Thursday, January 5

Jane Elliott: How does it feel to be treated like a "nigga" for a lifetime?


"When am I gonna quit? When racism quits. Do I have a job for a lifetime?
I'm afraid so
."
Jane Elliott


Last month I published this post about Daryl Davis, the black musician man that persuaded twelve members of Ku Klux Klan to leave the organization. He wrote a book about it "Klan-destine relationships: a black man's odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan”.

I was amazed when I did read about Daryl achievement and the same happened when I watched at the TV Jane Elliott doing one of her workshops.
She exposes the weapons of racism by making people feel in their skin how discrimination, segregation, being stereotyped and mistreated have a terrible impact on the minds of the individuals who are part of a minority group and for this reason are mistreated in this case having a black skin.

I always asked myself why behavior experiments always aims evil. Stanford Prison and Stanley Milgram experiments were both done by psychologists trying to verify how people can be controlled or behave according to what they are told individually or in a group as a whole.
The ethical aspects of both experiments were questioned and the scientific methodology, especially in Stanford Prison, is questionable.

I never saw any of these psychologists doing experiments and, once again, I ask myself why they are done behind closed doors since they have to do with human beings emotions and behavior what is of interest of everybody.
It became an unquestionable fact that psychological experiments have to be done away from the public and one explanation is that it is necessary so that interferences from the outside don’t jeopardize the results. I’ll pretend it is true.

Jane Elliott’s workshops received some critics but what she does is not related to a scientific experiment and Jane payed a high price for her activism, fighting racism, and all her family was affected.
The workshops last two hours and I would love to be part of one of them especially to be at the blue side, the minority group.
Two groups are divided: blue eyes and brown eyes and this is the explanation that is at her site:

About
“Jane Elliott is an internationally renowned teacher, lecturer, and diversity trainer who presented this Seminar in the City Campus Union. She is famous for her classroom experiment, “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes.”

In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. over thirty years ago, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise. This, now famous, exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott's work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically affected by it.”
I watched twice one of her workshops at the TV and it is true that people are highly affected because Jane is really good in creating the “prejudice arena” that some people are confined because... exactly. Why?

There are some good learning materials at Jane’s site. In a very simple and easy way she puts in evidence what is hidden in some of the phrases and statements we use. I truly believe that in same cases we only learn when we face the problem ourselves and Jane’s work is perfect to make us see how dis-empowering being part of a minority is.

Visit Jane’s site to meet a great woman and learn more on how the dungeons of prejudice work and understand what the blue eyes/brown eyes workshop purpose is.
This is the work of a lifetime.

4 comments:

Mark p.s.2 said...

This is bullshit. I had the blue eye brown eye test done to me and I didn't go along with it. I asked for references. I "failed" and was kicked out for not obeying authority. She is preaching about herself, raging about herself. She believed what was taught to her by authority, and thinks everyone is as stupid as she is.

Ana said...

If you're kicked because you didn't obey you are my hero!
You didn't fail, on the contrary.
Where did you do it?

Mark p.s.2 said...

I was in a college class at Vanier College, about 19 years old .

Ana said...

Hmm... According to your experience I1m rethinking about this exercise.
People must be fully informed about what the exercise and as it is quite disturbing some requirements must be fulfilled.
I'm not sure if it wold be good doing it when I was 19 years-old.