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A Class Divided Essay

768 words - 4 pages

It was the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, April 5th, 1968, when third grade teacher, Jane Elliott conducted her first “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise in her classroom. Just two years later, her class project went viral, and she drew national attention when ABC broadcasted her story in a documentary, Eye of the Storm. After researching Elliott further, I discovered that her simple role playing exercise surely changed her life, and this publication kick charged her equality campaign in which she continues to advocate for today by crusading throughout North America and delivering lectures about the realities of discrimination.

Jane’s special project sparked when she told ...view middle of the document...

The distinguished students then proceeded to berate the secondary students, accusing them of inferiority simply because of their eye color. This criticism led these children to inherently live down the others’ expectations of them or lack of. Powerless, the inferior students became helpless and lost their ambition, even though they had previously experienced praise for their actions and abilities. These positive occurrences hold no power and are unable to assist in diminishing their apprehension in approaching assignments. Nor when elevated to the “superior” front row of the classroom, did the child’s experiences appear to prevent them from suddenly spiting their now “inferior” peers. This also leads me to conclude that racial prejudice is a learned response. The third grade class had been manipulated by their teacher, an authority figure into accepting and behaving based on the absurd idea that one should judge others and themselves by the color of their eyes, or in real-world application, by the color of their skin. After viewing those who had been designated as an inferior act in a subordinate manner, they falsely concluded that their inadequacy was in fact caused by their only real difference, their eye color. The absence of any further information turned their teacher’s fib into fact. These concepts...

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