“You don’t come back in here until you’ve apologized to every person in this room, Because you just exercised a freedom that none of these people of color have. When these people of color get tired of racism, they can’t just walk out, because there’s no place in this country where they aren’t going to be exposed to racism. They can’t even stay in their own homes and not be exposed to racism if they turn on their television. But you, as a white female, when you get tired of being judged and treated unfairly on the basis of your eye color, you can walk out that door, and you know it won’t happen out there. You exercised a freedom they don’t have. If you’re going to be in here you’re going to apologize to every person of color in this room. And do it now.”
“I’m sorry there’s racism in this country—
“BULLSHIT! No, you’re not going to say ‘I’m sorry there’s racism.’ You’re going to apologize for what YOU just did.”
“I will not apologize because it’s not a matter of race always—”
Jane Elliot is a champ.
I find it fascinating how much some of the white people in the room resisted the idea that racism could hurt POC just for existing & being of color.
Things you do to yourself: piercings, tattoos, hair dye, etc. DON’T FUCKING MATTER IN ANY WAY that is comparable to race. EVER.
“You don’t have the right to say to a person ‘I don’t see you as you are’”.
“You’re denying their reality.”
Taking away power is comparable to death to the white people in the room.
It took until the second half for what was going on here to really click.
Pretty much this.
Jane Elliot has been my fucking hero since I first learned about her in college. You know why?
Because in 1968, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, she conducted a little "experiment" with her class of kids in grade school. What she saw illuminated profoundly some of the mechanics of power and oppression, and gave those little white kids the tiniest, most tame taste of what it was like to be a person of color back then.
You can see her exercise in action again, with adults instead of kids, in the video. It’s worth watching.
Jane Elliot goes hard in the paint. She is living proof that whiteness/white culture is no excuse not to “get it”. She is living proof that “It was a different time” doesn’t mean a goddamned thing. She is living proof that there’s an example of what an ally SHOULD be and she is proof that it can be done without worrying about “all white people” or making it about oneself.
Fucking love this woman forever. Most of all because this isn’t a case of her taking credit for something a person of color did, either. She aint no Tim Wise.
Look here privileged people this is how you ally
always reblog, ALWAYS.
I helped process her papers. They’re held at the Iowa Women’s Archives.