The Essential Blue-Eyed focused on four major points (Nora Lester, no date)
1- Differing Realities:
Elliot Jane through her this experiment made a point that we are living in different worlds, world which is either black or white. A white person may be never be questioned about his credentials but a black person would be checked thoroughly and kept under strict security. Most whites ignore or do not acknowledge other people’s realities. For example, a black woman when talks about this phenomena, she says white people respond to her complaints about racism by saying ‘things like that don’t happen anymore’.
2- Clarity of Purpose:
Jane Elliot draws a clear picture of why there is racism and discrimination in America. According to her, it is not enough for people to only stop abusing people of colour but also to have individual visions to end racism.
3- Taking Responsibility:
As mentioned before, Jane Elliot asks the group of mostly white people if they would choose to be black and no one stood up, this she says is proof that whites know how blacks are being treated and would never choose it for themselves. Yet, they fail to take responsibility for ending racism and other stereotypical behaviour.
4- Courage and Commitment:
Jane Elliot recognizes that it would not be an easy task to end this sort of deeply engraved behaviour of discriminating against people of colour, but one has to show courage and commitment to end active oppression.
Reaction to the Film
Watching the film The Essential Blue Eyed was an eye opener for me, I literally had to hold back my tears. The whole 50 minutes were very emotional and exhausting for me. Being a white skinned person, I have always been the privileged person of the society and have never faced any discrimination or opposition. I always thought that everyone was treated they way I was treated and all were made equal. I never realized that my comfort with the ‘white-world’ had contributed to the anguish and misery of others. The film’s content made me feel selfish that I had never thought about the consequences of being white and how devastating it must have been for the people of colour.
Initially, I felt that Jane Elliot was a bit over the top and exaggerating everything to make her point when she crowded all the blue eyed people in a small room and makes them sit on the floor but the dehumanizing regime she puts them through makes me realize that this is what happens with the people of colour in a typical day of their lives and we whites just don’t realize this reality. But I also feel tremendous guilt that I am secretly glad that I do not have to deal with such humiliation day in and day out.