On Sunday I spoke to one of my adult sons about the training and the video of the blue/brown eyed experiment. He was very "luke warm" about it all. FYI: I am a white Jewish 66 yr. old man. My first wife (who sadly died very young) was Puerto Rican; we were both social workers in NY. My son is now 38 yrs. old, he is "1/2 Puerto Rican and 1/2 white/Jewish". His wife is "1/2 black and 1/2 white/Irish". They are both very outspoken against racism and strongly advocate for social change and justice, which I am proud of them for. For reasons that probably have more to do with family inter-dynamics however, it sometimes seems "if I say A, he says B", especially when it comes to any discussions of race, even though I am a very liberal "anti-racist kind of guy"and we actually hold very similar views and values... but then again, I'm still his dad!
Anyhow he mentioned that he saw the video of the blue-eyed/brown-eyed experiment I spoke of. He said to me "I don't know about that one Dad, it really wasn't very good!" I was surprised as I really liked it a lot and thought it had value, which I told him. He said "C'mon Dad, all the kids in that class were white! Don't you think there would have been different results if some of the kids in that class had been black and brown? I'm pretty-pretty sure there would have been!" I said yes I was sure it would have been different too, but that wasn't really the point of it; the teacher Jane Elliott had done an interesting experiment with the 3rd graders in her class (who were white) about 50 years ago, looking simply at issues of learning and unlearning bias and how that could be applied to racial prejudice. To me this experiment seemed very effective and made an important statement. He said "well it just seemed like they totally glossed over and pretty much denied the most important issues of the deep roots of racism that exists in our country; so how is that experiment supposed to wipe away hundreds of years of oppression, huh?" He reiterated that he thought the experiment had very little value and wasn't very good. I was taken aback... I told him that the experiment wasn't designed to eradicate racism, it was simply a teacher's idea to do an experiment with the 3rd graders in her class about learning and unlearning bias in a way that I thought was pertinent. It was one of the videos I enjoyed most in the training. Nothing I said would sway him very much which frustrated me, especially because I know we actually agree about these matters way more than not. He finally conceded a bit and said "OK I kind of see your point... a little bit, but.....". We left it at that.
Any feedback or suggestions? Thanks in advance!