Kamis, 07 April 2011

Bertram Verhaag - Blue Eyed (1996)

"Blue eyed" is a workshop by Jane Elliott on intimidation and discrimination, filmed by Bertram Verhaag.

Blue Eyed offers viewers a chance to watch a full-length workshop with America's most dynamic diversity trainer, Jane Elliott.

Elliott's exercise, initiated in 1968 as a ground breaking experiment in anti-racist training, has been featured on Today, the Tonight show, Donahue, Oprah, ABC News and PBS' Frontline. Elliott believes, "Blue Eyed is by far the most comprehensive and useful video on my work available; it sums up 28 years of experience in schools, universities and corporations."

Elliott contends that "A person who has been raised and socialized in America has been conditioned to be a racist... We live in two countries, one black and one white." In contrast to the more usual encounter group strategy, the feisty Elliott believes it's important for whites to experience the emotional impact of discrimination for themselves.

In Blue Eyed, we join a group of 40 teachers, police, school administrators and social workers in Kansas City - blacks, Hispanics, whites, women and men. The blue-eyed members are subjected to pseudo-scientific explanations of their inferiority, culturally biased IQ tests and blatant discrimination. In just a few hours under Elliott's withering regime, we watch grown professionals become despondent and distracted, stumbling over the simplest commands.

Jane Elliott's approach is especially relevant today. It demonstrates irrefutably that even without juridical discrimination, hate speech, lowered expectations and dismissive behavior can have devastating effects on minority achievement. Black members of the Blue-Eyed group forcefully remind whites that they undergo similar stresses, not just for a few hours in a controlled experiment, but every day of their lives. And Elliott points out that sexism, homophobia and ageism work in the same way.

Back at her Iowa home, Elliott reflects upon how the simple classroom exercise she devised the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's assassination has transformed her life. After her experiment got national television coverage, she recalls, townspeople made threatening phone calls, beat and spit at her children and boycotted her parents' coffee shop, eventually forcing it out of business.

Clips from her original classes and interviews with former students confirm that Jane Elliott's workshops make them permanently more empathetic and sensitive to the problem of racism. Counselors, student program administrators, corporate trainers and psychologists agree: Blue Eyed is a film every American needs to experience.
"Intimidation works"
"Brown eyed people do not get to use the drinking fountain. You have to use the paper cups."

Subtitles:Dutch, hard coded
no pass

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