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This Racism Is Killing Me Inside

CARDIFF GARCIA, BYLINE: How much would you pay to avoid morning traffic? Why are plane tickets to Boise so expensive? I'm Cardiff Garcia, co-host of The Indicator. In every episode we take on a new, unexpected idea to help you make sense of the day's news. Listen every afternoon on NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts.


(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)


GENE DEMBY, HOST:


So imagine you're walking through a department store like our voice actor here.


UNIDENTIFIED VOICE ACTOR: (As store patron) Weekend sale.


DEMBY: You want to buy something to wear for this thing you have coming up - a date, maybe it's a job interview.


UNIDENTIFIED VOICE ACTOR: (As store patron) I do need some new shoes.


DEMBY: Anyway, whatever it is, it doesn't really matter. The point is you want to look good. So you're looking around and you're shopping, when you notice that one of the security guards is staring at you. Like, full-on gritting on you.


UNIDENTIFIED VOICE ACTOR: (As store patron) Oh, my God.


DEMBY: And you get that knowing feeling in the pit of your stomach. You can't prove it, but you know what it is. He's looking at you because he thinks you're stealing something or about to steal something, and he thinks you're stealing something because you seem like you don't belong there, and you seem like you don't belong there because you're black.


UNIDENTIFIED VOICE ACTOR: (As store patron) OK. This is really ridiculous.


DEMBY: And you're annoyed. You're angry.


UNIDENTIFIED VOICE ACTOR: (As store patron) Come on.


DEMBY: And you want to leave, but you also want to be like...


UNIDENTIFIED VOICE ACTOR: (As store patron) I can afford this shirt, and those shoes.


DEMBY: But also, you're like...


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