Edited by Azizi Powell
This is a transcript of a "What Would You Do" video that is entitled "Guy Brings His White Girl To Barbershop In Harlem And Gets Hated On By Black Hairdresser".
I made this transcript to increase awareness of this video for cultural and educational purposes, including increasing its availability to those with hearing challenges. Additions and corrections to this transcript are welcome.
Additions and corrections are welcome.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
VIDEO: Guy Brings His White Girl To Barbershop In Harlem And Gets Hated On By Black Hairdresser
Aeiou, Published on Dec 8, 2013
Guy Brings His White Girl To Barbershop In Harlem And Gets Hated On By Black Hairdresser... Does Anyone Step In To Check Her?
Transcript Part I
Producer - We’re back at Denny Moe's Barber Shop in Harlem where a White barber was discriminated against simply because of the color of his skin. [This is an earlier “What if” segment.]
Black male customer – “The White dude? What you know about this, man?”
Producer - But what if now things get more personal.
Rachel is an actor playing a hairdresser who has her eye on a new customer.
Gabriel (a Black male who is playing the role of the new customer) – “You been doin hair for a while?”
Rachel – “Yeah. For too long. When you gonna come sit with me?"
Gabriel (smiles and says) – "Alright, alright."
Producer – But Gabriel has a girlfriend. And when she shows up...
Kristin (White female actor) – "Hey, baby."
Gabriel – "Hey."
Kristin - "You want me to wait over here?"
Producer – There’s a rude awakening for Rachel.
Rachel – "Say what?! You with a White girl?"
Gabriel – "Yeah. That’s my girlfriend."
Rachel – "You couldn’t find a strong, Black woman for you?"
Kristin – "Excuse me?!"
Producer – If you saw this woman berating an interracial couple, what would you do?
Kristin – "Hi, baby."
Gabriel – "Hey".
Rachel – "Baby?! You datin a White girl?"
Gabriel – "I’m datin a girl who is White if that what you mean."
Rachel – "Okay. I don’t get it but..."
Kristin – "That’s crazy."
Rachel- "Not as crazy as you being in here."
Producer – Rachel isn’t pulling any punches with Kristin. And, at first, this woman takes the soft, comforting approach.
Denise Muldro (Black woman in barber shop) – "I’m not bothered by you. Nobody over here is bothered by you. Okay?" [offers Kristin a pound hand shake]
Kristin [returns the pound and says] - "Thank you."
Rachel – "I hope that yall don’t plan on havin any children."
Denise – "Like I said, she sounds like a real hater, and she’s insecure."
Producer - And with that, Denise Muldro, is so upset, there’s nothing holding her back.
Denise – "She’s ignorant".
Rachel – "I know you not talkin about me."
Denise – "I’m talkin about you that’s brushin his hair. You are ignorant. Keep your opinions to yourself, ‘cause it sounds stupid. Alright? I’m lettin you know. Black girl to another Black girl, you sound stupid. As much criticism as we went through as a people, you gonna go and do it to the next person? What gives you that right?"
Rachel – "Well, why are you defending a White woman, though?"
Denise – "I don’t care what she is. She could be purple. I’m defending a woman, period, point blank. That’s what she is. She’s a woman. Or maybe you’re not. I’m sorry. My bad. She’s not a woman. She’s a bird. Get outta here, birdie."
Producer – Well, before our actress flies away, it’s time to introduce ourselves.
[Denise, and other people in barber shop exclaim with surprise
when the production team come out.]
Denise – "Oh my God! Why did you..."
Producer - "It’s “What Would You Do.”
Denise – "I’m crazy, don’t pay me any mind. That’s just the Brooklyn in me."
Producer - "And you had to say something".
Denise – "You know you gotta learn to speak up, especially when something is wrong. Don’t sit around anywhere where you’re not feelin comfortable. Speak up."
Producer - Timely words...
Rachel – "She’s not one of us."
