A Class Divided

A Class Divided

1985, Psychology  -   111 Comments
Ratings: 8.37/10 from 374 users.

Elliott divided her class by eye color -- those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.

Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.

On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.

On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

Directed by: William Peters

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111 Comments / User Reviews

  1. I think she should explained to these kids is that blacks are called names because of the way the ACT not their color of the skin. ACT like a decent person and blacks will not be talked about.

    1. ._. It's 2021 and you're still racist? That's awful. I hope you learn differently soon.

    2. Your actions show that you are close minded and very misinformed! Someone needs to explain to you that YOU are an id**t based on your words. As a matter of fact ACT like a decent person and YOU will not be talked about. I hope you find peace within yourself soon.

    3. this comment is so embarassing

    4. I think you missed the point there, Susan.

    5. You so racist. Grow up and deal with the fact that we’re not going anywhere

  2. I have watched this documentary easily over 50 times now. I've watched it multiple times every year I've been in school and every year afterwards. It does not compare to the discrimination that people of colour endure on a daily basis, but it can help put into perspective how much worse peoples lives could be if they had to not only worry about the things that they do on a daily basis but also worry about the colour of their skin and how other people would react all at the same time. People can't choose the colour of their skin just like we can't choose if we need oxygen. We need to not only teach the children, but we must also inform every single person on the planet the power that discrimination has. If we rid prejudice from adults first, then children should naturally be born without it. We have a duty to the people that come after us, to leave them a safe, inclusive, world to live in. 

  3. I really like the film. She deserves an award for doing her job with love and teaching her students to love everyone

  4. I've lived with being different most of my life; due to disabilities. While I think this was a brilliant teaching tool; it pained me to watch it; so I didn't even make it through the 1st 'day'.

  5. This woman was BRILLIANT !

  6. When a person hears the word prejudice, he or she might think it only refers to the racial prejudice often found between those with light skin and those with dark skin. However, prejudice runs much deeper than a person’s color. Prejudice is found between gender, religion, cultural and geographical background, and race. People have discriminated against others based upon these attributes from the beginning of time. Prejudice has become a complex problem in our society today and much of our world’s history is based upon such hatred.

    If everyone in this world had respect for one another, we would live in peace and be able to let others believe in what they wish and accept that everyone is different. I believe it all comes down to parents teaching their children right from wrong in our world and raising them in an environment that is centered around acceptance of different ways of life and cultures of people. If we all teach our children and change our ways, sometime in our future we will be closer to accepting that a man’s character is based upon the content of his soul, not his religion, gender, ethnicity, or the color of his skin.

  7. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his/her piont of view-
    until you climb into there skin and walk around in it". from To Kill A Mockingbird

    Translation: it requires great courage to try on the proverbial shoes of others, to try to walk around in there skin. its difficult but important to try to empathize across the barriers of sex, class, race, and religion.

    1. Thanks for translating this for us inferiors. Too bad Harper Lee didn't have your superior editing skills when she wrote the book.

  8. Now you understand why Trump wants to end PBS. Might lead to documentaries like this...

    1. now you understand why trumps not president anymore :)

  9. I think she should add a ginger to see if it changes the experiment ...

    1. I agree! I'm a redhead and I faced a lot of cruelty and discrimination just because of my hair color.

  10. Well Mattg , so yes the children were encouraged to answer a certain way and yes Jane Elliot (for the sake of this argument) was extreme and unkind to the young minds and hearts that were placed trustingly in her care... i guess the average privilaged person who grows up feeling privilaged is left to organically decide to be racist and privilleged with only the most subtle and loving urges... you obviously have yet to make an unbiased and more thorough analysis of the experiment and the real world.

  11. Listen people, these are children with undeveloped brains, if you can relate so well in your suffering philosophies then that is a personal problem that you are rooted in, quit pretending that you are sooo controlled, that in itself is what is controlling you.... you are a grown adult that is free, quit running around feeding off your own dreamscapes.

    1. Whatever you are smoking, you need to stop now.

  12. @LadyG0726

    It is obvious that you are so caught up in your self that you never have bothered to see that you are free..... you are now a slave to your own philosophies.... you keep yourself "in place."

