SPECIAL REPORT: What Would You Do? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

SPECIAL REPORT: What Would You Do?

The ABC show called "What Would You Do?" tackles issues such as race, age and gender. The ABC show called "What Would You Do?" tackles issues such as race, age and gender.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The ABC show called "What Would You Do?" tackles issues such as race, age and gender.

Lately, there have been criminal cases in the news where race has become front and center, which prompted News Leader 9 to do a local 'what would you do?' experiment to test the state of race relations in Columbus.

A clip from an episode of the show displays three people, who are actors, trying to steal a bike. The only differences between the participants are race and gender.

An hour goes by and no one tries to stop a young white man who admits to people he's trying to steal it. Black and white passersby give him the benefit of the doubt.

During the same scenario, a young black actor tries to steal the bike and within seconds he is questioned and surrounded by people who are yelling at him. Some people start snapping pictures and the police are instantly alerted.

A young white woman makes it obvious she is stealing the bike, but no one stops her and more than one man actually help her steal the bike!

Our experiment in Columbus doesn't involve a crime, but focuses more on courtesy.

We took two young women volunteers both around the same ages, but of different races.

We wanted to see what people would do if they see the women fall and spill the contents of their purse in the middle of the crowded street on Broadway.

As soon as an Asian actress hit the pavement, a group of men ran to her rescue.

She said, "They were like 'Are you okay, are you okay?' They acted like it was their fault but it really wasn't so it was interesting."

The women nearby were ready to jump into action as well.

Edy Robinson was one of those women and said, "If he wasn't already helping her up, I really would have but I just turned around because I heard a noise."

Next, we sent a young black woman on the same street minutes later. She falls once and some people look at her and pass by.

The actress falls for the second time right in front of another couple without any help. Then, a worker from a nearby business comes from inside to help the young woman.

Judy Rutledge has been studying race relations for decades and said she wishes everyone looked at people for who they are, not the color of their skin.

She said, "People can change as well and we need to work toward that. I think race relations is all about people and what we want. We can better race relations through education. People need to be taught. We have to teach tolerance."

Reaction from children of different races show how they see the world.

A Cheerios commercial sparked debate because of an interracial family in the commercial, but children of different races didn't see anything wrong with the commercial. A YouTube video called "Kids React to Controversial Cheerios Commercial" has been viewed over seven million times.

One boy said, "That's it? It's just a Cheerios commercial?"

Another girl said, "I thought they were actually a pretty good family."

While another girl commented, "It's just the color of their skin. What matters is if they are nice or mean."

Wen the children were told some people were upset about race some kids got so emotional they cried and others were disgusted.

One girl stated, "Guys, do not care what they say, you are you. Stand proud for yourself. I am the way I am. I don't care if I'm Asian, black and white I don't care no matter what."

Age made no difference when it came to a dream for the future of America.

One young boy said, "I thought Martin Luther King spoke against this and fixed this already.

A young girl said, "Unfortunately it's still not over from the past."

Judy Rutledge talked about what she would like to see for the future of the country.

She said "I believe in America, I am an American and I tell people that and we are a melting pot which makes this country great and with all of those differences we still should be tolerant of one another."

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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