Would you defend someone who’s being mistreated in front of you?
What would you do? is an American television series where John Quinones and his staff set up specific situations in public places to observe what ordinary everyday folk would do given the situation. They range from race, arguing families, harassment, and in this case, social mistreatment. More specifically, with a man with Down syndrome.
Minuteman is the spot.
They say the barbecue and burgers are excellent. So that’s where the show decided to do their little experiment. Lauryn plays the waitress and she’ll be serving Peter, the man with Down syndrome. The script is that Peter will be slow in deciding what he wants while another actor, Mike, will play the middle aged bully who keeps calling Peter and Lauryn out.
Mike will be very rude.
Peter asks for a burger which is always an excellent choice according to Lauryn. But then he changes his mind and asks her about the specials. An irritated Mike interrupts them, asking how much longer it will take as he is in a hurry. He will be injecting a few disrespectful lines in the process.
People with Down syndrome can be made fun of, and sometimes even posted on social media with the intention of being mocked. It’s a serious matter with authorities, schools, and parents working together to stop the mistreatment.
How would you react?
Peter just can’t decide on what he’ll have. But Lauryn is patient and very understanding compared to Mike. The other customers go on with their business, enjoying their meals and exchanging stories as the cameras keep rolling.
Mike interrupts, calling Lauryn with a rude tone saying that he’s been waiting for 15 minutes and therefore should have his order taken first. He adds that Peter couldn’t even probably read the menu.
A few heads turn.
A woman tries to ignore Mike’s ranting. He probably thinks the same way most people do, that people with Down syndrome can’t read or write. Wrong, buddy. You have no idea.
Mike then asks Peter where his guardian is. Another common misconception. Remember that woman who tried to drown him out? Well she’s had enough.
“Stop it! That’s terrible.”
Mike has a little exchange with the lady but she’s not having any of it. She stands up and repeats herself, telling Mike to stop because he’s being very rude.
Mike continues the harassment.
She tells him to leave. This tough lady used to teach mentally challenged children. And though she hates confrontations, her big heart moved her to defend Peter. Her motto is the golden rule.
The second act.
Peter is curious about the drink the gentlemen in the other table are having. He asks them and they say it’s good. The gentleman adds that Arnold Palmer drinks could be bottomless, to which Lauryn agrees.
Mike starts with his interrupting again, even going back to the fact that Peter has no guardian. The older gentleman is quick to defend Peter. He even says he’d fire Mike if Mike worked for him. Take that! Thumbs up to Peter!
Peter’s got avengers.
The cameras kept on rolling throughout the day and not a single customer sided with Mike. One man tells Mike he should apologize, while others would tell him to just leave. These wonderful people also tell Peter to ignore Mike. A man with a thick accent tells him not to get emotional and an older man tells Peter he’s no bother at all. That’s a fist bump!
The final act.
Mike has barely started his tirade when a woman walks up to the restaurant’s manager to report what she’s just witnessed. The woman and her sister confront Mike. He tries to justify his behavior but another man looks at Mike and comes to Peter’s defense.
“If you’re in a hurry, get the hell out!”
The man says with a firm tone.
The customers have had it.
The elderly man starts raising his voice, basically giving Mike a verbal push out the door. It worked. The lady goes to Peter and even invites him to sit with her if he’d like. Assemble!
John walks in once again. And it’s the same story for each hero who came to Peter’s aid. There is simply no excuse to be rude, to be disrespectful, and definitely no excuse to mistreat others , especially those with disabilities. Be kind. They are still human beings. Spread the love.
See how these normal folk stood by Peter’s side in the video below!
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