When Elliott first performed the train in 1968, brown-eyed college students got particular privileges. She stated she watched and was horrified at what she noticed.
The scholars began to internalize, and settle for, the traits they’d been arbitrarily assigned primarily based on the colour of their eyes.
Elliott began to see her personal white privilege, even her personal ignorance. At her lunch break that day within the instructor’s lounge, she informed her colleagues in regards to the train. One instructor ended up displaying the identical bigotry Elliott had spent the morning making an attempt to combat.
“She stated, on the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, ‘I do not know why you are doing that — I assumed it was about time anyone shot that son of a bitch,’ ” she stated. “Not certainly one of them reprimanded her for that and even corrected her. All of them both smiled or laughed and nodded.”
The interplay solely strengthened Elliott’s resolve. She determined to proceed the train together with her college students after lunch.
“No individual of any age [was] going to depart my presence with these attitudes unchallenged,” Elliott stated.
Two years later, a BBC documentary captured the experiment in Elliott’s classroom. The demonstration has since been taught by generations of academics to hundreds of thousands of children throughout the nation.
Nonetheless, Elliott stated the previous couple of years have introduced out America’s worst racist tendencies. The empathy she works to encourage in college students with the experiment, which has been modified through the years, is important, she stated.
“Individuals of different colour teams appear to know,” she stated. “Most likely as a result of they’ve been taught how they’re handled on this nation — that they’ve to know us. [White people] however, do not have to know them. We now have to let folks learn how it feels to be on the receiving finish of that which we dish out so readily.”
However the protests occurring now have given her hope.
“Issues are altering, and they’ll change quickly if we’re very, very lucky,” she stated. “If this ugly change, if this unfavorable change can occur this shortly, why cannot constructive change occur that shortly? I feel it will possibly.”