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Debates > Eye Color Discrimination Test

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 02, 2009 03:54PM) (new)

***Wikipedia article***
Steven Armstrong was the first child to arrive to Elliot’s classroom on that day, asking why King was murdered the day before. After the rest of the class arrived, Elliot asked them what they knew about Negros. The children responded with various racial stereotypes such as Negros were dumb or could not hold jobs. She then asked these children if they would like to find out what it was like to be a Negro child and they agreed.[2:]

On that day, a Tuesday, she decided to make the blue-eyed children the superior first, giving them extra privileges like second helpings at lunch, access to the new jungle gym and five minutes extra at recess.[2:] She would not allow blue-eyed and brown-eyed children to drink from the same water fountain.[4:] She would offer them praise for being hard-working and intelligent. The “brownies” on the other hand, would be disparaged. She even made the brown-eyed children wear ribbons around their neck.[2:]

At first, there was resistance to the idea that brown-eyed children were not the equals of blue-eyed children. To counter this, she used a pseudo-scientific explanation for her actions by stating that the melanin responsible for making brown-eyed children… also was linked to intelligence and ability, therefore the “brownies” pigmentation would result in lack of these qualities.[2:] Shortly thereafter, this initial resistance fell away. Those who were deemed “superior” became arrogant, bossy and otherwise unpleasant to their “inferior” classmates. Their grades also improved, doing mathematical and reading tasks that seemed outside their ability before. The “inferior” classmates also transformed – into timid and subservient children, including those who had previously been dominant in the class. These children’s academic performance suffered, even with tasks that had been simple before.[4:]

The following day, Elliott reversed the exercise, making the brown-eyed children superior. While the brown-eyed children did taunt the blue-eyed in ways similar to what had occurred the previous day, Elliott reports it was much less intense. At 2:30 on that Wednesday, Elliott told the blue-eyed children to take off their collars and the children cried and hugged each other. To reflect on the experience, she had the children write letters to Coretta Scott King and write compositions about the experience.[2:]

This exercise changed her life, both as a teacher and personally. Her reflections on what she had witnessed would influence how she would approach race relations and teaching. “She had not told her pupils to treat each other differently, only that they were different; and yet they developed the characteristic responses of discrimination. Jane Elliott felt that they did this because they had already absorbed discriminatory behavior from their parents and other adults.”[4:] Their willingness to accept the inferiority of a group of people was no small part due to the fact that children believe what adults, including teachers, tell them and follow their example. However, the brown-eyed students who had experienced discrimination on the previous Friday, seemed to modify their behavior when it was their turn to be “superior” on Monday. While they did exhibit some of the same discriminatory behaviors, they were much less intense supposedly because they already knew what it was like.[2:] The exercise seemed to suggest that black underachievement was a product of “white-dominated constructions of reality”. [1:] She believes that what has been taught in schools (1968 to the present) conditions students that whiteness is the objective. Schools teach virtually nothing of what people of color have contributed to mankind while most people would have little trouble naming 10 white males who have done so. “That’s called racism, people,” according to Elliott, as she believes it is racism to deny or ignore what other people contribute. Elliott believes that teachers perpetuate racism by how they interact with their students. Teachers will call on white boys first, then white girls. They also establish a hierarchy based on who they pay attention to, where students are seated and how groups are formed.

...

So what do you think? Do you think this test was a good idea or not? We debated this in school one day just a couple weeks ago and I wanted to see how we would do it... what is your opinion?


message 2: by Bree, you make me smile (new)

Bree (breej6434) | 835 comments Mod
I think that this test was a good idea. it would help children understand more of both sides of the line, and over all I think that this Idea was very clever.


message 3: by Ninja (new)

Ninja (ninjafanpire) | 616 comments Mod
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! One of my high school teachers started randomly doing that test in class, and then he told us about it afterwards. He started picking on this chick who had like brown eyes or something, and then started saying things about other colored eyed people. And the one girl started to get like offended. But then he told us about it, and it was okay.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

See, the way I see it, it was a good idea, but she never got parent consent or anything. Just within that short amount of time could have seriously damaged a child. From personal experiance, even a few days can ruin a persons whole life. For all we know that kid could have developed insecurity about themselves.


message 5: by Ninja (new)

Ninja (ninjafanpire) | 616 comments Mod
Teacher was a he, just so you know, and seriously, we were all in high school. I think we could handle it.


message 6: by Ben (new)

Ben | 505 comments Mod
ninjafanpire im pretty shure she was talkin about the Wikipedia article


message 7: by Gise ♥♫ (new)

