What we say when we experience racism second-hand

A group of actors are preparing to read from scripts.

FIRST ACTOR

So, then he said sorry but he couldn’t help me and that I needed to go to the other office, where I’d already told him I’d been, but he just said I had to go back there again.

THIRD ACTOR

No, you’re wrong. It wasn’t racist. He was just—

THIRD ACTOR

Wait, that’s my line, isn’t it?

SECOND ACTOR

I thought I was the racism denier.

FIRST ACTOR

No, you’re the outraged friend.

SECOND ACTOR

Oh, right.

THIRD ACTOR

So who am I, then?

FIRST ACTOR

You’re the apologist.

FOURTH ACTOR

So that makes me the denier?

FIRST ACTOR

That’s right.

SECOND ACTOR

Okay then, let’s take it from the top.

FIRST ACTOR

So, then he said sorry but he couldn’t help me and that I needed to go to the other office, where I’d already told him I’d been, but he just said I had to go back there again.

SECOND ACTOR

Oh my God! That’s so racist! How can he get away with saying that to you?

FOURTH ACTOR

No, you’re wrong. It wasn’t racist. He was just telling you what to do in a friendly way and you interpreted that as racist. It’s not his fault you see racism everywhere.

THIRD ACTOR

Well, maybe it was all a misunderstanding. Maybe he didn’t really know what you were trying to tell him.

SECOND ACTOR

Wait, wait, wait. I’m not buying it. There’s no way anybody would interpret this scenario as racist.

FIRST ACTOR

No, you’re the outraged friend, not the denier!

FOURTH ACTOR

Well, I don’t know about outright racism, but there’s certainly room for misunderstanding here.

FIRST ACTOR

Oh come on! You’re supposed to be the denier, not the apologist. Guys, can’t we stick to the script?

THIRD ACTOR

I think the problem here is that these characters just aren’t believable. When a person experiences a racist incident like this, their friends don’t divide themselves up into these neat caricatures like apologist, denier and so on. They would agree with their friend that what the person did was absolutely racist.

SECOND ACTOR

Yeah, if the incident was actually racist. But this isn’t racist. So you went there and he served a bunch of other people before you – that just means you’re not assertive enough.

FOURTH ACTOR

Maybe he just didn’t see her.

FIRST ACTOR

He saw me.

FOURTH ACTOR

How can you be sure?

THIRD ACTOR

Of course he saw her! It’s his job to see her!

SECOND ACTOR

So then what? It says here he didn’t even look at your documents but just told you to go to the other office. That’s cos he’s seen your situation so many times before.

THIRD ACTOR

It’s cos he didn’t want to deal with her cos he’s a racist.

FIRST ACTOR

Exactly.

FOURTH ACTOR

Well, maybe he really did know your situation and he wanted to save you some time having to explain yourself all over again. He probably knows how frustrating it is to have to repeat the same thing over and over again.

FIRST ACTOR

Do you guys see what you’re doing here?

SECOND ACTOR

What?

FIRST ACTOR

You’re just acting out these caricatures!

THIRD ACTOR

What? No we’re not! You’re just seeing what you want to see.

FOURTH ACTOR

She’s totally right! We’re doing exactly that!

SECOND ACTOR

Well, maybe, but that’s only because the idea’s been implanted in our heads. If we hadn’t read the script beforehand, we probably wouldn’t be acting like this.

FOURTH ACTOR

Of course we would! This is how people are. They’re so stupid they just fall into caricatures and they don’t even realize it.

THIRD ACTOR

You maybe, but not me. I’m not a caricature. I’m capable of telling the difference between reality and fantasy, and this whole sketch is pure fantasy.

FIRST ACTOR

So you don’t think he was racist after all?

THIRD ACTOR

If it had been a real racist situation I’d be totally on your side, but this was just a misunderstanding, and as for me being a real life caricature, you can go to hell!

FOURTH ACTOR

Hey, leave her alone! She’s only pointing out how idiotic we all are.

SECOND ACTOR

Maybe she’s the one who’s misunderstood the situation.

THIRD ACTOR

Yeah! Why do you have to turn everything into a cause? Can’t you just leave things the way they are?

FOURTH ACTOR

That’s true. You do go on about things. Maybe you should give it a break.

FIRST ACTOR

So you’re saying I brought all this on myself by speaking up about it?

A group of actors are preparing to read from scripts.

FIRST ACTOR

So, then he said sorry but he couldn’t help me and that I needed to go to the other office, where I’d already told him I’d been, but he just said I had to go back there again.

