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To anyone who says that racism is dead in the USA in 2010, they should have seen ABC's television program "What would you do?" last Friday evening. That is an excellent program that reminds me a lot of the old "Candid Camera" where they use actors in situations that either annoy people or make people wonder and then record their actions. Eventually John Quinones exposes the scene (very often when things are getting out of hand).
One segment on last Friday's show involved a group of three teen age boys vandalizing a car parked in a public parking lot at a New Jersey public park. The first group was three white boys spray painting the car and jumping all over it. People were passing by and some even made smart comments like leave mine alone, I can't afford to get it fixed. Only one person called the local police (who were notified about the social experiment in advance) to report the vandalism that was happening in plain sight in broad daylight.
However while those boys were vandalizing that car, the local police did receive three 911 calls from that area, but not regarding the white teen agers vandalizing the car. No the calls were to report three black men in a car "getting ready to rob someone". It was learned later that the three black men were simply asleep in the car that was parked in that park. None of the men had been drinking. They were just sleeping in the car.
Then the crew of ABC re-staged the same incident but substituted a group of three black teen age boys to do the vandalism. When the vandals were black male teen agers, many people confronted them about the vandalism and the local police received at least five calls in the first fifteen minutes the black teen agers were vandalizing the car.
It was amazing that so many people were willing to confront the black teen age vandals but not the white teen age vandals. It was also more amazing that while a group of white teen agers was vandalizing a car in broad daylight in a public park, only one 911 call was made to the local police while at the same time the police received three calls about a group of three black men sleeping in a parked car.
If this isn't an example that racism still exists in the USA, then what is? People walked on and did nothing (except one group of men who confronted the teen agers and called 911 to the police) when it was white teen agers vandalizing a car while almost everyone who passed by either called the police or confronted the black teen agers doing the same thing. Vandalizing property is a crime no matter what the color of one's skin may be, yet the people reacted much differently based on the race of the perps.