Gise ♥♫ (sickreaderoftwilight) | 134 comments yeah i think so :) it's reality. i love blue eyes and i don't have them. the other day i was talking with a teacher tht said tht ppl who live in, idk, rusia has blue eyes and is blond it's bcuz of the weather. tht's y in africa ppl has black skin, bcuz of the sun. and it's stupid to think tht ppl with diff skin colour or diff eyes colour r stupid or not clever. i think tht ppl tht discriminate r stupid for doing tht.


message 8: by Aliya (new)

Aliya it's sort of like prejudice


message 9: by Hailey (new)

Hailey (haileyhaileyhailey) | 281 comments Yeah


message 10: by Ben (new)

Ben | 505 comments Mod
YEAH
i think there r very few people have unattractive eyes
but there r some people who have irresistable eyes (guys or girls)


message 11: by Milana (new)

Milana (tutuintopointe) | 779 comments Mod
yeah


message 12: by Bree, you make me smile (new)

Bree (breej6434) | 835 comments Mod
it was teaching a lesson though to help them understand.


message 13: by Ben (new)

Ben | 505 comments Mod
i bet it helped alot. i wish we could have done that at my school when i was younger. or do it now in high school n see how people react


message 14: by Anuhea (new)

Anuhea (anuhearamsey) I want to know more about people that are color blind. I know someone that is color blind, but I want to know more. I'm probably not even on topic, but I want to know more!!


message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (djinni) It's a recessive gene, and in males it's very common to be red/green colorblind.


message 16: by Ben (new)

Ben | 505 comments Mod
my brother and my stepdad r both color deficient its not realy color Blind cuz they can still see color just some r different shaded or completely diff colors sometimes


message 17: by Daisy (new)

Daisy back on topic I've had the same thing done several times in my school. It's actually very intresting


message 18: by Ben (new)

Ben | 505 comments Mod
♂i bet. it sounds like it would be♂


message 19: by Daisy (new)

Daisy it is very fun but subs take it too far. We were doing peaceful protest and she threatened to send us to the principles


message 20: by Ben (new)

Ben | 505 comments Mod
♂ya some subs r just dumb♂ unless u get them from subway then they rock☺


message 21: by Ninja (new)

Ninja (ninjafanpire) | 616 comments Mod
Gise ♥♫ wrote: "yeah i think so :) it's reality. i love blue eyes and i don't have them. the other day i was talking with a teacher tht said tht ppl who live in, idk, rusia has blue eyes and is blond it's bcuz of the weather. tht's y in africa ppl has black skin, bcuz of the sun. and it's stupid to think tht ppl with diff skin colour or diff eyes colour r stupid or not clever. i think tht ppl tht discriminate r stupid for doing tht."


I don't think it's discrimination to say that it's the weather. That could be partially true. But really it's in the genes. But, like the thing that was said about people in Russia, maybe it is, as they say, "Something in the water".




message 22: by Chels (new)

Chels | 18 comments We did that test at my school, but it was about Hitler's idea of blond people with blue eyes. Those of us with those features got special privileges and those without were forced to sit somewhere else and do certain things. I thought it was a really cool experiment.


message 23: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) Actually, the thing with eye/skin color is recent. It developed in humans within the last 100,000 years.

I'm pretty sure that Darwin's theory of evolution applies. Most likely, people born with a certain advantageous trait dealing with skin color were able to survive better in certain conditions. They then passed the trait to their offspring, and it spread, until the population of one area was dominated by that trait.


message 24: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) Chels wrote: "We did that test at my school, but it was about Hitler's idea of blond people with blue eyes. Those of us with those features got special privileges and those without were forced to sit somewhere e..."

I'm not sure how I would have responded to that kind of thing... see, I have blue eyes and light brown hair, so I probably would have been one of the people getting the special treatment. But at the same time... one of my best friends has hair and eyes that are so dark brown that they're almost black, and she's also jewish...

If I had actually been living in germany at that time I would have probably been arrested/executed for smuggling jews. :)


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

aN!! wrote: "I want to know more about people that are color blind. I know someone that is color blind, but I want to know more. I'm probably not even on topic, but I want to know more!!"

My boyfriend is color blind.


message 26: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) Oh, and I can explain the genetics of colorblindness.

A father has an X chromosome and a Y chromosome. A mother has two Xs. The gene that determines colorblindness is on the X chromosome. Colorblindness is recessive, so I'll use N for normal color sight, and n for colorblindness. If there is even one N, the child can see color.

