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Prejudice about Poles; Poland has changed

4 Jun 2018 #1
I grew up in NY to a half Polish mom, my only contacts with poles were with the Polish men and women usually older ones who worked as laborers and did housework, they were illegal immigrants who worked at minimum wage, therefore my prejudice was always that the Poles are second class citizens.

Fast forward 25 years I found out that as a grandson of a Polish citizen I am entitled to Polish citizenship, I did some research from where my grandfather came from etc, that's when I started to feel a connection to my Polish past, I felt like a Pole but I still thought of Poland almost as of a third world country.

Last week was the first time I visited Poland after I received my citizenship, I visited Poland in the past but I visited mostly small towns, but this time I visited Warsaw and I was surprised to see how modern Poland became, I realized that cities like Warsaw are as modern as any other European city, and my entire view about Poland changed.

Anyone else felt the same before realizing it was not the case?
4 Jun 2018 #2
Indeed, Polish stereotypes do abound, nearly all of them pure rubbish! Don't feel singled out however.
In Germany for centuries, the so-called "East Frisian" peoples were teased mercilessly by other Germans, including their very own:-)

Person A: Hey, how come those two Frisian men over there have their cheeks bandaged up?

Person B: Oh, didn't you hear? They tried to eat with a knife and fork.
Dirk diggler
4 Jun 2018 #3
Polish stereotypes do abound, nearly all of them pure rubbish!

I disagree. All stereotypes are based on a degree of truth regarding the population.

Like the 'polish plumber' stereotype. In almost every country that poles migrated to the men went into the construction trade. Almost every fob and first gen polish family here has atleast one man in the trade.
4 Jun 2018 #4
There's a difference though, Dirk, between a rank prejudice vs. a historical generalization!

In New York, for example, it is true that many bldg. supers are Polish. That's a general fact. Were I then to add, "and boy are they heavy drinkers and anti-Semites...". that's a prejudice as well as a clearly negative stereotype hands down.

Fact is, for generations, Jews in Europe, roughly from around the Middle Ages until at least the closing phases of the Enlightenment period, were pawnbrokers and bookmakers. This is a fact, pretty or not, which can be proven. However, to further insist on the assertion that not only were they such, but were mostly cheats, liars, and embezzlers, for instance, jumps from mere generalization to out-and-out fallacy.
Dirk diggler
4 Jun 2018 #5
and boy are they heavy drinkers and anti-Semites...".

Well many polish men are.. certainly not most but definitely many... especially those in the building trade

but were mostly cheats, liars, and embezzlers, for instance, jumps from mere generalization to out-and-out fallacy.

Well loans and usury often go hand in hand...
4 Jun 2018 #6
Yo, in the latter case, take away a man's ability to earn an honest farthing by prohibiting him from joining professional associations such as the medaeval guilds etc. and he has little choice but to survive any way he can, be it through usury or what have you. It's not that the Jews grew lazy, it's that they were thwarted at every bend and turn, forcing them to accept work in the least popular positions, long off limits to gentiles, such as money lending and rent collection.
johnny reb
4 Jun 2018 #7
Why does George Soros come to mind when you talk like that.
Prejudice about Poles; Poland has changed
So has America changed about prejudices towards Pole's.
What amazes me is that the Polish people living in Poland still have the stigma that Americans tell derogatory Polish jokes about Polish people and their culture.

This is no longer true in America as that did happen 50 - 75 years ago but it has long past.
Today in America it is the Political jokes and a few Black jokes that seem to be most popular.
In fact the Polish here in America are very well liked and praised for their outstanding restaurants and sausage shops.
4 Jun 2018 #8
Can well recall Ted Knight's once famous erstwhile put-down of Buddy Hackett (??) eons ago on Carson, when the former was set to tell this "great Polish joke" he'd just heard, to wit Pan Kaczynski: "Oh, sounds great. Would you tell it in Polish?"

Silence all around.
Dirk diggler
4 Jun 2018 #9
It's not that the Jews grew lazy, it's that they were thwarted at every bend and turn, forcing them to accept work in the least popular positions

That is so not true.. many jews worked as silver/gold smiths, blacksmiths, bakers, etc.

But there were many jews in moneylending and with it often came usury in search of higher margins. That's the reason why gentiles kicked them out... in over 100 different countries/principalities/city states/etc over the course of over 2000 years. No other nationality or religion has managed to accomplish this. There were always tensions amongst different groups, but nothing quite like the jews versus well basically everybody, and over 2 millenia. That's why they were basically forced to grow more and more secretive and clannish with the Talmud as their guide to living and profiting in gentile lands.

