya One Too Many

    California, usa
    Time Travel is a common discussion, but what if a non white person like a Native American, Asian, Black tried to go into town on a Saturday night to order a nice meal like a steak or something, would they have served him? since society was heavily segregated back then, Im guessing they would tell them to leave and probably wouldnt serve them? or possibly sell him food but make them go elsewhere to eat, not be allowed inside with the other patrons.

    going back in time probably wouldnt be a very pleasant experience unless you were of european heritage, back during those times, plus the laws were a lot different , a non white could not even press charges in a court of law against a white person.
  2. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    New Forest
    This thread could be the most difficult that the Lounge has tackled. For the life of me, I have never understood why the Jewish community have been despised for centuries. As for appearance prejudice, it's only a guess, but British explorers did tend to call the natives of the countries that they, so called, discovered, "savages," or maybe it was the British press that used that term, either way, it's the start of a decline in relations.
    This book is very expensive, but if you can borrow it from a library, it will be well worth while.
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    You don't need to make it 1850. There were plenty of places in 1950 where this would have happened. While segregation by law was a Southern phenomenon, segregation by custom was widely practiced in the North -- many hotels routinely turned away non-white guests, and many also operated on what was genteely/gentilely called a "restricted" basis: which meant No Jewish Guests.

    I wouldn't be too inclusive about Europeans, either. If you weren't a *northern* European you could have a rough go of it in many parts of the country -- those swarthy Mediterranean types, the Slavs, even what they used to call "black Irish" were the subject of discrimination. The social "whiteness" of these groups doesn't go back all that far at all.

    Xenophobia is America's Original Sin, and a lot of it goes back to the very first colonists. The Puritans were not nice people, and they certainly weren't Christians, since Christ preached exactly the opposite of xenophobia.
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  4. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    New Forest
    The British, and previously English aristocracy have a deep seated prejudice about anyone and everyone whose not a "blue blood."
    Between the two world wars a string of peers were avid fans of Mussolini and Hitler, yet they were not interned. And only this year Rhodri Phillips betrayed his vile racism when he offered £5,000 for someone to ‘accidentally’ run down the pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller, whom he called ‘this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant’ – yet he remains the 4th viscount St David’s, 17th Baron Strange of Knockin, 24th Baron de Moleyns and 25th Baron Hungerford. That is the ignoble iniquity of today’s entitled class.
    You can read about the aspects of our aristocracy in this book:
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    London, UK
    A few years ago, a friend posted a "maybe I was meant to live in simpler times" type post on social media, followed by a "when would you have preferred to live?" It wasn't long before a response read "Well, I'm black and a woman, so now, please!" While I'm certainly no apologist for the prejudices of our contemporary society as they exist, I certainly know I would not cope well living in the past, whether as a target of (a small fraction of) that prejudice, or - perhaps worse - being expected by others to share it.

  6. Even more recent. One of my ex fiancés tried to throw me a 30th birthday party (in 1997) and had to change plans because the place she planned would not allow African Americans to dine in the dining room. I'm pretty sure they didn't allow Jews either, but that would have been less obvious. This was in North Carolina.
  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    An extension of "restrictions" was the quota system that prevailed in leading American universities into the 1960s -- only a certain percentage of the student body could be Jewish. The administration at Harvard, for example, took alarm at the growing number of Jewish admissions in the 1920s, and at the instance of university president A. Lawrence Lowell, instituted a cap of 15 percent on new Jewish students as of 1926, a cap enforced by no longer judging applicants solely on the basis of academic achievement but on nebulous questions of "character and fitness" as well. In other words, if they didn't like you, you didn't get in. And Lowell didn't like Jews -- he was convinced that "too many" Jewish students would "drive away" Protestants because the Jewish students didn't "assimilate" into campus life. This type of policy spread rapidly thru the rest of the Ivy League, and on down thru American academia for decades to come.

    As for my fate, had I been born fifty years earlier, I'd have ended up on the blacklist in 1950, along with everyone else in broadcasting who had the nerve to take a public stand in favor of civil rights. Look for me in "Red Channels," right between Paul McGrath and Burgess Meredith.
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  8. You're probably still on a few lists, even now.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    New York City
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  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Another interesting historical morsel: it wasn't until 1940 that non-white immigrants were allowed to become American citizens by naturalization -- but only non-white immgrants "of nationalities native to the Western Hemisphere," along with persons of Filipino, Chinese, and Indian descent. No Africans or Japanese need apply.
  11. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

