Jane Elliott’s Color and Racism Experiment

Jane Elliott, when she was a third grade teacher, conducts a color and racism experiment with her students; blue eyed students one day, brown eyes the next.

The Color and Racism Experiment

Jane Elliott, when she was a third grade teacher, conducts a color and racism experiment with her students. One day the blue eyed students are the top people with all the privileges and the brown eyed people are punished for having brown eyes. The next day the brown eyed students are the top people with all the privileges and the blue eyed people are punished for having blue eyes.

This was in response to the death of Martin Luther King and the children’s questions about why he was killed.

The Bible prophesied that The Most High’s people would become ravaged, crushed from every side and a possession of the rest of the nations, subjects of malicious talk and slander.

Ezekiel 36:3 Therefore prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because they ravaged and crushed you from every side so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations and the object of people’s malicious talk and slander,

Empathy Must be Taught

color and racism experimentEmpathy many times must be taught. That is what Jane Elliott did, first in 1968. It was April 5, 1968, one day after Civil Rights Leader; Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated. It was a Friday. Steven Armstrong stepped into Jane Elliott’s third-grade classroom in Riceville, Iowa. And said “Hey, Mrs. Elliott. They shot that King yesterday. Why’d they shoot that King?”

That is when the lesson began.

All 28 children in class that day found themselves thrust into a world of reflection. Rather than offer a simple statement in passing, the Iowa teacher took the opportunity to ask a room full of white children, “How do you think it would feel to be a Negro boy or girl?” Before any answered, Jane Elliott, seeing their youthful puzzled faces declared, “It would be hard to know, wouldn’t it, unless we actually experienced discrimination ourselves.” She continued, “Would you like to find out?”

One Way to Teach Empathy

A chorus of “Yeahs” were heard. Such is the wonder of a young mind at work; children untouched by the reality of race relations are willing to explore what adults find threatening. During the experiment, the children had to wear collars that deemed them inferior. At the end of the punishing experiment the children could not wait to take off the collars, that marked them as inferior, and throw them away.

Do Not Boast Over the Hebrews in Their Day of Distress

color and racism experiment
Hebrew Israelites in Classroom

The children of Judah, the Hebrew Israelites, cannot throw what marks them as such away. They live with it everyday. The nations often boast over them saying that their nation is superior to The Most High’s nation.

Obadiah 1:12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

The Lessons Are Easily Forgotten

All those decades ago, the children and their classroom Teacher did not imagine that little would change. That the same people would continue to exert their rights in ways that killed a mind, body, or spirit. They probably didn’t think that racism would raise its head over and over again in their lifetimes.

When the people of Riceville, population 840, heard of the children’s experience that day, Jane Elliott was “all but run out of town.” Some people in the town did support her. Below is a video of the experiment.

Video: Brown Eyes and Blue Eyes Color and Racism Experiment

The True Nation of Israel is Awaiting the End of Their Punishment

Ezekiel 36:24 “ ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 

We Will Remember Our God

28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 

We Will Not Forget Our Lessons

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!

A Final Cleansing From God

Ezekiel 36:33 ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruinscolor and racism experiment will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 

The Nations Will Acknowledge The True Most High God

36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’

Iris

Iris J Chapman is a researcher, lifetime Bible reader and blogger.

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