Racism should be destroyed at all level and never given any single space to fester in any way.
Fifty (50) years ago, a teacher named Jane Elliot performed an experiment about racism called the “Blue Eyes and Brown Eyes Experiment”.
On the day she selected to perform the test, her third grade class members arrived as usual. When they all arrived, she assigned them to any of the two categories she creates for the experiment.
• Children with blue eyes were kept separately.
• Children with brown or green eyes were also kept separately from the the blues.
Note: Children with the blue eyes had less melanin than the – brown/green eyes group. This less melanin affects the colours of the skin and the eye.
•She also told the kids that having more melanin in the body makes a person very smart and clean.
After that, she started to alter the school rules, giving a lot of special privileges and waivers to kids with brown eyes within her sample group. After that, she waited to know the next thing that will happen with them in line with recent developments.
She was totally astonished to realise that the kids actually believed everything she has told them and changed their behaviour automatically to reflect this. The experiment has built a life of its own, exceeding her expectations.
The blue-eyed kids started to feel inferior to the kids with brown eyes. The category of kids with brown eyes started to feel superior and dictated who played where and when in the playgrounds. The teacher who was also blue-eyed had some brown eye girls gang up on her at some point in the experiment.
Happy with her results gotten from the experiment, she reversed the situation. After this new reversal, she discovered that though the blue eyed kids became the new annoying kids, they were not as cruel as the brown eyes. It was described as being the result of the kids remembering being discriminated against previously, and so knows exactly how and what it feels like. They had empathy!
Jane Elliott’s experiment reveals an often neglected ugly truth about our human nature. That ugly truth is the simple fact that people are easily deceived. If discriminating against others help them boost their ego and feel good about themselves, they will. The scary demonstration on racism with the children made a lasting impact on them.
Fifty years after, her experiment is still pretty much relevant!