Over 27 years ago Oprah conducted an experiment about racism with her audience that was so powerful, its still being talked about today.
As the Oprah team ushered the 300 audience members into the studio, they secretely divided them into two groups based on their eye colour. Those with blue eyes were put into one group and those with brown into another.
The two groups received very different treatment from the offset. The blues were given a collar to wear and made to wait outside while the browns were ushered in and given coffee and donuts. They were told to wait until the brown group were all seated comfortably.
The blues were not happy.
“Look at those people! What are they doing in there?” one woman shrieked.
Oprah’s guest for the show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who had been doing the same experiment on school kids for 20 years. She provoked the groups even further, saying, “I’ve been a teacher for 25 .. and I have seen what brown-eyed people have done as compared to what blue-eyed people do. It’s perfectly obvious. You should have been here this morning when we brought these people in here.”
The blue eyed audience were livid, shouting…
“She was rude to us! All of us!”
“Yelled at us, called us names, pushed us aside. She was rude!”
“Why doesn’t Jane have a green collar on? She’s got blue eyes”
Jane nailed the answer, saying. “Because I’ve learned to act brown-eyed,” she said. “And the message in this room is, act brown-eyed and you, too, can take off your collar.”
Unbelievably, it wasn’t long before the brown eyed people started to buy in to the farce and started to discriminate on the others. One woman said “I had a girlfriend in school who was blue-eyed. She was so stupid, she was always copying off of my papers. These [blue-eyed] people were so rude and so noisy today, we couldn’t hear ourselves even talk!”
Eventually, the audience started to realise what was happening, and an important conversation stared. The best moment of the entire show happened when a male audience member said, “You can’t get away from the fact that God created the races, and you are going to be different.
God created one race, the human race. Human Beings created racism
Jane is a legend, and this is amazing, check it out for yourself…