  13. The experiment spoke to me much more profoundly than a racial divide. It'll it was more about on such a short amount of time.. They crushed the self esteem and character of the child. Imagine on a daily basis year after year of hearing how I wish you were never born etc . Can take many many years of undoing as an adult. To me.. I never saw this as a racial issue.

  14. First of all the contributory nexus for creating this experiment was the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the day previous. This experiment works on adults and children to this day, as Dr. Elliot has now performed this same experiment internationally. It, in my opinion, is how we need to train our law enforcement and persons of authority. Oprah Winfrey performed a similar experiment by having a sort of Invisible Man theme, where a caucasian young man was made to take pigment enhancing medication and wear contacts to see how Blacks were treated. As such, he got to interact with former friends and neighbors who did not know who he was thus clearly exhibiting their racism towards him. He could not take it psychologically. After four days, he needed to quit. His neighbors that were cordial to him called him racial slurs. He never noticed the slurs and disparaging speech they used towards other races before he was another race.

    Sadly, until we walk in the shoes of another, we can not truly empathize and understand the individual's journey. Thankfully, we still have Dr. Elliot. She performs this same experiment on those who believe that the Civil Rights struggle should be inclusive of equal rights for sexual equality. She shows how the two struggles are not the same, as Blacks continue to see desparity and inequality daily. As Blacks start each and every struggle, other groups that attach their own separate agendas to the Black Civil Rights struggle, see their individual struggles addressed more easily and more easily than those that originally started the Civil Rights Movement, the African American. Same-sex relationships are more accepted in society. To say or show otherwise, constitutes a "hate crime." To make anti-Semitic statements, even even in jest, is considered a "hate crime," yet shooting Blacks in their backs is not. Following a young man carrying nothing more than a bag of Skittles and an iced tea to hunt and murder that young man is not considered a hate crime, but an act of self defense. Even when the young man was clearly stalked like an animal of prey before his death. Paula Deen admits to having used the "n" word when asked, but was never heard to say it. Her career took a sharp turn, but not a terminal turn. Justin Bieber was clearly heard saying the word repeatedly and yet he was allowed to say an insincere "mea culpa" and move on with his life. Both careers should have ended the same way. It proves Black lives only matter as a slogan, not as a matter of fact. It would be quite lovely if the society that enjoys the culture of the African American could clearly love the people from which the rich culture emanates. For without that culture, America could not claim Jazz as its only musical contribution to the world. Nor would it be able to claim Country (which is merely blues), R&B, Hip-Hop, Rap, Soul. I could go on infinitum and never even scratch the surface. Instead, society chooses to state that the cultural gifts that African Americans, African descendants bring belong to everyone. Yet, those that it truly belongs to are not the ones to advantageously monetize that culture. Making a profit from the culture and the possibility of making money belongs to everyone, but not the culture.

    Sadly, Blacks do not learn from history, yet they continually repeat it. Once released from slavery, the promised 40 acres and a mule, never manifested. We continue to seek the favor of those that oppress us by allowing them to imitate, emulate and recreate our culture for their own gain daily, thus creating our own future obselescence. The writing is clearly on the wall. Let's not forget the Macklemore debacle where a white group took all of the honors for hip hop and the cultural descendants of those to whom the culture belongs were, well, honestly, shafted.

    This wil continue to happen. When history is finally written in the end, Blacks will not be the creators, but whites will list themselves as the creators of our history. Yet again, we will be cheated of our heritage and legacy. It is like the plantation. The Blacks create the product and the whites get paid from the fruits of our labor. We see it every day when we watch shows like TMZ. The entire staff of young whites copying and emulating every rich cultural expression and making it lame. They even go so far as to laugh at the Black staffers that lack full and proper command of grammar. Again, that lack of grammar (education) as a result of racism manifested in educational systems not meant to embrace, but to defame and/or bastardize the non-Eurocentric vantage point.

