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While in costume for Black. White., Bruno says he didn't personally experience any racism. "I acknowledge there is racism," he says. "I, personally, during the experience of the show never felt any."

Made up as a black person, Bruno went to several car dealerships to see if he would be treated any differently. "It didn't seem to me that anyone was keying in on my blackness," says Bruno. "In general, I got excellent service and I'm finding that I'm treated exactly the same whether I'm black or whether I'm white."

Oprah makes a point on how the perception of one's class factors into the race debate. "It's not just about race," says Oprah. "It's also about the perception of class. ... When you walk into a place and you're speaking a certain way, people treat you differently than if they perceive you to be speaking another way."

Race became a hot button for Bruno and Brian during the course of the experiment. Bruno says, "If you're expecting to see something, you probably will. And if you're not, you probably won't."

Brian did not see eye-to-eye with Bruno. "This is reality to me," says Brian. "Every day I walk out my door as a black man. ... So it's not perception—it's there."
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FROM: Trading Races
Published on February 16, 2006

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