A Lesson On Living Racism

I Never Thought I’d Want To High-Five A Teacher For Yelling At A Student, But I Was Wrong

Posted by Laura Willard

I know this is on the long-ish side, but I promise that there’s a really valuable message here that makes it worth watching all the way through.

Jane Elliot is a teacher and diversity trainer who developed the “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise to teach students what it feels like to be a person of color. This video begins pretty abruptly, where one of the students who’s been singled out based on eye color is extremely frustrated.

At 2:46, Elliot explains why she keeps going even after she’s made the point. At 3:35, she delivers an important message. And at 10:05, you may laugh a little, but I think you’ll really get it.

Many years ago, I could have been the girl who walked out, not understanding how this feels to the people it affects. I’m glad that’s no longer the case.

A partial transcript from a very powerful portion of the video, beginning at 3:19:

Elliot: “No. You don’t come back in here until you’ve apologized to every person in this room because you just exercised a freedom that none of these people of color have. When these people of color get tired of racism, they can’t just walk out because there’s no place in this country where they aren’t going to be exposed to racism. They can’t even stay in their own homes and not be exposed to racism if they turn on their television. But you, as a white female, when you get tired of being judged and treated unfairly on the basis of your eye color, you can walk out that door, and you know it won’t happen out there. You exercised a freedom they don’t have. If you’re going to be in here, you’re going to apologize to every black person in this room. And do it now … and every person of color.”

Student: “I’m sorry there’s racism in this country…”

Elliot: “Bullshit! No, you’re not going to say ‘I’m sorry there’s racism.’ You’re going to apologize for what you just did.”

Student: “I will not apologize because it’s not a matter of race always…”

Elliot: “Out.”

 Note from emanita01:
The video is prohibited from being shared in public.

To see it go to:

http://www.upworthy.com/i-never-thought-id-want-to-high-five-a-teacher-for-yelling-at-a-student-but-i-was-wrong?g=2&c=reccon1

Advertisements

About emanita01

I am a Franco-american woman who hails from Massachusetts. I live in France near the Swiss border, only minutes away from Geneva. I am a member of the Geneva Writers Group and the Association La Forge, a literary group based in France. I write stories, poems and am currently working on a couple of plays, a one-woman show and a dramatized poem.
This entry was posted in Fodder for Thought and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s