Sample Critical Thinking On ‘blue Eye And Brown Eye Experiment’
1. What did you learn?
One of the most important lessons learned from the video is the fact that discriminatory tendencies have the potential of causing disharmony and peaceful coexistence. The passing of Dr. Luther King infuriated the kids and was a disappointment as they saw him as a hero (Peters). The moral of the story is based on understanding the causes and impacts of discrimination. Discrimination occurs when other groups begin to feel inferior or superior to the opposite group. Another lesson learned is that discrimination has the staggering capacity of disenfranchising the groups or individuals who are inferior in the setup.
2. What scene or scenes do you think you'll still remember a month from now and why those scenes?
One of the scenes that will probably remain vivid for a month is when Jane Elliot categorizes the kids into blue and brown eyes. The strategy employed to teach the kids about discrimination is unique and credible by the teacher (Peters). This scene provides valuable lessons on how discrimination can make some groups feel superior and dominant. Jane Elliot establishes various roles for each group based on their eye discrimination, and this scene will remain vivid because of the lessons derived from it.
3. Did any part of the film surprise you?
There are a number of surprising scenes in the film, but one stands out. When Elliot asks the children questions concerning how they felt about the exercise, most of them show totally dissatisfaction with the process. Essentially, the kids, even though tender, are fundamentally opposed to discriminatory tendencies. One of the kids narrates an ordeal where some of the people are not needed in the country. The response given to the kid is shocking because it does not reflect the person of the child. The kid notes that the collar is not a good sign and wish sometimes he can remove it.
4. Do you think someone of a different race, ethnicity, or religion would also find it surprising?
Most people will find it surprising because children only become discriminatory if they are indoctrinated by ideologies that alienate other individuals. Essentially, children are not discriminatory by the adult population which is responsible for fueling the vice and passing it to the kids.
Following up on the Pre-Viewing Questions
1. How was the exercise that Elliott designed a response to the children's question, "Why would anyone want to murder Martin Luther King?" Did the film provide an answer to the question? Can you answer the question?
The film provided the answer to the question, and it is based on discriminatory behaviors. Case in point is that Martin Luther King did not do anything wrong to warrant murder; however, discriminatory tendencies and the hatred towards other groups prompted the action. Luther King suffered death because other people viewed him as a lesser being who did not belong to the society of the dominant group.
2. Census categories have changed overtime to reflect the complexities of American demographics and identities. Consider how some of the following groups experience racism differently:
a. People who are bi- or multi-racial
These individuals experience discrimination due to their physical traits. The identification of such individuals exposes them to discrimination.
b. People who have black skin, but are from very different places ( for instance, a 13th generation descendant of African slaves, a recent immigrant from Jamaica, a third generation Cuban, a political refugee from Somalia and many others).
Such individuals suffer discrimination based on the societies they come from. For instance, a person from Somali would automatically be defined by terrorism. A Cuban would probably by defined by communistic tendencies.
People of color experience discrimination through their traits and behaviors. People of color exhibit certain traits and lifestyles that fundamentally distinguish them from the rest of the groups.
Impact of Discrimination
This children’s body language indicated the negative consequences of discrimination. People who view themselves as superior view the rest with contempt making it relatively difficult to enhance positive relationships. The body language manifested discomfort and lack of positive coexistence.
2. How did the negative and positive labels placed on a group become self-fulfilling prophecies?
The individuals labels placed on the group were indicative of the issues attached to discrimination. Ideally, the labels exhibited stereotypical manifestations that are employed by various groups in pushing the other groups to the periphery.
3. In the prison seminar, one of the white women asserts that all people face some discrimination. Another woman challenges her, claiming that whites can't know what it's like to face discrimination every minute of every day. What do you think?
Both women have valid points because discrimination affects all sections of the society with each group seeking to assert dominance. Though white women face discrimination, what they go through cannot be compared with the experiences of various groups. In any case, white people have always exhibited discriminatory behaviors towards groups that are seen to be less equal such as people of color. Everyone faces some discrimination though there is a variation of the experiences.
4. Both Elliott and her former students talk about whether or not this exercise should be done with all children. What do you think?
This exercise should be done with all children; however, it is important to explain the merits and demerits of the lesson after completion. In principle, children should be taken to make them learn the importance of harmonious coexistence through the exercise (Peters). It is likely that such lessons can promote the well-being of kids through the different stages of life effectively making them improve their relationships with people who have diverse backgrounds.
5. If the exercise could be harmful to children, as Elliott suggests, what do you think actual discrimination might do?
Actual discrimination would propagate the harmful behaviors to a greater extent. Case in point is that most of the kids coexist peaceful based on mutual respect. However, they only manifest certain propensities when they are indoctrinated to believe some issues. Discrimination can affect the performance of children, how they view the society, their relationship with other people and the behavior. Discrimination just like other vices can be harmful to the kids.
Peters, William. A Class Divided. Frontline shows Divided. Web. March 30, 2015.
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