A Class Divided
Empathy can only take you so far. To understand the unique evil that is discrimination and racism, you need to feel it directed towards you, repeatedly.
Following the assassination of MLK, Jane Elliott, a 3rd Grade teacher in Iowa, heard the call to action. She split her students into two groups based on the color of their eyes. What unfolded over the three-day experiment was nothing short of tremendous. The film below is an excerpt from the actual experiment. FRONTLINE | PBS followed up with Ms. Elliott and her students almost 15 years later.
I would love to hear your voice on this! What are your reactions/thoughts/concerns/praise of this experiment? Here is where I am at right now...
Conclusion: After watching the film, and taking into consideration the reflections of everyone involved, not to mention the fact that Black and other Children of Color experience this "experiment" in real life on the daily, I would be honored for my children to have this experience. However, I truly think that the leader must be a Ms. Elliott... someone equally masterful and flawless as the pioneer herself. Those kids didn't just understand empathy when they came out the other side... they embodied it.