    Yes, Dr. Elliot continues to shed a light in this dark world. I hope that we are not so blind that we fail to see. Worldwide, her methodologies continue to change lives. I am waiting for the day we learn to use it for all to grow up. By the way, the children in the original April 5, 1968 1968 speak of how it has made them better people to this day. Now that is how education is supposed to be--lifelong and profound.

  15. This shouldn't surprise anyone who has studied the history of US schools. Horace Mann created the American public school system, modeled after that created by Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick wanted obedient subjects and he got them.

    And the rich who financed Mann wanted the same. And they got it.

    More than anything else, school teaches a child two things -- to obey authority and to believe authority.

    Both play an enormous role in controlling the masses. And the more education a person gets, the more obedient to and believing in authority.

    So in the upper classes which contain the highest level of educated people, everyone believes absolutely in their own superiority and the merit of their position.

    School, especially higher education, teaches smart people how to control and abuse the "lesser" people.

    In a decent society the smart and strong would help the weak. But we don't live there.

  16. i like what the women says (50 min)

  17. wow...i'm sure japanese or chinese kids woul;d have been much smarter than that, and would have stuck up for each other against the teacher

  18. I wanted to scream in righteous satisfaction of this person's efforts, and in rage at the current system holding back something so sensible... The win-win situation is so easily perceived, yet a--holes choose win-lose domination.

    The people on top prevent this all out of conflict of interest, gain, lack of introspection. It is precisely the lack of this understanding and exercise that the people on top not rolling this kind of teaching out are doing exactly that.

  19. can someone be nice enough to answer them for me?

  20. i have a few questions about this experiment

  21. I think several years ago John Stossel (I think that's who it was) did a documentary on how boys are called on more than girls in school. The teachers do it subconsciously.

  22. Very Powerful Doc. !

    1. what is the purpose of this documentary? if you dont mind me asking

    2. It clearly shows that Collectivism is taught just like Individualism is. The purpose is to illustrate that if a free society's aim is to be harmonious and without animosity or any other effect of negativity that you can create, then the goal to attain would be best suited for a philosophy of Individualism.

  23. great documentary!

  24. may god bless the world. this is very powerful and this exercise should still be done in many places around the would.

  25. Isn't it sad that i think that this exercise should still be done in many places around the globe?

  26. When i meet people who seem racist or comes from familys where parents have told you (and media) that black do more bad stuff, i always ask "what if we all got the same skin color, oke? who is the bad guy? how do you sort out now? i think its the fear, easier to point fingers telling, hey its because he is black, hey its because he got a mental illness, people get a shock as soon they tell "he was a normally family guy" then you cant point fingers, damn what do we do then?
    I got a mental illness, that learned me to think about racism, how awfull it is to hear in news when they point out "a black person (then the crime", they never say "a white person (then the crime" why is that?
    I begin feeling victim, and its hard to accept and realized how evil some can be and how judgin.
    Mental ill is dangerous, that you hear from media and movies.
    Interesting enough, I lost friends i always known, when i got diagnosed and told them about it.
    Now its so important for me to step up and open peoples eyes here. Before i got the diagnosis, i listen to news and pointed fingers aswell, it learned me so much, im happy about that, ofc also hard that im now aswell so much stigmatized, its horible feeling.
    But i feel a better person today :)

  27. what about green eyed people??

    1. gray too!

    2. We're above it all ;)

  28. Similar experiments like this have been carried out with similar results. I remember reading about one, when they had a bunch of people, split the group in two, had one bunch be the prisoners, the other bunch be the guards. I think it was after something like 4 days or so they had to stop the experiement. Something similar happened a fair few years ago, but this was televised. It was on the BBC or channel 4 called The Experiment. That too had to be cancelled after so many days. Just placing someone in an environment is enough to have them act like the environment dictates.

