Tag Archives: reverse racism

Department of Stanley Milgram, Part 10,012: ABC News Division

Because there’s not enough real racism in the world, ABC News has gone out looking for reverse racism, which isn’t really even a thing, but the right-wing in America has wet-dreams about it.

So in their “What would you do?” show which is all about catching people being terrible, they staged a scenario at barbershop in Harlem USA, A (fake/actor) female hairdresser is flirting with a (fake/actor) male patron when his (fake/actor) white girlfriend comes in to wait for him. Here’s what happens:

Over in the women’s waiting section, one woman spoke out berating the fake-hairdresser as the others looked on sympathetically. But if she hadn’t opened her mouth, would that have proved “reverse racism”? I’m sure that’s what ABC would have been shouting. Or would it have shown what Stanley Milgram proved years ago? That most people will be cowed in the face of anyone in a uniform (even if it’s a barber’s smock) and shut up no matter what happens because that’s the way most of us are – not awful, just wimpy enough not to stand up to people in authority being awful to others.

Several people after her spoke up in various ways, and John Quinones’ take away was all “Kumbaya – We can all get along. Isn’t this heartwarming?” But he got it wrong. If they hadn’t said anything, it wouldn’t have shown that black people are just as prejudiced as white people. It would have shown that on that particular day there were no exceptional human beings in the barbershop who were brave enough to stand up to a woman in a smock carrying scissors. Fortunately, there were several. Kudos to them, especially to the first one to raise her voice because science also shows us that once one person says “hell no” others follow. Such people stop injustices much bigger and more real than this one.

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