A white American school teacher explained how kids are taught to be racist and it’s striking a chord

A white American school teacher explained how kids are taught to be racist and it’s striking a chord

The name “Jane Elliott” might not ring any immediate bells for the younger generation.

But in light of recent events, the work of the American schoolteacher is being shared anew on social platforms, for a whole new audience.

Elliott is a longtime white ally and anti-racist activist who created the infamous ‘brown eyes, blue eyes experiment’ in the 1960s, to teach young children about prejudice.

More than 50 years on, her lessons are sadly more relevant than ever.

Which is why a clip of Elliott breaking down how racism is taught to kids has gone viral.

In the two minute clip, Elliott begins by saying:

Any white person who was born and raised in school in the United States of America, if you aren’t a racist, you’re a miracle. 

Either that or you decided to educate yourself. Because education in this country is about ‘White is right, brown’s alright, black’s gotta stand back [...]

We educate in a way that says white males have done all the adventures, all the discovering and everything that is good has been accomplished according to social studies by white males. 

It’s a lie! But we do that to maintain the myth of white superiority. The myth of race has to be maintained at all costs in this country. 

If white people have to give up the colour of their skin as being something that makes them perfect, what do they have left? 

If we start teaching the truth about history [...] it will totally change the way we conduct ourselves in the classroom. It will have to. 

The clip is taken from a 2017 interview with Black Nouveau, a programme run by Milwaukee PBS.

And her words struck a real chord with social media users who were pleased to hear a white woman talking with such frankness about the American schooling system.

Some remembered other pertinent things Elliott had said.

The hashtag ##DontBeAKarenBeAJane was coined.

And she was praised for her long allyship and work in tackling structural racism.

This is the second clip of Elliott to go viral in a week as people rediscover her work.

A previous video showed Elliott leaving a white audience “speechless” during a talk about racism.

Elliott is now 87 years-old and is still reportedly an active anti-racist activist.

What an inspiration.

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