    1. imagin OVER 400YRS IN THT ENVIRONEMENT, is either blacks r the most FORGIVING OR THE STRONGEST race MENTALLY, IF WE ARE SOULLY RESPONSIBIE FOR what've bcom NOW, YALL cant have it boths ways, oh right it's YOUR GAME YOUR RULES, U win! if not then lightskin folks should stop talk crazy to us, cause if it was them, they would've KILLED US IN OUR SLEEP, THE BABBIES TO.. but we're well trained my masters, jus gave us back the black family, ( """""1 love everybody sing it 1LOVE!"""""...) HOW's tht working out for blackwomen?? start promoting blackskin couples, not the darkman & the light woman, thts leave out the hand tht rocks the cCRIBE, LISTEN yall will never evr get blackmen to stop BREED WIT blackskin women, WE GOT HIS BACK FOR 20,000YRS NW, BUT they can effect our VALUE TO blackmen, so wat is ah wel educated, well off lonely blackwoman to teach her kids????,y they dont have a daddy, in the next to generations if Lightskin FOLKS DONT CHANGE? thenWAT?!

    2. ever wonder what that red zaggy line is under all those words?

    3. So, in short, you didn't learn anything from watching this film.

  29. Excellent teacher.

  30. Unfortunately, this is shoddy science that has never been reproduced in any peer-reviewed research. The test itself has no predictive value and is susceptible to manipulation by the test giver which is precisely what we see in this film. Elliot not so subtley helps and hinders the children's responses in accordance with the results she wants to hear. There is a reason why this kind of flashcard nonsense is not the way that tests with the greatest correlations with future academic achievement are done.

    Shoddy, feel-good, self-serving nonsense.

    1. Well, Mr. Scientist! This is only a sample of how people plant racism in children's minds. The fact is that racist parents raise racist children. Some children become racist because of ethnic identity, compliance, peer pressure, interests, profits, benefits, status and so on. Others learn through training like hItler's youth. Others simple adopt racism as a way of survival. They are losers and are left only with the white card and they use it to put others down, just like the majority of neo-nazis and white supremacists today. I know you dismissed it because you are not sure how you feel!

    2. I think that is the point Elliot was trying to make.. the idea of discrimination creating an emotional effect on another person.

    3. u jus dont get it do u? the fact tht u cry unfair unfair, aftr jus seeing, this, or watchin white folks, be under pressure for a day? think abt ovr 400yrs of tht??? if a free human, fines it unfair, to bare for `1day, y keep askin me a blackwoman, to forget abt my constant hurt, yall gave us??? and stop talkin abt us like, yall can see us... this test upsets white folks, bcus if it was, yall under PRESSURE, yall would've killed us in our sleep, yall fear we want revenge, but NVR EVR considered, tht all we really want is a fair shot, at human dignity, the test nor the tester is THE F N issue! wat ws it purpose, to teach white folks wat it'S like being black in your world, an all watching finally understood wat being black is like, yall could've done it from a cow's /black ponit of view, then yall would've been like, ""SAVE THE COWS""", I GET IT NOW???? "" BUT I ONLY WENT TO SCHOOL FOR A COUPLE OF TERMS, WHAT THE F%#@K! DO MY DUMB BLACK ASS KNOWS??? ONLY wat yall thought meh, nothing mor or less....

    4. This is a great test that could be shown to represent bigotry of any fashion. However, it does a poor job at showing anything inherent in human beings regarding any racism or bigotry.

      It does, though, definitely show us the response people have to an authority figure. This was more indicative of the effects that happen when people perceive an individual as an authority figure and will not speak out. The adults in the second half of the show who were in the Brown-eyed group stated it themselves, only that they were relieved to have had the right eye color.

      All the discussions surrounding this seem to be regarding race, while there is a factor at play in the issue of race, it makes much more of a statement against Authoritarianism. This is far more representative of how people come to hold bigoted beliefs of any stature, rather than a discussion on any specific issue of bigotry.

      A great experiment, and incredibly useful, in my opinion. Not, however, indicative of what they say it is, although you may believe it to be because a man on a TV screen with a microphone told you as such!

  31. I saw this years ago. It is still very powerful to me.

  32. this movie was beautiful and i feel that i grew as a person and learned alot by watching it. Imagine black people were intelligent and motivated enough to enjoy this type of thing, we could all watch it together and really learn alot

    1. I'm black and I enjoyed it . when I was in the third grade the teacher told us black people were slaves that's it nothing about whether it was right or wrong it made me and the 3 other black kids feel like **** and everything that went wrong for us we felt was because we were black . needless to say friendships were made and lost accordingly .

