Blue eye, brown eye, eye opening.

Keith F Thompson,
Brookline, NH.

Growing up as a white male in generally liberal surroundings, I assumed so much. I assumed I knew what racism looked like, and I assumed I would never witness it firsthand.Seeing the Oprah Winfrey Show do the Blue Eye/Brown Eye experiment on their audience was very revealng to me. Overt racism may be dying, but subtle, everyday slights have flooded into the vacuum
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Then I moved from all-white New Hampshire to greater Los Angeles, and I saw minorities treated differently all the time. By police, by banks, by retail personnel, by landlords.

It’s not always about Confederate Flags and hoods. It’s about the pettiness required to denh even the smallest courtesy, to make the slightest accomodation.

As demonstrated by the Blue Eye/Brown Eye Experiment, minorities endure a thousand small cuts every day, with a general grace and strength. Subjected to the same slights, people used to privelage notice their abscence quickly and will not stand for it.

It’s not about demonizing people,it’s about asking everyone to be thoughtful, to be kind, and to consider others in our actions.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • barry irving

    …the thousand small cuts are like signs and symbols…you have to be confident and a keen observer to notice them. They are ingrained into the White population by intentional and unintentional practice>defined and absorbed over time! It’s like a vicious safeguard that attempts to savage and intimidate a population subconsciously.

    …Life is real mean when people fear out of ignorance. Ignorance is a broad category of willful and passive behavior. We don’t all respond to it and for those who see, it clarifies life and leaves no doubt about the complexity of Racism or how we need to respond to it based on our prerogatives and ambitions!

    • michele

      Too many people believe that racism and prejudice are a figment of a minority’s imagination(imshrrj2014)

  • michele

    I saw the same “exercise”. It was very eye opening and very real. Jane Elliott tapped into the fact that prejudice and racism is very real and when oppressed people of ANY color endure constant oppression they RE-ACT to it in the same manner. Read a book called “Black like Me” by Howard Griffin. You may be familiar with it, but it gives a sobering account of the maltreatment Negros. Griffin lived under the guise of being a Black man in the south during the 1950’s. He wanted to see for himself what life was like to be a Negro and if it was really that bad. His awakening was RUDE. Another young man by the name of Joshua Solomon attempted the same experiment in the 90’s but was not so successful.

 

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