The Angry Eye -Jane Elliott Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of their racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. Jane Elliott decided to use role-play a situation portraying the discrimination that a person of different colour would be constantly exposed to in day-to-day life. The Angry Eye is a provoking documentary of a diversity training session conducted by Jane Elliot on a college campus. On this video it was clear that Jane Elliot wasn’t just any ordinary diversity trainer.
Her participants generally begin learning about diversity from the moment they walk into the training centre. As soon as everyone assembles, the lesson of appreciating differences begins. Jane Elliot is rude to all the blue-eyed participants and puts collars on them. Then the participants are separated into two rooms. One of the rooms has chairs for all of them and the other has three chairs for 12 people. When the blue-eyed people come into the main room, Elliot instructs them to sit in the middle of the room and some even on the floor.
There were several charts on the walls denigrating people with blue eyes such as “Only brown eyes need apply” and “Why can’t a blue eye be more like a brown? ” The brown-eyes have been instructed beforehand to treat the blue-eyes as inferior. Elliot tells them that blue-eyed participants are not as smart or clean and they should lower the expectations. Jane Elliot even mentions: White people’s number one freedom in the United States is the freedom to be totally ignorant about those who are other than white and we don’t have to learn about those who are other than white.
And the number two freedom is to deny that we are ignorant. Jane asserts that whites make laws to support and reinforce white supremacy and that those laws are changed only when nonwhites become aware of their effects. Tension fills the air. Then Elliot talks about the poor treatment of people who are different. She gives examples of James Byrd and Matthew Shepard. Two blue-eyed participants cry in class from the stress in this experiment. Jane relates this to the harsh treatment that the people of colour experience on a daily basis.
She doesn’t apologise for her strategy. Racism, she says, is not nice. The white participants can leave the exercise and go back to a safe environment; but the people of colour don’t have that choice. Jane Elliot consistently creates microcosms of society in her classrooms. People are stressed to the point where they begin to experience the racism that many experience on a daily basis. You cannot watch this video without having an emotional response.
Before watching this documentary I thought the discrimination in America wasn’t harsh and I didn’t really understand how black people would have felt when they were being separated and made outcastes. This documentary by Jane Elliott really gave me a short but detailed insight of what black people had to endure over the years in America. Discrimination still happens to the black people to this day and I look up to Jane Elliott for having the determination to change the world and free all people from discrimination of any nature especially racism.