Poland was the only country that took them in after they literally had a ban on basically everywhere else in Europe. They literally had nowhere else to go. And this is the thanks we get today for our hospitality.
4 Jun 2018 #10
They certainly did, I'm also well aware. However, unlike the Italians (whose skills in this area they amply share), the Jews were for the above reasons always pursued by the ever-recurring stigma of greed, which they simply couldn't manage to shake.
Dirk diggler
4 Jun 2018 #11
Well there's a reason for that. If people keep perpetuating the stereotype it will remain. Most of the jews I know arent greedy nor cheap at all. In fact they just want a fair deal. But all it takes is for people to.see the disproportionate amount of jews in finance media and government and that stereotype continues.

For example poles were thought of as stupid and backwards. And yes many still are. But with recent events in poland and the country wisely asserting its independence and refusing to abide by eu quotas and not having a single islamic.terror attack plus a vibrant economy, that stereotype slowly faded.

Any people or country can shed their stereotypes...
4 Jun 2018 #12
Takes lots of concerted effort and more than a healthy dose of PR!
OP thesipguy
1 Apr 2019 #13
@johnny reb
So why do they sell Polish Remover in the USA? :-)
1 Apr 2019 #14
"Were I then to add, "and boy are they heavy drinkers and anti-Semites..."

Lol but it is so true admit it. Dirk is an example of their heavy drinking and anti semiteness lol.
2 Apr 2019 #15
Im my 3 last years in Poland, I have had more things stolen than in 20 years in UK,prior. Am I stereotyping already?
2 Apr 2019 #16
Strange as I have never anything stolen in Poland and few things stolen in UK.
2 Apr 2019 #17
Am I stereotyping already?

It could be circumstances. I've not had very much stolen in either country however perhaps I've had more nicked in Poland because a. I've spent much more of my adult life in Poland than in Britain, and b. I live in the capital where crime rates are higher than smaller places, and I didn't live in the capital in Britain.

What I can say is that I've never had anything stolen in the countryside in either Poland or Britain, however I've had things stolen in cities in both places.
2 Apr 2019 #18
I spent most of my life in Poland and nothing was stolen from me there. Maybe I was lucky. To be fair in England these were petty things but unpleasant. Nice ceramic pots with flowers were stolen twice from us. They were put in the front of the house. I guess they were stolen in the early morning and sold on boot-sale somewhere....and I forgot when living in Cambridge in underground secure place our bike was stolen. It is like plague so many bikes are stolen in Cambrigde....
2 Apr 2019 #19
My experience is pretty well the opposite; very little nicked in U.K., a few more things nicked in PL.
2 Apr 2019 #20
I think that quite much depends where you live.

We live in nice in lovely quaint town in UK and I hardly lock door when I am in....Postman just lives bigger deliveries outside. It is very safe so location is a clue :-)
sms s s
2 Apr 2019 #21
In America particularly where I lived in Samta Cruz and wher they sent me to prison and deported me from basically for using one move and defending myself lots of theives everywhere. amy bike was cosntwntly stolen. due to the liberal po,icies of thwt city there were homeless and drug addicts everywhere walkimg around.
2 Apr 2019 #22
I have lived all my life in London and never been burgled.
Had a window smashed and stereo stolen out of my car once,but that was it.
2 Apr 2019 #23
I hardly lock door when I am in

When I was a kid in the countryside, we didn't even lock the door when we went out. Times have sadly changed...
2 Apr 2019 #24
They have,in summer I used to leave our kitchen door open to let cool air in at night.
One night I heard someone come in and just thought it was my daughters boyfriend letting himself in.
I went to the kitchen to greet him and saw a hooded yob escaping.My son and I gave chase,nearly got him but he got away.

A couple of years later we found out it was a guy my daughter had known years ago,because he approached her and apologized.
He was a petty drug dealer and was being chased by The Police and saw our house as somewhere to hide.
It transpired that The Police caught him and he did time.
I lock that door now.......
3 Apr 2019 #25
When I was a kid in the countryside

When I was a kid in a (southernish) small town in the US we left the keys in the cars overnight and went away for two months without locking the front door....

A different reality...
3 Apr 2019 #26
When I was a kid

When I was a kid in Poland countryside. Nothing really got stolen and if it did that was either that one guy everybody knew about it, needed money for the alcohol or rarely still passing gypsies. Mostly they were kind of begging (asking) for food from the people.
Rich Mazur
3 Apr 2019 #27
I lock that door now.......

Get a gun. It's amazing what effect the sound of it being chambered has even on drugged up scum. Another plus: as opposed to your verbal warnings, that sound does not need translation. It's even more international than English.
3 Apr 2019 #28
Most ppl in Europe probably wouldn't t even recognise that sound...
3 Apr 2019 #29
Which is why it has nothing to do with Poland. For the vast majority of Poles, a gunshot would be associated with a car engine backfiring, not a gunshot.
4 Apr 2019 #30
I grew up in PL in 70's and petty theft was common. mostly people breaking into cellars.

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