If the mother is XN XN, then she passes the normal trait onto all of her children, regardless of gender. The father can be colorblind (Xn Y) or be normal (XN Y). If the former, his daughters will carry the trait but not be affected by it. They can pass the gene onto their children, though. A son will get the Y regardless, so it doesn't matter.

If the mother is XN Xn, then she has a 50/50 chance of passing the trait to her children. The father will give the Y chromosome to sons, so the sons have a 50/50 chance of having the colorblind gene from the mother, and being colorblind.

If the father is colorblind, the daughters will also have a 50/50 chance of being colorblind. (Xn Xn or XN Xn will be their sex chromosomes)
If he isn't colorblind then the daughters will have a 50/50 chance of being a carrier. (XN XN not carrier or XN Xn carrier)

If the mother is Xn Xn (colorblind) and the father is as well, then all of their children will be colorblind. (Xn Xn girls or Xn Y boys). If the mother is colorblind and the father is normal, the girls will be carriers (XN Xn) and the sons will be colorblind (Xn Y)

As far as how it is to be colorblind, I couldn't help you. I'm personally not. I just know about genetics. :)


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 14, 2009 11:49PM) (new)

Oh, and to add to my last comment:

Today my step dad was playing a joke and asked my boyfriend "Did you ride your bike here?"
He said -Yes.
"It isn't outside." (He was lying.)
-Yes it is.
"What color is it?"
-Green.

And then I was like: Jordan, your bike is blue.
-What! No it isn't.
"Yes it is."
-Really?
:Yeah, it's blue. You didn't know?
-The guys at the store told me it was green!
"Your parents never even told you it was blue?"
-No. Are you sure it's not green?
:I'm sure, Jordan.
-Oh..

He's had that bike for like six years and always thought it was green. Hahahahhahaa, I felt so bad for him but couldn't stop laughing.




message 28: by Chels (last edited Jun 20, 2009 03:53PM) (new)

Chels | 18 comments Roni wrote: "I'm not sure how I would have responded to that kind of thing... "

It was hard. I was one of the "chosen" ones so I got the best stuff, but many of my friends were picked on. I think I'd be helping you with the whole smuggling Jews idea, except we wouldn't get caught, of course. I call second in command!




message 29: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) *hi-fives chels* Whoohoo for saving Jews in WWII! (I rhymed twice!)


message 30: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (mirandabamboopanda) | 22 comments Count me in!


message 31: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) hah, I'd forgotten about this topic...


message 32: by Andrez (new)

Andrez (andrez-ssi) ♥EmoNeko♥ wrote: "***Wikipedia article***
Steven Armstrong was the first child to arrive to Elliot’s classroom on that day, asking why King was murdered the day before. After the rest of the class arrived, Elliot a..."


wow


message 33: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 1 comments Ninja wrote: "Gise ♥♫ wrote: "yeah i think so :) it's reality. i love blue eyes and i don't have them. the other day i was talking with a teacher tht said tht ppl who live in, idk, rusia has blue eyes and is blo..."

Ninja wrote: "Gise ♥♫ wrote: "yeah i think so :) it's reality. i love blue eyes and i don't have them. the other day i was talking with a teacher tht said tht ppl who live in, idk, rusia has blue eyes and is blo..."

i have been discriminated for a long time,i am a light green sometimes dark greenish hazel eyed woman.I am always being bullied or harassed by my co workers and i am treated differently by my co workers at work,i am good at my job than they are and have done my job longer than they have .I deal with a lot of rude people.i am married and have two daughters,My husband was the only man who treated me right and like a lady,he accepted me as a person.If i start a conversation then the person i start the conversation with talks to the other person and leaves me out of the conversation.If i stick up for myself i am made to look stupid or wrong.i have been mistreated emotionally and a little emotional abuse.i am told to suck it up.thats life i am told.My mother says i am lucky to have eyes.i agree.My young daughter has the same eye color like her mother,light greenish brown hazel eyes,and my older daughter has brown eyes like the dad has.My oldest is treated better than my youngest.how would u feel if u were treated like this.I drive,and deal with road rage ,i go the speed limit and the ppl pass me and look at me like i am crazy for going slower than the speed limit.i deal with hosility everywhere,even my psycho neighbors.how is this for feeling discrimination.i am treated diffently by ppl, i am fortunate to have a few friends besides my husband and my kids who love me.


message 34: by Anony-miss (new)

Anony-miss a-non-y-miss | 37 comments I think that it was a good idea. While it might seem harsh, it did give the children an idea as to what was going on with the discrimination during that time.


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