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As part of a Lithuanian ‘social experiment’ video, a black immigrant asks locals to translate racist Facebook comments directed at him. The video shows the black man sitting on a couch with his iPad. One by one, Lithuanians are escorted into the room, thinking they are there for a casting. While the pair wait, the man pretends he has recently moved to the country and asks each participant if he or she could translate some Facebook comments into English. As they silently read the comments on his iPad, the participants are visibly upset and conflicted about what they’re seeing.

“I will not translate it to you. It’s very humilating,” one woman said.

Another man outright refuses saying, “No. I mean, there’s no useful information for you.”


A variety of emotions cross the faces of those challenged with explaining to this man the slurs used against him. Several people decline to even translate the “humiliating” dialogue being used. Others, at the man’s insistence, proceed to paraphrase the racist Facebook comments, apologising as they go along. The Facebook comments refer to the man as a “monkey” and a “slave”, and tell him to “go back to Africa”.

The ‘social experiment’ video was produced by the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights to combat racism, and pointed viewers to a website that could help reduce discrimination.

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