Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Shopping While Black

with 3 comments

I read an article online the other day titled “Shopping While Black: Would You Stop Racism?” ABC news’ “What Would You Do?” group hired actors to portray a racist store clerk and a black middle-age woman shopper, interacting in a chic boutique in Soho, New York.  The point of this social experiment was to examine bystander behavior and find out if any of the other witnessing shoppers would interfere when presented with a display of blatant racism.

The woman clearly was not shoplifting (they made a point to show that she wasn’t) and when the store clerk confronted her and even had her frisked, the bystanders did nothing.  When interviewed after the altercation, people said that they didn’t intervene because it wasn’t their business or that they didn’t know the woman.

I think that it’s sad that in a situation like that,  no one stepped in to help her. Even though they were payed actors, the people watching it didn’t know it.


Written by devaio24

January 29, 2010 at 3:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. I always love to watch that show when its on simply because I’m always shocked by how people react. I think I might have seen the specific episode you talked about. Only rarely did i see anyone on other episodes stick up for the people being harassed/racially profiled/ or what not. What I hate most about this show is that its all real, real and sad.


    January 29, 2010 at 6:25 am

  2. I actually saw this episode and one guy actually said the black woman was playing the “race card”. I could not believe that he had said that. It’s like some believe that racism does not exists anymore. and then he had the audacity to say to the host later on that he felt so sorry for her. If he did feel sorry for her at all, he would have never made that assumption and instead, came to her defense. I have been followed in stores before and honestly after awhile you get used to it and I just realize that my color will always be a problem for some in this country.


    January 29, 2010 at 6:59 am

  3. While I never saw this episode, it reminds me of something that happened to my brothers, but in reverse. They both worked as lost prevention (under cover security) at JCPenneys. They confronted a young white girl (about 21) after she walked out with merchandise. She started crying (usually meaning they did it) While leading her back to the loss prevention office in handcuffs, a customer actually called the police and said two Black men were pretending to be cops and were kidnapping a young girl.


    January 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm

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