Monday, December 07, 2009

Jane Elliott on Channel Four

Jane Elliott is famous for her multicultural awareness training seminars, based on the segregation of her classes into 'blue eyes' versus 'brown eyes' to illustrate the evils of racism.

Of course, when the differences are arbitrary and superficial, discrimination becomes illogical. It's not too difficult to pick holes in this methodology. Here's part one.

3 Opinion(s):

Haikutastic said...

There are so MANY flaws with conducting the experiment in this way. As the group is mixed race, the division of it into those with blue eyes and those with brown is non-arbitrary as those in the blue group are more likely to be to be comprised white and those of the brown comprised of other races. How do we know that members of the brown group don't have a personal axe to grind? Who says that only white people can be racist?

I agree that racism does exist. I disagree that it is perpetrated solely by white people. I know people who are white who are racist, that does not mean that white people are racist. It would be same as saying that I know some black people who are criminals therefore all black people are criminals!

I also thoroughly disliked the authoritarian manner in which she conducted the experiment. Basically silencing any dissension like some kind of Maoist reeducation camp! Is such an experiment relevant to the present day? She seems to be advancing an incredibly over-simplified agenda that is somewhat anachronistic? Everyone who disagreed with her was 'in denial'?

Better experiments for demonstrating institutionalized cruelty are the Stanford Prison Experiments or the Stanley Milgram experiments!

Viking said...

Good comment, H.

discrimination in any case has never been based on "skin colour" but on a variety of factors.

Haikutastic said...

Yeah you're absolutely right. There are all kinds of discrimination that people have to deal with. Go and chat to somebody who's mentally ill or has been at some stage, or if you're 70 and can't get a job.
Why limit it solely to race relations?

Check out this film. Its not the best piece of filmmaking I've ever seen, but it does race some interesting questions. Especially by challenging the whole 'white, male, middle-class' blah blah blah
-I've really ranted about this,but it just gets me so riled up that people can be so dishonest with themselves!