Producer – because things are about to get very uncomfortable and quiet in here.
Rachel – "She ain’t gone through what we’ve gone through.
Not too long ago. What we still are goin through."
Kristin – "We have a Black President. Shouldn’t that show you how far we’ve come?"
Rachel – "Look, I’m just sayin what every woman here is thinkin."
[No one else says anything.]
Rachel -"So. I mean, kill the messenger. Whatever."
They wouldn’t be with a White guy, would they?
Producer – Kristin walks away for a minute.
Kristin (with tears in her voice, says) – "I can’t take this, sorry."
Producer – And still, no one says a word.
Rachel – "Am I right, or am I right?"
Producer - Why not?
[The production team comes out to talk to people in the barber shop.]
Producer – [Speaking to a woman at the barber shop] - "Did it bother you?"
Black woman wearing green jacket – "Yes, it bothered me a lot. But it wasn’t my place to say anything."
Black woman with short hair - "It definitely was inappropriate."
Producer - "Why not say something?"
Black woman with short hair – "I guess, um, hind sight is 20 20."
Producer –"She even said 'Everyone here is thinking what I’m thinking.'"
Black woman with short hair – "Well, I sure wasn’t thinking what she was thinking."
Producer – "Okay."
Black woman with short hair laughs uncomfortably.
Narrator – But we sure know what Rachel is thinking.
Kristin (to Rachel) – "I don’t know why you were so disrespectful. What did I do to you?"
Rachel - "Read a history book. Actually, it still goes on. So."
Narrator – Kristin is overcome with emotion.
Kristin – "I can’t sit here" [said as she leaves the barber shop].
Narrator- It affects this man so much he almost jumps out of his seat.
Rachel – "You don’t belong with a girl like that anyway."
Nicholas Richards – "You can’t disrespect customers like that.
That’s none of your business. You should be ashamed of yourself for doing that."
Rachel – "Ashamed of myself?!"
Nicholas – "Yeah. That woman did nothing to you."
Rachel- "Did you see what she looked like?"
Nicholas – "She’s a blond white girl."
Rachel - [said with a brief beginning laugh] "Look at this place. We’re up in Harlem."
Nicholas – "So go downtown."
Rachel – "This is Denny Moes".
Nicholas – "So go downtown."
Rachel – "She should go downtown."
Nicholas – "And they can cuss you out downtown. Is that alright for them to cuss you out downtown?"
Rachel – "Why would they cuss me out?"
Nicholas – "Because you Black. And you don’t belong there. That’s the same thing you did to that White girl."
Rachel – "It’s not the same."
Nicholas – "It’s the same thing."
Rachel – "They’re ruining the Black family."
Nicholas – "What?!"
Producer – For Nicholas Richards, that comment is the last straw.
Nicholas – "Drugs are ruining the Black family. Poverty is ruining the Black family. That White girl is not ruining the Black family."
Rachel – "Would you be with a White girl?"
Nicholas – "Maybe. But that’s none of your business. And if I bought a White girl here, you better not say nothin to her."
Rachel – "You know the way we got treated. Yeah, give them some of the same medicine."
[Nicholas shakes his head, turns away from her, and throws up his hand in exasperation.]
Rachel - "Plenty of Black people did nothing wrong."
Nicholas – [beckoning to the barber to continue shaving his hair, says to Rachel - "You [are] messed up."
Rachel – "Why you shakin your head?" [laughs uncomfortably]
Nicholas - "Because it’s ignorance, and I can’t deal with ignorance."
[The production team comes out]
Producer [shaking Nicholas' hand] – "How are you doing, sir?"
Producer speaking to the camera - "Such an eloquent condemnation of racism."
Producer speaking to Nicholas - "She doesn’t really work here."
Nicholas [smiling] – "Ah!"
[Sub-title on screen - Our actress, Rachel, is in an interracial relationship.]
Rachel hugs Nicholas and says – "Thank you. Thank you."
