Media Conditioning: "Confronting" Racism in America
Posted on: 2009-01-05 14:33:39
ABC News portrays fake "white racism" for the benefit of all.
It was 6:30 a.m. on a Friday in downtown Linden, N.J., when two Hispanic day laborers were struggling with their English as they tried to order a coffee and a sandwich at a deli.
But rather than getting served, they got a string of insults hurled at them from the clerk behind the counter. Their broken-English request for food was met with a barrage of racist remarks, including, "Get back in your pickup truck with the rest of your family."
This scene wasn't real. It was all part of a "What Would You Do?" experiment designed to find out what action, if any, bystanders would take after watching the men's exchange with the clerk.
Seth Perlman, the manager of All Aboard Bagel and Deli, agreed to ABC News' using his business to test people's reactions to bigotry. The racist cashier standing next to him was an actor hired by ABC News, as were his victims.