George Takei's Oh Myyy Pod! Episode 4: 'When Bystanders Refuse to Stand By'

On the fourth episode of George Takei's "Oh Myyy Pod!" podcast: "When Bystanders Refuse To Stand By," host George Takei and co-host Todd Beeton explore the videos of racial injustice that went viral thanks to bystanders who refused to sit back and do nothing in the face of the injustice they witnessed.

This week, we speak with Michelle Saahene and Melissa DePino who witnessed two African-American men get arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks for not buying a latte and made the video go viral, exposing the injustice to the world.

Hear their first hand account of what happened inside that Starbucks below:

Since meeting that fateful day, Michelle and Melissa have turned that experience into activism by teaming up to start From Privilege to Progress, a nonprofit to urge people to confront racial injustice in their everyday lives.

As Melissa told us:

We are continuing the conversation we started. We're trying to desegregate the conversation about racism and to take this word privilege and instead of looking at it from this deficit perspective, looking at it as this accusation but look at it from the other side and look at it as an opportunity and an invitation to use your Privilege, or they say spend your privilege by being part of the solution by being actively antiracist, not just not being racist, but being actively anti-racist.

We're asking people just in their everyday lives when they hear something to just say, you know, that's not okay with me. Or why did you say that? To just simply hit the share button on Facebook to show your network that if you're white, first of all, your network is likely 92% white to show your network that you understand and that you want to use your privilege to make progress. So, there are lots of little things you can do in your everyday life to be actively anti racist.

This week we also speak with Juan Ayala who recorded video of a white woman accosting an Asian woman on the D Train in New York City but ultimately put his phone down to help hold the assailant for police, as well as psychologist Arthur Lurigio, an expert on the Bystander Effect.

Listen to Episodes 1-3 below and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen to podcasts here.


  • Juan Ayala Born and raised in New York City, Juan went from mild mannered student at the High School of Graphic Communication Arts to the air waves as "Platano Man" on Univision Radio while he developed an impressive film reel of music videos, interviews and commercials. But Juan's burst of fame emerged from a video that Juan recorded and tweeted of a woman accosting a Chinese woman on the D Train that became one of the biggest viral videos to grab the world's attention. This put him on the cover of the New York Daily News two days in a row, discussed on CNN, News Channel 4, Univision , Telemundo, blew up on World Star, and now here on Oh Myyy Pod.

  • Michelle Saahene and Melissa DePino co-founded From Privilege to Progress (P2P)--a national movement to desegregate the public conversation about racism--after their viral video of two black men being unjustly arrested at a Starbucks captured international attention. Their work at P2P has been featured on Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk, NPR's Radio Times and Code Switch, Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien, MSNBC's AM Joy, and in numerous television, print and online outlets. Michelle and Melissa continue the conversation they started that day through social media campaigns and speaking engagements that create awareness and inspire action.

  • Dr. Arthur J. Lurigio, a psychologist, is Senior Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, and a Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology and of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. He is also a member of the Graduate Faculty and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Research, Training, and Education (CARTE) at Loyola University Chicago. In 2003, Dr. Lurigio was named a faculty scholar, one of the highest honors bestowed on senior faculty at Loyola University Chicago. In recognition of his continued scholar productivity, he was named in 2013 a Master Researcher in the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago.


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