Doors and Corners
I played a Tiefling in PRECISELY because they are viewed with a mixture of curiosity and fear in Saltmarsh. It opened up realms of roleplaying for me: Gaining the communities trust, etc. If it'd been the bland mishmash you're proposing it should have been, it would have killed that for me.I wanted to believe in that, when I read in the book that "the residents react to other visitors, especially tieflings and dragonborn, with a mixture of curiosity and fear" (page 11).
Basically, the book encourages that kind of prejudice and bullying on any player that doesn't want to play a member of the Fellowship of the Ring...
When I played my Dragonborn in FR, I did so because I just wanted to be a Dragonborn. I expected to fit in just like everyone else. And I did.
I expect different campaign settings to be... I don't know... different in regards to how everyone acts towards each other.
But I also completely respect that you didn't like it. To each his own.