    2. your comment raises the thought about how teaching a history lesson can create an emotional response in people, like feeling inferior (or superior) to others.. or just feeling hopeless or some other hurt or sad feeling. I wonder if part of teaching about the history of slavery should include some kind of preface about how it can make people feel.. and/or offering people who have feelings that are troubling them, after receiving the information, a place to go or people to talk to about their feelings.. a kind of debriefing?

    3. granted this was back in either 1959 or 1960 before grief counselors and school nurses . No one bothered to ask me why I had a chip on my shoulder from then on

    4. so you would've been btr off not learning the truth? so u wouldve rather blame your mother & father? thts is y blacks true history isnt teached in schools, on a personal level, white america, feels it's only ah black issue, but being made to feel wat others may feel, is a bad thing???????? get 1 black spokesman, saying anything mean or slightly harsh to LIGHTSKIN FOLKS, & SEE HOW MUCH SUPPORT THEY GET FROM BLACKS, BUT WE all feel unworthy evryday we raise, as we fight to prove we're WORTHY, OFF RESPECT......... THOSE THT SCREAM an those tht conform quitely, still losing daily, how free can we be white masters?, this free, or tht free??? pls tel us lightskin folks created in god's beautiful lightskin image, pls tell us how to defend against yalll inner peaceful way white gods please, tell uss....

    5. the blue eyes tht were under pressure, do you think, they felt like every thing tht went wrong was because off there BLUE EYES/blackskin ? SO WAT THE HELL IS YOUR POINT??

    6. "Imagine black people were intelligent and motivated enough to enjoy this type of thing" ... What is that supposed to mean, please? I am very confused, especially since you received 4 likes, because that sounds rather discriminatory towards black people. Although Wheelnut53 responded and did not seem offended, maybe I am too sensitive. But I would love a clarification for my own satisfaction. I can only hope you were joking, but some indication of that might be necessary to clear up any confusion.

    7. clearly, it was a joke :)

    8. I'm sensitive, fair enough! lol
      I made that comment before I watched the film because I like to get a sense of what people think -- so part way through I started to realize that maybe you were joking, and I edited my comment to add that part in. Boy is my face red, sorry about that :D

