People who are homeless live in the most terrible of conditions. Oftentimes, the assumption about these people is that they are either alcoholics or drug abusers, and they are thus looked down upon. Perhaps this is one reason why they often end up being abused verbally and physically.
Random abuse toward homeless men and women has become an all-too-common trend these days. If you saw a homeless person being abused, would you stand up for them or walk away as if nothing happened?
On an episode of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” the reaction of strangers is caught on camera when they come across three teens bullying the homeless—but they are actually actors.
Hidden cameras are set outside a salon in Westwood, New Jersey. No one knows that it’s a social experiment apart from the teens, who are also actors, and the ones playing the homeless.
A homeless man is seen sitting on the sidewalk as the three teens approach him. In the presence of strangers, the youngsters begin to harass him.
A mother who passes by along with her daughters is the first to witness the scene. They seem hesitant at first until one of the girls decides to put an end to it by speaking up, proving that there truly are good Samaritans among us.
In the next scene, things are tweaked a bit, and a homeless woman takes the man’s place. How quickly would the bystanders rush to the aid of the helpless woman? And how would they deal with those teens?
As the cameras roll again, a stranger notices the homeless woman and returns with a slice of pizza and some change for her. As he is going on his way, the bullies return.
The teens begin to verbally abuse the woman. One of them says, “What the hell?” while another sneers, “Who gave you pizza?”
The stranger notices this and immediately walks back towards them. He asks them what’s wrong before adding, “She’s a human right? Everybody has their own problem man, so relax.”
The teens don’t heed his advice and continue to taunt the woman. When the stranger sees that the trio are relentless, he decides to call the cops.
“Oh, let me call the police now. This is crazy,” he remarks.
That’s when John Quiñones, the host of What Would You Do?, shows up and introduces himself to the stranger.
Quiñones starts off by saying, “They’re three big guys. And you’re just one person.” To this, the stranger replies, “I don’t care. I don’t care. If I feel something is going wrong, I’m going to talk about it.”
He adds that everyone has their own problems and shouldn’t be made fun of. “Nobody wants to be like this.”
But there were more powerful reactions and messages from the witnesses who appeared in the next scene. Watch the video to see how these folks really felt about the situation.
Living in a civilized world, any sort of uncivil actions against anyone, be it the homeless or anyone else, is deplorable. The community really ought to show more compassion and help these people find the hope they’d once lost.