SECOND ACTOR

No, you’re wrong. It wasn’t racist. He was just—

THIRD ACTOR

Wait, that’s my line, isn’t it?

SECOND ACTOR

I thought I was the racism denier.

FIRST ACTOR

No, you’re the outraged friend.

SECOND ACTOR

Oh, right.

THIRD ACTOR

So who am I, then?

FIRST ACTOR

You’re the apologist.

FOURTH ACTOR

So that makes me the denier?

FIRST ACTOR

That’s right.

SECOND ACTOR

Okay then, let’s take it from the top.

FIRST ACTOR

So, then he said sorry but he couldn’t help me and that I needed to go to the other office, where I’d already told him I’d been, but he just said I had to go back there again.

SECOND ACTOR

Oh my God! That’s so racist! How can he get away with saying that to you?

FOURTH ACTOR

No, you’re wrong. It wasn’t racist. He was just telling you what to do in a friendly way and you interpreted that as racist. It’s not his fault you see racism everywhere.

THIRD ACTOR

Well, maybe it was all a misunderstanding. Maybe he didn’t really know what you were trying to tell him.

SECOND ACTOR

Wait, wait, wait. I’m not buying it. There’s no way anybody would interpret this scenario as racist.

FIRST ACTOR

No, you’re the outraged friend, not the denier!

FOURTH ACTOR

Well, I don’t know about outright racism, but there’s certainly room for misunderstanding here.

FIRST ACTOR

Oh come on! You’re supposed to be the denier, not the apologist. Guys, can’t we stick to the script?

THIRD ACTOR

I think the problem here is that these characters just aren’t believable. When a person experiences a racist incident like this, their friends don’t divide themselves up into these neat caricatures like apologist, denier and so on. They would agree with their friend that what the person did was absolutely racist.

SECOND ACTOR

Yeah, if the incident was actually racist. But this isn’t racist. So you went there and he served a bunch of other people before you – that just means you’re not assertive enough.

FOURTH ACTOR

Maybe he just didn’t see her.

FIRST ACTOR

He saw me.

FOURTH ACTOR

How can you be sure?

THIRD ACTOR

Of course he saw her! It’s his job to see her!

SECOND ACTOR

So then what? It says here he didn’t even look at your documents but just told you to go to the other office. That’s cos he’s seen your situation so many times before.

THIRD ACTOR

It’s cos he didn’t want to deal with her cos he’s a racist.

FIRST ACTOR

Exactly.

FOURTH ACTOR

Well, maybe he really did know your situation and he wanted to save you some time having to explain yourself all over again. He probably knows how frustrating it is to have to repeat the same thing over and over again.

FIRST ACTOR

Do you guys see what you’re doing here?

SECOND ACTOR

What?

FIRST ACTOR

You’re just acting out these caricatures!

THIRD ACTOR

What? No we’re not! You’re just seeing what you want to see.

FOURTH ACTOR

She’s totally right! We’re doing exactly that!

SECOND ACTOR

Well, maybe, but that’s only because the idea’s been implanted in our heads. If we hadn’t read the script beforehand, we probably wouldn’t be acting like this.

FOURTH ACTOR

Of course we would! This is how people are. They’re so stupid they just fall into caricatures and they don’t even realize it.

THIRD ACTOR

You maybe, but not me. I’m not a caricature. I’m capable of telling the difference between reality and fantasy, and this whole sketch is pure fantasy.

FIRST ACTOR

So you don’t think he was racist after all?

THIRD ACTOR

If it had been a real racist situation I’d be totally on your side, but this was just a misunderstanding, and as for me being a real life caricature, you can go to hell!

FOURTH ACTOR

Hey, leave her alone! She’s only pointing out how idiotic we all are.

SECOND ACTOR

Maybe she’s the one who’s misunderstood the situation.

THIRD ACTOR

Yeah! Why do you have to turn everything into a cause? Can’t you just leave things the way they are?

FOURTH ACTOR

That’s true. You do go on about things. Maybe you should give it a break.

FIRST ACTOR

So you’re saying I brought all this on myself by speaking up about it?

THIRD ACTOR

Yup.

SECOND ACTOR

Yup.

FOURTH ACTOR

That’s about the height of it.

THE END
Yup.

SECOND ACTOR

Yup.

FOURTH ACTOR

That’s about the height of it.

THE END

Copyright©2017 Bohemian Breakdancer

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