    9. haa haa haa! yes everything i have experience was not bcus of my skin color milk/chocolate, jus tht am unevolved, it's time i stop blaming white folks for there unjust system, an pick my self up for my boot laces, haaa haa haa he ah comedian what else he's black ent? tht mofo ment it, ha ha ha.????..., yall real lucky as a blackwoman i would rather, curse yall asses out, then forget abt yall, than hitting yall wit ah bottle to the face, yall aint got no laws tht i kno off tht, says i cant curse yall out as loud as i can, then walk away, cause i kno we cant hit, so we curse yall out an move on, thts y at THIS POINT WE DONT WANNA MURDER YALL, JUS have a hearing!!! if white folks would jus listen!!!!!!!!!!!!! we'll feel heard, we dont wanna keep on being demonize, but dammmmmmmmmmn! even yall gods say, at some point, i had enough of this BS lets.. yall dont hav to gave up yall wealth, jus some off yall power, an your'll well trained mental slaves will forgave, we wanna MOVE ON soo bad but yall wouldnt lets us, show us 1 act of good faith, gave us BACK THE BLACK FAMILY, & THE CHANCE TO HAVE THE POWER YOU HAVE, BY MERIT, not submission... stop DEMEAN THE BLACK FAMILY OR BLACK LOVE, AND WE'LL KEEP TEACHING OR KIDS TO FORGAVE U, as a measure ur own self rightous goodness, " WELL WE NEED SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN, DONT WE"?? yall got white god, i got the white god u gave me, aftr u took minds, IMAGIN, EVERYTIME I THINK OFF GOD THE CREATOR I ALWAYS SEE A WHITEMAN , evn knowning a little of my history i still , pray too a WHITEGOD IN THE DARK, hmmmm yall got us real good, soo stop worry abt we seeking REVENGE, ON OUR GOD'S CHILDREN???? IMPOSSIBLE!, NOT now anyway maybe a generation or 2 mre off yall ,demonizing off THE blackfamily will do it, but not NOW, SO LEARN NOW OR FEEL IT LATER, TELL YOUR KIDS to leave folks alone, they need time to rebuild their families, Find Another Way To Rebel, my child, just give black folks time to reBUILD,.. our sSELF WORTH PEEEEeeeeaaaaassssseee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    10. BLUE EYES, OPPRESS 1, WAT D HELL BLACK FOLKS GOTTA WATCH AN LEARN ABT HOW yal make us feel evryday??? we getting it from all lightskin folks now!, those tht R lighter skin ,gave off the same smell, off BLACK GET BACK AS WHITES DO, & LETS not get into yall marketing campaign, off trillions of $$$ well spent to hav it so, remember wen the blue eyes started to rebel? many was against rebellion, wat was said abt them, tht they cant act, intelligently, motivated? haa haa YOU'VE KILL ALL WHO WAS MOTIVATED & DEMONIZE THE REST, Till we kno bttr now, you gotta learn tht bcus you lightskin,think tht u're the best human kind has to offer , wit only 1or 2 browns you choose to let in,,, only EXPERIENCES LIKE THIS WILL EVR TEACH YALL ANYTHING, BLACKS SHOULD START KIDNAPING WHITE FOLKS OFF TO THESE LECTURES.... PLS LEARN NOW, BCUS IN ABT 2MRE GENERATIONS, BLACK EDUCATED MOTHERS will TEACH THEIR KIDS, THEIR HISTORY, PLUS HOW TO PLAY THE GAME, keep demonizing the BLAckwoman to her MEN, let these educated women end up alone an demonized, wit her smart money scenes, i wonder wat she's gonna be made to teach her kids, jus to survive as a race? but yall thought of tht too, start telling her, theres no goood BLACKMEN FOR HER, ENCOURAGE, TO BREED OUTSIDE HER RACE, NO GOOD BLACKMEN FOR HER.......... YALL BANKING ON BLACKWOMEN GROWING TO HATE BLACKMEN, ONLY WAY OUT FOR YALL IS TO STOP OR BREED US OUT....

  33. I was speechless. I have been living through this discrimination, not by color of eyes but by faith in my country in Indonesia. I'm a teacher and thinking is there anything I could do to help my students growing into a more fair and impartial society. It is really an inspiring experiment.

  34. one of my favorites, for sure, 5 stars...

  35. as excruciating as this is to watch, its a lesson that should be taught to everyone...at a young age. So that we can utterly destroy discrimination, injustices, elitism, inequality...social darwinism...

  36. Reminds me of the book, The Wave, based on a true story of a similar experiment.

    1. I think they made a children's after school TV show based on that.

    2. Yes... it was called The Wave (which was also based on a true life California experiment). It was a HUGELY revealing film on how Hitler's Germany came to be. We all think it can't happen again or here. But those who say that are doomed to repeat it. This & the film The Wave are proof.

  37. soooooooooo excellent!!!! God bless all! WE ARE ALL ONE HEART ONE LOVE!!All beloved ANGELS support all these teachers who educate our precious children to know the equalness of all , and only judge oneself and others on our own actions and behavior towards mankind! oneheart

    1. You're wrong about everything you say in that comment.
      1. There's no god to bless us.
      2. We're not all one heart one love... you've completely misunderstood the meaning of the experiments' result: that it's the situation that defines what's right or wrong, if you were told that you were superior to others and were treated as such, then you would almost certainly feel and think you WERE superior to others. In other words, we LIKE to think that we are all equal, but in actuality were slaves to the circumstances, which all of reality is... so, yeah, equality is sort of like world peace, a nifty and cute idea, but no one but a naive child or self-righteous douches are arrogant enough to place themselves under the sugar-coated rainbow of a infantile concept like that.

    2. Well, except for most of humanity living in egalitarian hunter gatherer bands for 99% of human history. Equality isn't an infantile concept, it has been the basis of human social life for most of our extistence. Try reading a little about anthropology and paleo archaeology before shooting off at the mouth.