    When Americans start calling; Afro- Americans, Native-Americans, Asian-Americans & every other prefixed Americans just plain, Americans, they would have taken a big step forward.
    MisterCairo and Zombie_61 like this.
  12. Believe it or not, the purpose of that terminology is to be more inclusive, not to separate themselves. Rather than being "Asian" or "Indian", people are reminding you that they are Americans too. If it had started the other way, and people of different ethic origins had always been thought of on equal footing with whites of European descent, you may have a point. But it didn't. They were excluded and/or otherwise treated differently for a very, very long time before they were considered "real" Americans.
    Edward, ChiTownScion and LizzieMaine like this.
  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There were quite a few movements in the Era that made "100 Per Cent Americanism" the main plank of their platform -- but you couldn't be that if you were, for example, a Catholic, whatever your national origin -- because you owed allegiance to a "foreign potentate." You couldn't be that if you spoke a foreign language, because doing so compromised your commitment to Americanism. You couldn't be that if your skin was a different color than pasty white, because, you know, Anglo-Saxons are the crown of God's creation. It's important to acknowledge that, in the sordid history of American cultural relations, hyphenation doesn't always proceed from the hyphenated.

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  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    One of my favorite examples of passive-aggressive American xenophobia is a piece about Joe DiMaggio appearing in the May 1, 1939 issue of "Life." Now, there's nothing on the good lord's green earth more "all American" than a baseball player, or so you would think, but the article goes out of its way to festoon itself with crude Italian stereotypes, even when supposedly complimenting DiMaggio for his "Americanism." "Italians, bad at war, are well suited for milder competitions." But hey, Joe's American! He doesn't speak with an accent or slick his hair down with olive oil or "smelly bear grease!" He doesn't reek of garlic! But, "like Heavyweight Champion Louis, DiMaggio is lazy, shy, and inarticulate." Small wonder the Jolter became so obsessed with his "dignity" when he got older.

    Read the article for yourself here, and keep in mind that Henry Luce considered his publications the epitome of "the American Century."
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  15. Haversack

    Haversack Practically Family

    Clipperton Island
    To answer the original question, several variables should be considered.

    First, where are we talking about? Coastal or inland? Urban or rural? Settled or frontier? For example: Regardless of continent, seaports in 1850 were exposed to a wider variety of peoples from around the world and usually had developed a greater toleration for non-locals than other parts of their respective countries. (If for no other reason than ships having crews from around the world from whom money could be made). Even so, this toleration was usually restricted to certain portions of the seaport town. Also remember, the entire western third of what is now the Continental USA had only been part of the union for two years.

    Second, which ethnicity of non-white person and how is that ethnicity perceived? This varied over time and place. Were they few in number or considered exotic? Was the ethnicity seen as a moral or economic threat? Were they considered vermin?

    Third, of what class and status is the person? And what is the class and status of the venue? Was the individual wealthy and successful? A land-owner or businessman? Were they locally known or a stranger? Was there a local community of that particular ethnicity and how was it perceived?

    There is no single answer. In fact, I would say that in many places and for many non-white ethnicities, they might have better luck getting their meal in 1850 than say in 1880 or 1920 or 1950.
    PeterB and green papaya like this.
  16. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

    Midwest America
    And the irony, of course, is that but for certain non Anglo- Saxon identities, the United States of America would have never come into being. It was never an exclusively Anglo- Saxon enterprise even at the onset.

    The surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown was treated at the time as a French victory: we Continentals were merely in a supporting role. The French (and to a lesser extent, the Dutch) bankrolled our War for Independence to the extent that the French national treasury was depleted, and the events of 1789 (which really WAS a revolution in every sense) were a result of that.

    If you want to tip a tricorn in salute to any single group that were the backbone of the Continental Army of General George Washington, that would be the Scots- Irish.
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  17. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The latest scientific research suggests that we Celts have more than a little bit of Middle Eastern/North African DNA in our mix. It pleases me immensely to know that, almost as much as when my mother did one of those DNA tests and found that we have some Siberian Yakut going on as well. I wonder what a DNA scan of some of these hyper-Aryan types would reveal?
    ChiTownScion and vitanola like this.
  18. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday Call Me a Cab

    Sydney Australia
    Australia's history is just as bad. Terra Nullius, the British government declared the place: uninhabited, ignoring the presence of the First Peoples who had been here for thousands of years before them. To the government, they were by and large dark-skinned stone-age savages who were in the way, but many of the early settlers and emancipated convicts soon discovered them to be deeply spiritual, resourceful, strong and clever people who understood the land they dwellt in and had a strong connection to it and its landscapes, flora and fauna. It didn't stop the next 200 + years from being a mess, though.
  19. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

    Prehaps a little more than the 1-3 % Neanderthal genes the rest of us share. :rolleyes:
    We are all descended from Africans but fortunately we have the Bible to convince us otherwise. Phew !!!
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  20. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    I might be the envy of some hyper-Aryan type: I'm mostly northwestern European, with a smidgen of broadly southern European, broadly Eastern European and Scandinavian. 2.8% Neanderthal. Running the data through Promethease yielded more interesting results: lots of genes for diabetes and mental illness, and some for lack of empathy and novelty seeking. In other words, my DNA looks like it belongs to someone who should be living in a state-run institution.

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