What Would You Do?: Hoboken Harrassment

Did anyone else catch this on ABC over the weekend?  When I got home from the Celtics vs Jazz game I had a bunch of texts from friends who told me about the "What Would You Do" segment featuring an interracial couple being harassed by people in a restaurant.  This scenario is a good lead in to my next post (Breaking the News) so I'd be interested to hear what other people think:

My friends and I have been chatting about it over Facebook and text messages and I would love to hear what other people thought.  Here were my comments after I mulled over the video for a bit:

So I thought the acting was a little sketchy and the commentary was strange (I mean how many times do you need to use the words "bigot" and "racist" in a 3 minute clip?!).

I guess I should be thankful (?) that I have never found myself in this scenario- as the couple being harassed or witnessing another couple being harassed- but if I have to choose between knowing where someone stands versus having someone smile in my face and then say something different when I leave the room, I think I'd choose knowing where someone stands.
By the way, why was the guy in the interracial couple such a wimp?! He barely said two words! And then just left and left his woman at the bar crying?! What in the world?!
Some food for thought:
1.  What would you do if you were the couple being harassed or watching a couple being harassed?
2.  If someone has a problem with your interracial relationship, would you perfer to know how that person truly feels or keep it to him/herself?
3.  Do you think gender played a role in how this whole scenario played out?
Discuss. Discuss.


  1. John have done quite a few of those type videos.
    However, when a bw is in need usually people will ignore her.
    Althought two people spoke up; noticed no one came to her and gave her a hug or at least a warm pat on the back. I could be wrong but, I think the wm who spoke up was offended because the guy was white.


  2. stupid video thou, any man worth his salt would be defending his woman. Wonder who made this video because it rarely reflect real life. To answer your qs:

    1. It depends on the couple's age and if they were endanger. If they were just kids like my cousins, then I will call the management or police depending on the situation. If I can handle them, I will also interfere. However, if the couple are adults and are in a restaurant or public place, I will observe to see if they need help.

    2. I very prefer to know if someone had a problem with it, but it depends on who the person is. I don't and can't live my life for others, but if its a family or co-worker, I rather know so I can minimize or eliminate my contact with them.

    3. I don't understand the qs, why would gender make a difference. Unless you are eluding to the fact that black women with non-black men are more likely to be harassed by fellow blacks.

  3. @Anonymous
    Thanks for visiting and commenting.
    Yeah, I didn't realize this was a whole series until I went to the website and saw the other videos. I think using actors makes it difficult to accept some of the shows as very realistic, but poses some interesting scenarios nontheless.
    Interesting that you say "when a bw is in need usually people will ignore her." I find myself at the mercy of strangers all the time (I still get lost in Boston even though I've lived here for 4 years) and have been pleasantly surprised at how helpful people are...most of the time...

  4. @Huda
    Thanks for visiting and commenting.
    Lol, are you saying you would call the police cousins?! Oh boy...
    As to my thrid question, I noticed in the video that the harassing couple directed most (if not all) questions to the woman in the interracial couple. So I was wondering how this scenario would play out if the questions were addressed to the guy or whether a man (of any race) would confront or harass another man because of his interracial relationship. Does that help?

  5. oh yeah I will call the police on assholes who harass black women. I'm not one of those who care what the police will do to them bc God darn it they are black men.

    About the gender issue, of course most of the harassment was aimed @ the women, typical of cowardly men. Many don't have the guts to aim their weak self towards the white man or any other man with the BW. So, whether its street harassment in the black community or giving you dirty looks, its usually the women who faces the brunt of such abuses. By the way in real life, rarely do these men dare to directly harass the woman with her man unless they are in a group and feel they can get away with it. This video does not reflect reality.

  6. I would have cut somebody and gotten deported......

  7. Oh gosh if my boyfriend or date left while being bombarded id say where do you think your going? sit your butt down! that's all id have to ignore the people annoying us.

  8. I am in my 40's and when I was 17 back in 1979 I remember being in a diner with my boyfriend in Connecticut(he was black, I'm white). Another diner kept muttering racial comments, and when he got up to leave I distinctly remember him saying, loud enough for us and others to hear, "Salt and pepper don't mix."

    Neither of us said anything to him, since it happened so fast and he abruptly left the diner, but I remember feeling angry and hurt, and my boyfriend, who had the kindest heart, was able to accept that it was this man's ignorance, and forgive him.

    If I were at that restaurant in Hoboken I would've spoken up on behalf of the woman.

  9. @Team Jacob
    Um...okay...yes, that sounds like something that might get one deported...

  10. @cheekymonkeyboo
    Lol! Yes, I think that would be an appropriate response.

  11. @wendyjane
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Yes, your boyfriend was right. CLEARLY that individual was speaking out of ignorance because we all know that salt and pepper make a mighty darn tasty combo!

  12. Ok I will try not to get deported :)

  13. my bf (white) and I live in DC and we've had a few incidents like this. I wrote about it on ym blog but it is just as shocking and hurtful in 2011 as i was in 1979