      If it's truely the situation that defines what's right or wrong, then a situation where people treat each other fairly and equaly would be defined as right. Contra your contention that equality is somehow infantile and false, whereas hierarchy is more "real".

  38. what was the precursor to jane elliot remarkable lesson?

    1. MLK Jr's assassination the day before

  39. Thank you so much for that brilliant documentary!

    1. .

  40. Wonder what the U.S. today would be like if this was done in every school? hmm.

  41. Great documentary!! Shows how easily thoguhts and hatred can be brought into someone's life. As is pointed out, this applies to racism, however it also applies to any other aspect of our lives. Who hasn't know of a child's thoughts altered to fit the adult's explination? Makes you question the true start of your religious affiliations...

  42. This is actually illegal to run a copy of this copyrighted video program online.

    We can all be concerned about racism. But what about theft?

    1. Seriously Shasta? Are you more concerned about theft over racism? Are you going to call the police, and have them trace IP addresses? Or will we get some moral preaching about how us viewers are screwing over PBS by not purchasing the DVD?

    2. There is such a thing as a "fair use" doctrine. In my mind that means, if you make it and it contains an opinion. It's only fair I get to see it for free.

      Specious, I realize, but try to refute it.

  43. I wonder what kind of future political correctness will forge??

  44. Rachel, green eyes went in the "blue" eye group.

    1. Interestingly.. there were no blind people.. people born without eyes.. they wud be the true outlaws I suppose.

    2. What about us that are hetero-chromatic (2 different colored eyes)?

  45. It is an extraordinary excellent documentary. I strongly believe that the essence of all kinds of injustices is discrimination. You could see that it is all around the world

    If discrimination will be remove from our life , we will see he peace around the world,

  46. personally I think this experiment should be conducted in all elementary schools...

  47. This documentary is so good with best material....

  48. I didn't think the teacher would be able to pull the same stunt with adults, so was surprised at how well she acted with the prison staff so much so that she was getting some of them really pissed off. A great experiment, though as she herself said, hopefully one day we won't need such a test.

  49. fascinating! what a brave and innovative teacher, good doc.

  50. What about the ones with green eyes?

    1. and/or people of mixed eye color.. Which is similar to biracial people passing as white.. Or it even could be, in this case, someone where colored contact lenses to change their eye color??

  51. so thanks for making this documentary available!

  52. Excellent documentary! NZers should watch this because of that Paul Henry situation in the media getting a bit out of control. Discrimination of all sorts is everywhere, even in a small country like NZ. I sometimes read people's comments saying that there is just too much political correction going on, and that Paul Henry having a laugh at a non-white's surname wasn't a big deal. I am not entirely certain if, in Paul Henry's mind, he really hate Indians and minorities in general, or he's just really laughing his ass off. Although his other comments regarding Indians did made him sound a bit discriminatory. Although I am not Indian, I still felt deeply offended by it and suddenly found myself hating the white tv presenter, even though deep down I really don't. I do think the person's surname sounds funny (dikshit - pronounced dixit), but I don't have anything against India, I actually love that place!
    If he laughed at a fellow white's surname, I don't think I would be that affected. It just shows how strongly we group ourselves against those whose colours or beliefs are not the same as ours, thinking that they hate us. As a child, I really never cared about this, until we had a Muslim boy in our Christian school and when I met a white man with green eyes for the first time. I was super curious, but not jealous or resentful. I thought "wow, green eyes...awesome!" and the Muslim boy turned out to be a fun person to hang around with! Nothing wrong with practising Christianity or Islam, as long as you don't judge people based on their beliefs. Even feminists shouldn't put down men so much. We should celebrate and respect one another's differences. Hate is hate, no matter what you call it.

    1. You're a prime example of political correctness gone wrong.
      He was laughing at the Indian guys name because it was humurous, it sounded like something obscene in his own language.
      By your logic, the Indian guy laguhing at my aunts name in the customs in India, was laughing at it because it's a European name,and not simply by the fact that my aunts name sounds like the word for whore/slut in Hindi.