Producer speaking to Nicholas - "You were angry at her."
Nicholas – "Hate doesn’t do anything but begat more hate. And it holds us back, you know? Black people need to figure out constructive ways to move forward. And just bein angry and upset at White people doesn’t do that."
Producer – Good advice. But nothing prepared us for this last woman.
Rachel – "Say what?! You with a White girl?!"
Marsha Bonner – "What?!"
Producer – Marsha Bonner, a HR [Human Resources] executive and diversity trainer, can not believe what she’s hearing.
Rachel – "I mean, I just wanna see him with a strong Black woman, you know?"
Marsha – "I hear you. But we embrace. We embrace."
Rachel – "So you think that’s wrong?"
Marsha - "It doesn’t matter....I’m gay. Do you think that’s wrong?"
Rachel – "I have nothin against gays. You know, I just feel like..."
Marsha – "Civil liberties run the gamut."
Rachel walks over to Marsha and says – "I didn’t mean no disrespect..."
Marsha – "I know you didn’t."
Rachel – "cause it’s fine."
Producer – She [Marsha] tries to get to the bottom of Rachel’s intolerance.
Marsha- "Where’s your caring and loving heart? If she was laying in the street bleeding, would you help her?"
Rachel – "Well, I feel like I see so many, like Black little girls who don’t think they’re good enough."
Marsha- "That has nothing to do with her... Nothin to do with him. It’s our responsibility to make sure they feel good enough. We don’t have to step on them. They’ve been stepping on us for too long. Let’s try to rise together, because we can’t do it without them."
Producer - And then Rachel gets to the core of her problem.
Rachel – "That’s the way my mother taught me."
Marsha – "And not everything your mother taught you have you abided by."
Rachel – "What you talkin about?"
Marsha – "Nothing...except the fact that you’re going to go over there and shake that young lady’s hand."
Producer - She wants Rachel to apologize to Kristin.
Marsha – "One day. Just a thought."
[Rachel acts uncertain. Mummers something.]
Marsha – "Yes you should. While it’s still on your spirit. So that you can sleep better tonight. Trust me. Trust me.
[The Production team directs Kristin to go up to Marsha and Rachel, but not aggressively.]
Kristin - "I hear you guys talking about me. He’s my boyfriend."
Marsha – "I know. And she wants to tell you something."
Rachel – "Um, I’m sorry.... This is a little hard for me."
[Marsha gets up from her barber chair and says something encouraging to Rachel.]
Marsha - "Come here." [Marsha hugs Rachel.]
Marsha- "That’s what works for us.
H. U. G. S.
Helping. Us. Grow. Spritually.
[The production team comes out and the producer introduces himself.]
Producer - I’m Julian Quinones.
[The Producer asks Marsha why did she get involved?]
Marsha- "Sometime you have to step up so that you won’t fall back."
Producer – "Do you understand where she’s coming from?"
Marsha – "Absolutely."
Producer "It offended you."
Marsha – "Absolutely. And it, it didn’t offend me. It hurt me. It hurt me because that’s not what I’m about."
Producer - "What did you want Rachel to know about Kristin?"
Marsha (standing out of her barber chair). – "There’s, there’s noth... Look at them. What’s different?
[Rachel and Kristin hug each other].
Marsha - "It’s about movin forward."
[Marsha speaking to Rachel and Kristin] – Can yall just step with me? We gonna move forward, right? Right."
Producer – "One step at a time."
Marsha – "One step at a time."
Producer - And that’s exactly what we did today. So many people stepped forward against hatred and bigotry. A sermon at the barber shop now ringing through the streets of Harlem and beyond.
This completes this transcript. Additions and corrections are welcome.
Thanks to the producer Julian Quiones, Editor Kozo Okumura, the actors, and the rest of the production crew. Thanks also to the people at Denny Moe's who spoke up against racism. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube. And hat tip to Will from Starlight News Blog for alerting readers there to rhis video.
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