June 17, 2022
In the year 1968 Jane Elliot originating from Ricetown, Iowa hypothetically instilled a Sioux Indian experience to her assigned a third-grade class with a prayer, “Assist me not adjudicate a person till I have ambled in his shoes”. Nonetheless, during the period after Martin Luther King was murdered; she determined that her students required a lecture they would remember for all their life.
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The main thing that I was able to learn from this film is that the concept of discrimination is just like a culture. When a child is born, he or she is made to believe that his or her race is better than that of others. The film taught me that discrimination can be a process or something that can develop within minutes. It is possible to see people who have been great friends turning against each other in minutes. A child can grow up knowing which culture is superior and which is inferior. Therefore, the film taught me that discrimination is in the mindset of people. The film also helped me understand the intensity of discrimination. It taught me the significance of a child’s beliefs at a very tender age. I was able to know that children can internalize the concept of discrimination on the basis of race. From this movie, I learned that both adults and children have the same response to racial discrimination. Just like adults, children are also exposed to racism, and they respond similarly. I learned that people in authority can make their subjects turn on each other because of racism. I also learned that small aspects such as the color of the eye can be used to discriminate fellow human beings (Elliott et al, 2004).
The most memorable scenes from this film are when some of the children acting as the inferior race are on the playground. They huddled together looking very sad, and they could not even play with children classified as a superior race during recess. Another memorable scene is when Miss Elliot uses the actions of the inferior children to show that they are indeed bad. Such a scene made the superior children rationalize their stand on racism. Such examples helped the children from the superior race see why they are superior. Whenever she used the examples to show how bad the children from the inferior race were bad, the self-esteem of the children classified as inferior dropped further. Another memorable scene is when Miss Elliot first said that children with brown eyes were inferior. Children with brown eyes were surprised and extremely disappointed. They shrouded and slumped in their chairs. On the other hand, children with blue eyes felt empowered and better than their counterparts. It is also memorable when an adult brown-eyed man said that blue-eyed people should not be there, but he could understand that they can put up with the brown-eyed people. Finally, another memorable scene is when a blue-eyed child came to school with no glasses because they were told on the previous day that children with blue eyes are superior. He wanted everybody to see that he had blue eyes (Parry, 1966).
The most amazing part was when the children started to laugh at each other. They could even end up into physical fights simply because of the difference in eye color. I was surprised because the children initially were like brothers and sisters without any harassment. Initially they were playing together until Miss Elliot separated or divided them with an aspect of eye color. I was also surprised by the fact that despite that it was only a class experiment; the children who participated took it as actual life. This makes the film work out so well because they act as though the discrimination is real. I was also shocked to see that children who were classified as superior had more confidence than their counterparts who were classified as inferior (Peters, 1971).
Racism as portrayed in Miss Elliot’s film is not bound by disability, sexual orientation, religion or age. It is an issue that is set in mind and emphasized by people in authority or people who are influential in the society. People with disability do not come from a single race. Both the African Americans and Americans have relatives or family members who are disabled. Therefore, people with a disability will also find some of the above scenes surprising. This is because they undergo the same emotional and physical pain. Dividing them on the basis of eye color will be a surprise to them. Both the blue eyed, and brown eyed people have different sexual orientation. They interact freely with each other without considering their differences. What will be surprising to them is when someone tries to divide them on the basis of eye color. Therefore, the above surprising scenes will also surprise people with different sexual orientation. An older person may not find the above scenes surprising; this is because during their time racism was very common. There were facilities set aside for the African American and American people. Mostly, African Americans were slaves to the whites. Therefore, old people may not be surprised by the fact that blue eyed people are superior to their counterparts with brown eyes. What would be surprising to blue eyed old people is how on the second day Miss Elliot decided to overturn the events of day one. It would be surprising to see Miss Elliot telling her third grade students that people with brown eyes are superior. To them, this may not be acceptable (Parry, 1966).
Although characteristics considered being inferior occur to the people referred as minority groups, and act in a way the other people judge them on the basis on such characteristic, such exercises should not be done with all children since it might be detrimental to them. This is because when we treat others in an unjust and negative way as a result of their physical attributes such as the elderly and the disabled, the people often tend to act in that manner. For instance, when an elderly or a disabled person is considered to be inferior, he or she often feel and internalize a sense of inferiority hence they may end up developing an inferiority complex. This happens particularly to the elderly and the disabled because they often lack the physical capabilities of doing things like their fellow human beings. Furthermore, the exercise did not consider political and social changes that have occurred since the initial exercise.
The undesirable labels situated on the kids altered their cognitive presentation drastically. They accomplished a third leisurelier than usual. They collapsed their sitting posture and had scowled expressions. Their eyes became discouraged and with sadness. Themajority put their craniums on their counters and enclosed their looks using their hands. The optimistic labels had the contradictory impact and cultivated every child’s confidence. They touched a greater routine and were brighter and active than the other groups.
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The positive and negative label placed on an individual changes their cognitive performance drastically. An individual bearing the negative label performance is often slow and their faces are usually full of sadness and discouragement. Most develop a feeling of inferiority in everything they do. In contrast, those with positive label show great confidence, more performance and energy to multitask. Furthermore, they usually tend to be more excitable and active. In case of disabled persons, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy because the disabled person will often act with regard to their respective labels. For instance, when a disabled individual with a negative label is requested to perform a simple task, they often portray difficulties in remembering and following the instructions. In contrast, those with positive label tend to perform the task with a lot ease and eagerness, and are often more likely to mock the inferior individual because of their negativity. In addition, individuals with positive labels often tend to sought new creative ways of hurting the other group. In the instance where the group labeled negatively is manipulated by an authority figure into accepting their inferiority behavior on an irrational idea, they will often behave and act in an inferior manner. After a short period has elapsed, the behavior of the member of the both groups becomes oblivious. The superiority and inferiority of both positively and negatively labeled groups seems to be normal particularly in the nonexistence of any substantiation to disapprove that myth (Elliott, 2003).
The dimensions of diversity may be either hidden or visible, in a constant state of flux or in a state that cannot be easily defined. Hidden dimension of diversity forms the innate aspects of a person that a person has no control such as age and gender. For instance, an individual cannot influence his/her age or the color of the eye. Diversity can also be visible in terms of personality and individual dislikes and likes, values, beliefs and races. This dimension normally forms a division between people and forms the core of the many diversity efforts. In addition, this dimension includes race and gender that is often the first things we see in other people. Diversity can also be viewed as being in the state of constant flux. This includes aspects of our lives that we have a complete control over, and the one that changes over time. In addition, such aspects normally emanate from the decision made, pertain the work style and the career. This dimension reflects much about who we often like being with, and usually influences decisions made during hiring and promotion. In some instances, diversity is usually not clearly defined. This usually includes the aspect of the culture and settings in which an individual lives. The instances of preferential treatment and opportunities for development and promotion are often evident in dimension of culture.