An ABC “news” program dedicated to exposing bigotry once again sought to prove how awful the American people are. And once again, it was a huge failure.
The May 23 edition of What Would You Do? featured not one but two segments that could potentially highlight the bigotry that supposedly exists in America. Host John Quinones and crew developed a scenario for the idea of shopping while black. An actor, playing the salesman for the show, directed some rather inflammatory questions and accusations at another actor, the black shopper. Predictably, the unknowing customers were appalled at the salesman’s behavior (MP3 audio here; video below).
In another example--from the same episode--two men sought to end their friendship with another man after he revealed he was gay. Yet, once again, the unknowing individuals defended the gay man, or at the very least stated that the three should remain friends.
The goal of these episodes, of course, is to see how individuals will react when they are caught in the middle of uncomfortable situations. At this point, however, the results are so predictable–Americans doing what they should do is a virtual certainty–that one must wonder what purpose the show serves at this point.
Hopefully these events continue to restore Mr. Quinones’s faith in America, as if there was a reason for him to lose faith in the first place. Despite the alleged prejudices of American society that this show attempts to expose, the results consistently reveal a clear absence of bigotry.
Below are portions of the transcripts from the two segments:
What Would You Do?
May 23, 2014
SALESMAN: Sir, we do have a lot of cameras throughout the store. I just want to make sure you're aware of that.
SALESMAN: I just wanted to make sure he isn't bothering anyone here. You guys are okay?
WOMAN 1: Why would he be bothering us?
SALESMAN: I just wanted to make sure. I want to make sure our customers are -- I would rather be spending my time and attention with ladies like you that are obviously able to afford, you know, clothing in this store.
WOMAN 1: How do you know that he's not able to afford --
WOMAN 2: But I don't even have a job!
WOMAN 1: She's med school! And I'm a stay at home mom!
SALESMAN: You have a Louis Vuitton bag, you guys have--
WOMAN 1: I mean, honestly. He probably has more money than we do. If he's looking at $600 jackets--
SALESMAN: I highly doubt that.
JOHN QUINONES: Krystal Harrison is incredulous. And then our salesman makes it crystal clear.
SALESMAN; I mean, 9 times out of 10, if somebody steals something, they're black. Okay? That's pretty much how it goes. It's not racist, it's just the facts. It's not about racism, okay. You guys watch the news. I mean--
WOMAN 1: He's not bothering us. You're more bothering us than he is.
What Would You Do?
May 23, 2014
QUINONES: Our actors ramp up the teasing.
MAN 1: You know what we call people like that like males, right? Twinkle toes and ballerinas...
QUINONES: She’s heard enough, and cries foul.
WOMAN: I hear the conversation. Y'all ain't right. That's your friend?
MAN 1: Was my friend.
WOMAN: What do you mean was? That shouldn't stop you from being friends.
MAN 1: Nah, I can't be hanging out with no gay guy. I Can't be seen with no gay dude.
MAN 2: Nah, that makes us uncomfortable.
MAN 1: Then he’ll start thinking I’m gay.
WOMAN: That's y'all's boy, he felt that comfortable telling y'all this, that's hard. That's hard as hell to do. If y'all need time to want to hang with him, I understand that, he probably understand that. But don't be so hard on him, that's y'all boy. It'll be all right. That was strong. That was real. That was strength to do.