      In fact, having this attitude is a double-standard, because you're automatically assuming that the white guy is doing something out of ignorance and cruelty.

      It's sort of like being a pacifist, and wish for all the war-mongering non-pacifists to die a gruesome and horrible death for not believing in peaceful solutions.

  53. In response to Kamille's comment about being sensitive to children, is there any possibility that once exposed to the taste of domination, the kids would later on pursue a goal of regaining that feeling of "power"? Not through eye color, of course, but perhaps in a more subtle and subconscious (even to them) way?

    1. Elliot mentions how she thinks this kind of experiment can do good.. and/or harm to children.. I think that is important to remember too.. I suppose an adult could better process and be debriefed after the program.

  54. Thank you so much for making this documentary available. Two years ago, I made a conscious decision to always stimulate and strengthen my mind. I immediately stopped watching television, since it did the opposite, and now only seek propitious alternatives. If you are thinking of passing on this documentary, please don't. It expanded my mind in ways I cannot even begin to describe. Jane Elliott is a trailblazer.

  55. Really good documentary on a really good experiment :)

  56. very touching

  57. I think one of the most useful things this experiment showed is HOW people become prejudiced, and how easily. We all, even nice, educated, evolved adults who want to be open-minded and fair to everyone, have in us the potential to become prejudiced when certain factors combine. In the field of social psychology there is a whole area of research on prejudice and stereotypes. One of the coolest of these researchers is Vicki Esses, who is a professor in the University of Western Ontario's social psychology graduate program.

    I believe that the more we know about the factors that cause nice people to become prejudiced, the better we'll be able to resist their effects.

    Two other great studies that show how easily ordinary, nice people become less humane, are Zimbardo's prison study, and the Harvard authority study (where experimenters dressed like doctors and told people to administer painful electric shocks to other people).

    It's one thing to watch movies (i.e., Hotel Rwanda) and video's about prejudice and other atrocious behaviors and feel outraged by the actions of "bad people." What's harder and more important is to understand how good people (ourselves included) are not immune to behaving like bad people, and to know how to resist this under any circumstances.

  58. This documentary is actually incredible. It's really interesting how the adults behave worse than the children.

  59. performing this in elementary schools is a good idea, but you have to be very careful and sensitive to the children as it could harm some of their self-esteems if they already have self-esteem issues (although this is how you get them to understand).

  60. My teacher used this in school on my class, and also tryed the experiment. I think it is an excellent Idea. And it has taught me well.

  61. Immense

    Much better than the other version 'how racist are you?'

    Jane Elliot A* Excellent

  62. Agreed Sam!!
    One day of being talked down to, and having privileges taken away affected these kids performance and self-perception! Now take what this teacher did in her class and apply it to our social systems. Racism, discrimination, prejudice is everywhere!!!
    I'm white and I'm privilged---I absolutely recognize that! Racism has become so entrenched within our society it has become the norm--it isn't challenged--the media, our social institutions absolutely promote it--it's so disgusting and alarming--because we can't even recognize it anymore!
    I am part of the dominant group---and we maintain our white supremacy by doing exactly what this teacher did to the kids---and the kids believed it---they believed that they weren't good enough. She did it based on eye color, we do it based on skin color--the end result is the always the same--one group reaps the benefits and the other group is left with the scarce resources and the reprecussions of being seen as 'less.'
    We see it time after time---the white person gets hired over the black person, the crimes white people committ recieve lesser jail sentences than the one's minority groups committ, and the media---oh the media--perpetuating these stereotypes!! It's soooo frustrating---I see it everywhere--and I can't change the system. But at least I can go to bed at night--knowing that I don't live in a bubble of ignorance! This film was produced in the 60's--and it shows exactly what we're seeing today.

  63. This is about so much more than racism, this translates into every kind of discrimination. This experiment shows how stupid it is to have grades in school, talk down to kids, diagnose people as sick, as criminals, as sinners, creating a society based on competition or authority, etc.

  64. This was a very interesting documentary. The easy way racism can be engraved in your mind so easily at an early age is scarey.

  65. Excellent documentary.