A class divided

A class divided
“A class divided” is the famous TV-program about the school teacher Jane Elliot and her famous lesson “The eye of the storm”.
A class divided: my impressions

Looking the program “A class divided” I have learnt the may to make people feel what the discrimination is. I have read a lot about the discrimination before so the film didn’t surprise me, though I can’t reject it was very impressive. Probably someone who never thought seriously about the discrimination could be not only impressed but surprised also.

In a month I’ll remember two scenes of the film: unhappy little girl on the playground who was banned from playing because she was “brown-eye”. It seems she was so upset as never was before. Another scene is the part when Jane Elliot and an adult woman discussed the importance of the name. At that moment I thought that the name, race, gender and other characteristics are related: they altogether make you what you are.

"Why would anyone want to murder Martin Luther King?" The answer on the question is simple: MLK tried to explain everybody the same thing children learned: no one should be treated differently just because of his appearance. However the different treatment is the powerful tool of political manipulations, and MLK tried to annihilate it. Most probably he was killed by the people who used the different treatment as the instrument of power. Different groups of people experience racism differently, I am afraid to be mistaken but the most emotional reaction was noticed on the group of adult African Americans. I think these people just faced discrimination before. Anyway all group of participants experienced the discrimination in one or other way.

The children’s body language indicated the feelings, which were later supported with test results: children with negative labels felt unhappy, angry, embarrassed. The negative and positive labels didn’t mean anything without the additional features, which were added by Jane Elliot, but after that these features became self-fulfilling prophecies. The superior group was allowed to go to lunch first and to play on playground.

I agree that all the people face some kind of discrimination, for example, the discrimination against body weight can be often seen in the school. The claim “whites can’t really know what it’s like to face discrimination every minute of every day” is discriminative by its nature. I think it was very useful exercise. Some children face discrimination in very early age and it is more harmful than this exercise. It is like vaccination: it also can be harmful but it helps preventing more serious disaster.

Elliot ascribed to the superior and inferior groups the simple features that could be easily understood by third-grade children: lazy, disobedient, bad-mannered, stupid, uncivilized. Most of these features were corresponded the existed stereotype about the people of color among the whites. Every action of the person from the inferior group was interpreted negatively, like “if you are still not sure that brown-eyes can’t behave well, look at Bryan”. The pose of the child was interpreted like misbehavior.

To my opinion, no of adults among the prison guards objected because of power of authority that Elliot had. She behaved as a powerful person, her voice and body language together with her position of teacher made the prison guards obey.

The boy, who beat his mate for teasing, answered he didn’t feel better after this, and his opponent didn’t stop teasing. The teacher noticed her wonderful children turned to nasty and ugly ones. The problem wasn’t in brown eyes but in discrimination but I bet many of those children never felt the discrimination before. The exercise helps to acquire the experience in putting somebody on the place of other person and understanding its feelings.

A class divided 8 of 10 on the basis of 1381 Review.