There is no problem with racial perception in America. None.

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]k. Maybe there is…

Consider how people respond when a white dude, a black dude, then a pretty blond all act as if they are committing a crime. The same crime. In the same location. At the same time of day.

That is what the ABC show, What Would You Do?, set to find out. Do people have different race based presuppositions in similar scenarios?

Even without the controls of a sociology experiment, the results are pretty astounding and frustrating. We still deal with racial perceptions. We might go as far to say that some perceptions about race are so ingrained as to be absolute blind spots.

Notice even the African-American women who are interviewed have a positive bias toward the white “thief.” Image may not be everything, but in cases of racial perception, it is more than enough.

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Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Apparently, there is also a gender perception problem too. Having a black lady in the mix would have proved interesting also. I wonder what the results would be in a different neighborhood/park. Finally, there is, sadly, a racial perception problem though it is not solely a white problem.

    • martyduren

      I think, uh, that “gender perception problem” usually is called by another name.

      Others noted before I did as to the lack of controls on such a video, and ABC could easily have isolated an area they suspected would be good for ratings. At any rate the disparity was quite remarkable.

      It would have been interesting, and helpful, if they had set up a similar experiment in a mostly African-American area and seen the reaction.