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Portuguese PSA "Despicable" on Racism

This Powerful PSA From 1999 Is Going Viral Again For All the Right Reasons

As sitting members in Congress and tech companies are continuing to learn this week, standing up to neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the hate and bigotry they stand for isn't that difficult. However, there are many people out there who agree with President Donald Trump's comments in which he suggested that not everyone who went to the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA, is a Nazi or white supremacist. This commentary partially explains why a Portuguese public service announcement is going viral . . . a whopping 18 years after it was originally released.

The PSA, titled "Despicable," was made by the Portuguese Commission in 1999 as a way to mark the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the video, a white woman sits down next to a black man on an airplane. She asks a flight attendant to switch her seat and to "do something." The flight attendant agrees to talk to the captain. She comes back and tells the passenger, "The captain said he was able to find a seat in the first class. And he also apologizes because it's incredible [that] a passenger [has] to travel beside such a despicable person." The woman starts to get up, but the flight attendant instead asks the black man to get up and follow her.

The twist in the video continues to surprise people, despite it being the basic, decent thing a human should do in that scenario. Since the events in Charlottesville, which left three people dead, the tweet that recirculated the video has more than 12,000 "likes" and 5,000 retweets. You can watch the video above, complete with subtitles — and take this lesson to heart.

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