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Before I left the States, I remember watching a show titled “What Would You Do?”, hosted by ABC News correspondent John Quiñones. In the series, actors are put in scenes of conflict or illegal activity in public while hidden cameras videotape the scene. The idea is to focus on whether or not bystanders intervene…and how.

The following is a segment of a show which aired in 2010, showing what happens when passers-by encounter someone obviously trying to steal a bike. The catch? They use two actors: one black and one white. The results are eye-opening.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all use race to come to our conclusions about people. Most of the of the time, we’re not even conscious of it. Denying it only keeps us from dealing with it.

Watch for the surprise toward the end.


Stereotyping and profiling is not limited to race and culture. Gender beliefs are also in the mix. Maybe we should acknowledge our faults so we can better deal with them.

Or is ignorance truly bliss?