Saturday, February 17, 2007

"They Called Me Brown Eyes"

The Utah Amicus has a great post featuring a Frontline episode on race and discrimination from the 1980s. A teacher in Iowa, just after Martin Luther King was killed, took her 3rd grade students and divided them based on the color of their eyes.

The first day, the Blue eyed kids were on top, and the brown eyes were on the bottom. The next day, the roles were reversed. The kids on top picked on the kids on bottom, even though they had been friends before this started. The kids on top also did better at the same schoolwork when they were "on top" than when they were on the bottom.

As I was watching it, it brought me to a conversation I had with a friend this Wednesday about Trolley Square. He said that he knew from the moment he saw it that the shooter was Muslim (or as he called it, Moooslim). And I thought about how we judge people on the actions of the few members of their group. I've been guilty of a few of these at one time or annother.

Act Violently? Muslim.
Don't speak English? Mexican.
Mexican? Illegal.
Wearing a white dress shirt? Mormon.
Mormon? Republican.
Mormon Republican? Intolerant.
Gay? Pedophile.
At a monster Truck Rally? Redneck.
Guy with Glasses? Computer Wiz.
Over 6'4"? Basketball player.
Over 250 lbs? Football Player.
Goatee? Dishonest.
Proclaim Peace? Troop hating terrorist lover.

My list could, unfortunately, go on forever....


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