Protests are taking place everywhere in America. In many places, these protests have also been violent. The issue is racism. This issue may be centuries old but it was as relevant then as it is today. Protests have been going on in 75 cities of the United States since the death of George Floyd, a black African-American. Thousands of people are involved in these demonstrations.
George died on May 25 in Minneapolis. A policeman had his knee on his neck. George was pleading with him that he could not breathe and after that, he died. The show moved from the US to cities such as London, Berlin, and Auckland on 2 June, being named #BlackoutTuesday on social media.
“The current performance is the result of conditions created by us whites, we are suffering the consequences of our behavior. ” You cannot mistreat a clever group of people for 300 years and expect them to bear it indefinitely. ” The riots that erupted after the protests are being compared to April 4, 1968, when the famous agitator Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
It was a turning point for young Elliot then. Through an experiment, she started telling people about her prejudices about racism and the behavior of her unknowingly. After this Elliott became the world’s famous educationist and anti-racist agitator.
Blue eyes brown eyes
Elliott wanted to explain to people how racism has become a common practice in society. Elliot was a young teacher at a government middle school in rural Iowa when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
The next day when she went to school, she created an exercise for the students to tell them about racism and the damage it caused. He named this experimental exercise ‘blue eyes, brown eyes’. It was enough to convince those young children that the initial trouble starts from there when someone starts to think of themselves as superior to others in color. Elliot divided the class into two groups. One was given a brown handkerchief and was told that he was a ‘brown eyed’ team and the other was given a blue handkerchief and said that she represents a team with ‘blue eyes’.
After this, she told the class that the team with ‘brown eyes’ is a very intelligent and clean team and they should be given facilities like more playing time. Also, Elliott said that the children of the team with blue eyes spoiled everything, so if they drink water from the fountain from where the children of the brown-eyed team drink, then they have to use disposable cups so that they do not touch them.
Shocking comment by little girl
Elliot says the children’s behavior changed immediately. The children of the ‘brown-eyed’ team became very confident, degrading others and ruthless in front of the children of the ‘blue-eyed’ team. Elliot repeated the same exercise on Monday, but this time he changed roles. At the end of this test, he asked the children to comment on their experiences.
The girl named Debbie Hues said, “Children with brown eyes discriminate against blue eyes.” Debbie’s comments have been retained by the Smithsonian Institution’s website. The girl then said, “I was with the ‘brown eyes’ and I thought I could kill them whenever I wanted.” Many of Debbie’s colleagues also agreed with her.
Debbie said, “As soon as we switched roles, I felt that I would leave school. I was angry. It was how they discriminated against you.”
The experiment became famous all over the world Elliott called the experiment an ‘injection of the living virus of racism’. The exercise named ‘Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes’ gained world fame and thousands of people from different countries participated in it for many years.
In 2016 Elliot was included in the BBC’s 100 Women’s Project. However, this experiment also remained in controversy. Some called it an Orwellian experiment (after George Orwell’s description of his ideas called it disastrous for the welfare of a free and open society), which teaches itself to hate. A Denver columnist called it ‘devil’.
A simple question
However, even after this, Elliot has done some other work. One of the best examples of this is the speech recorded in a 1996 documentary titled ‘Blue Eyes’. In the auditorium full of people, Elliot asks, “I want all the white people in this room to stand up who would be happy about the way society usually treats black citizens.”
After this, a silence took place and the audience kept looking at Elliot from their chairs. She insisted, “Don’t you understand me?”
She said, “If the behavior of black people is repeated with you too, please stand up.” After a few seconds, Elliot says, “Nobody stood up.”
She said, “It clearly shows that you know what is happening and you are also aware that you do not want to let this happen to you, then why are you letting this happen to others?” She says, “Whites know that this is something that they won’t worry about until it happens to them. They don’t want to stand up or until it happens to them.”
It’s just a melanin
Elliot says that his experiment was just to show the simple way that things like racism are filled in childhood. She says, “Any blond person born and raised in America, if it is not racist, then it can only be a miracle.”
Elliot says, “Racism is a learned behavior. Nobody is born with a superior spirit. Excellence is taught and this is what we learn in this country.” According to him, America’s education system is designed to ‘maintain the myth of white supremacy at all costs’.
It is 2020, the world is trying to survive a global pandemic, this is the time when we need to stand together, fight together and win together, but it’s such a shame that even at this point of time, we are not able to accept our fellow humans, fellow citizens. Discrimination on the basis of race, skin color, discrimination based on something that comes to us naturally, from within; is the most awful and unspeakable form of cruelty. Being Black, brown, or white is not a matter of choice, it’s the result of genetic composition. Being black doesn’t mean being a criminal and being white does not give you the right to rule the world. The death of #GeorgeFloyd is a brutal example of deaths due to discrimination and no amount of apologies or clarification seem to justify this brutal murder. He is not the only black who’s been killed, there might be so many stories that don’t even make it to the internet or the news. The discriminatory laws need to be changed when the system itself is flawed; no life is safe to be it black, brown, or white. Injustice is happening in one part of the world, but it is a warning for the entire world that discrimination will only lead to destruction of lives, rights, and dreams. The vicious circle of poverty and abuse will never come to an end until the horrors of prejudice, bias, and bigotry will prevail in society. May the sacrifice of George Floyd becomes an eye-opener for the entire human race.