Does anyone happen to be familiar with American teacher and activist Jane Elliott
and her "blue eyes, brown eyes" racism experiment? If you're familiar with it, what do you think of it? Her experiment is controversial and has been widely criticized, but she seems to be of the view that white people can't really understand racism without experiencing it in all its harshness, even if only for a few hours at most. Do you agree? Do you think subjecting people to this kind of discrimination, and then pointing out how real it is for some people, is the most effective way of making privileged people aware of it?
My first exposure to this experiment was a Channel 4 documentary where Elliott tries her experiment out on people in Britain. I find the narration towards the beginning of the documentary pretty misleading, to the point where I was actually kind of horrified when I saw the beginning of the experiment. I got the impression that she was trying to make the brown-eyed people in the experiment discriminate against the people who didn't have brown eyes and that that was all there was to it. I thought if I was in that experiment, I would've run out the door. But then I eventually came to realize that she was doing a lot more than that and trying to show white people what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of the racism that our societies not only tolerate but promote and perpetuate.