Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Public reaction to stealing a bicycle varies by race

Interesting experiment, isn't it? These people weren't trying to be racist. It's just that racial stereotypes are ingrained in all of us. Note that even the black people in this video assumed the best when it came to the white kid.

This is why Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a white vigilante who thought that a black kid walking down a sidewalk was automatically suspicious. This is why blacks are stopped more often by police - even by black officers.

But what gets me is that, even when the white kid admitted that he was stealing the bike, most people just shrugged it off. Not so when the kid was black. Why is that, I wonder?

When I was a kid myself, I used to accuse my parents of being racist. They'd indignantly deny it,... and then turn around and say something racist. They couldn't seem to understand why common stereotypes - shared by everyone they knew - were racist. I mean, it's not racist if 'those people' really are lazy, right? :)

This is a more difficult problem than you might think. We're all racist, to some extent. It's not just the blatant racists, the KKK types, the white power loons. No, we all make assumptions based on race, even when we don't want to be that way.

1 comment:

Jim Harris said...

I'm a big pussy, I wouldn't say anything to the white guy or the black guy. I'm surprised those people got so aggressive with the black guy. I have a friend one who interfere with a crime once and was a hero, but the next time he got beaten up. Real criminals of any color are dangerous. That lady taking photographs was brave but stupid. A real thief would have knocked her in the head with the bolt cutters.

But in this day of cell phones, I'm surprised more people didn't make calls. Lucky for those actors there weren't any gun totting do gooders around.