This assignment was very interesting and enlightening to me. Especially the time period this experiment was done. Before I start the blog I want to define discrimination as a premise to my discussion. According to Introduction to Sociology, discrimination is defined as “prejudiced action against a group of people” (Openstax p. 234). At first Ms. Elliott made the impression that blue eyed people were better than brown eyed people. She would think of small things brown eyed people did wrong and then used that as evidence to support her argument. Then she would say good things about people with blue eyes. She would think of positive attributes of the children with blue eyes to make them better than brown eyed children. Throughout the class we started noticing racial (eyeful in this case) discrimination which the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines as “treating someone unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race” (EEOC). After the children split up in groups, we see glimpses of white privilege, where “dominant groups often accept their experience as the normative (and hence, superior) experience” (Openstax p. 235). The blue eyed people would start calling the children with brown eyes, “brown eyes” but in a derogatory manner, looking down upon them. Then during recess brown eyed kids would be aggressive with the blue eyed children in retaliation.
This was almost an exact representation of racism in America. What was interesting to me was how, on a more adult level, the adults had almost the exact same response. The blue eyed adults stayed quite while those few blue eyed people would ridicule the brown eyed adults. When asked after the experiment, one of the browned eyed people even said how hopeless and powerless he felt in that experiment. Now with the children, even though the experiment was for a good cause, I think technically it was unethical. The subjects were unaware what was going on and there was physical and psychological harm done.
As an African American what I gained from this experiment is that a white person cannot understand what we go through from the day we were born. To have any sort of sympathy, a white person has to experience what it’s like to be in the minority. We all know that in America, that will not happen anytime soon.