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  • Anti-racism Activist Jane Elliot On One of The Crudest Experiments Ever To Air On TV !!

    This video features Jane Elliott's famous, yet controversial, "Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes" exercise. 

    Elliott originally designed the exercise in the 1960s as a way to illustrate the inhumanity, the irrationality, and the immorality of racism, a system that, as her experiment has shown, people quite readily endorse. 

    At that time, Elliott was a third grade school teacher in an all-white Iowa town, and she wanted her students to understand the arbitrary and unfair treatment associated with judging people based on the color of their skin. 

    To do this, she developed an exercise that subjected her white students to this type of treatment, so they could experience it first-hand. 

    While her original exercise was developed during a time of overt racism characterized by 1960s America, her contemporary workshops reveal how racism continues to operate in 

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    more covert ways in present-day multicultural societies. 

    As demonstrated in the video, Elliott divides workshop participants according to eye color; those with brown eyes are given a privileged majority status, while blue-eyed participants are segregated, treated harshly, and subjected to constant surveillance. 

    The aim is to simulate a racist apartheid-style regime, and throughout the exercise Elliott is the authoritative leader. 

    After she segregates the group by eye color, the next phase of the exercise is to get the brown-eyed group to turn against the blue-eyed group. 

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    While Elliott has been conducting this exercise with adults for over 40 years throughout the world, we learn from the video that the experiment was a bit anomalous in that the brown-eyed group was less vocal than past groups, and the blue-eyed group was more defiant. 

    What is strikingly clear, however, is how white people in the blued-eyed group end up defending the current racial system, revealing their ignorance around their own racial privilege and their obliviousness around the profound discrimination experienced by people of color. 

    Elliott's exercise is controversial and confrontational, and her abrasive approach to authority has been criticized as a form of bullying. 

    More broadly, this video is useful for teaching about racism, discrimination, and white supremacy. Elliott's exercise is also documented in an award-winning PBS FRONTLINE program, A Class Divided (1985), available for free online. There is also a website dedicated to the exercise, which features additional learning resources.

    Watch the entire excersise below, comment your thoughts and opinion on the matter in the commenting section below the clip and don’t forget to share this with your frineds on social media to see what they have to say.


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