Jane Elliott Teaches Exercise Against Racism Essays

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Jane Elliott Teaches Exercise Against Racism

Her experiment in the Oprah Winfrey show in 1992 became world famous. Jane Elliott (62) carried out her brown eyes, blue eyes exercise, and a behaviour training that lets white people experience what prejudice and oppression does to you. What happens if you don't have any power anymore and are subject to arbitrary discrimination, just cause you have blue eyes? During the international week against racism Jane Elliott came to Holland. Mercita Coronel spoke with her.

"Who told you to sit down?" "Do I have to spell everything out for you, sit!" One participant of Jane Elliott's workshop walked out after one hour, another never returned from a quick trip
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Brown eyes could be fatal even if you had a beautiful German name. "I had no idea how it would work out. If I had known the enormous impact it had on my students and the community, I would not have done it.," says Elliott. As a direct result of the successes of the exercise her four children were taunted, spit on and molested by their teachers, their classmates and the parents of their classmates. "From get the Elliott kids it became get the nigger-lover's kids," says Elliott.

Outsider Not only her children got it. The day after her appearance on the very popular Johnny Carson Show, the people in Riceville also decided not to buy from her father anymore. They feared black people would think that they all thought like her' and blacks would think life was good in Riceville and move over there in droves. Father Elliott went bankrupt. Of course this didn't go down very well in Jane Elliott's family. "My mother thought I'd gone crazy and asked me: can't you just stop with this nonsense? She has never forgiven me. My brothers, self-made millionaires and conservative Republicans wondered what the hell my problem was?" Her

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