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UK - Channel 4's "How Racist Are You?" - Racist against white people?

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posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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Did any other Brits watch this show?

Was I the only one that thought it was incredibly racist against white people? It implicitly and explicitly stated, with no challenge offered, that all white people and only white people were inherently racist.

I'm familiar with the experiment as it was done 40-50 years ago and its value is in how it illustrates group dynamics (though I don't think it did in this programme) but it seems that the woman who devised it has changed it and turned it into an attempt to prove that all white people were racist.

I found its arguments in favour of this proposition to be glib and logically flawed. It continually stated that anyone who disagreed with the experimenter on the issue that white people were racist were in denial thus pre-emptively dismissing any argument made to the contrary.

Worse was the way Channel 4 supported this. In another room monitoring the experiment/exercise were two experts (I don't think we were given any details about these people) who both consistently reinforced the notion that white people specifically are inherently racist even though this really didn't have any connection with the exercise as it was originally carried out. This position was never challenged except by those taking part who, as stated earlier, were pre-emptively dismissed as being in denial.

Watching this I kept hoping that the conclusion would explain how everyone was manipulated into taking a tribal stance (blue eye vs brown, black vs white) and that this is how racism propagates. But it didn't, it ended with the exercise leader saying out right that if you were white and educated in the UK then you are either inherently racist or an idiot because you didn't understand that they were teaching you that white people are superior.

Anyone else watch and have similar thoughts?




posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 06:36 PM
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lol, why do you bother watching, london is very anti white now.

Why bother watching.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 06:51 PM
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The original experiment was very interesting and if done properly shows just how easy it is to get caught up in a group vs group mentality. But she turned it into a black vs white issue when it doesn't need to be.

She could, if she kept it how it was in the 60's helped illustrate a point that relates to all type of discrimination. Instead she decided to discriminate against another group.

I've fired off a complaint to ofcom and C4. The second time in two weeks I've done that, I'm turning into Mary Whitehouse.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 07:09 PM
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It's about time they spread that white guilt over Europe too.


I found the preview on Channel 4's website.... from what I saw, that lady is just what one would call a 'race baiter'. I am aware of her previous experiments, and I see a dramatic change in her.

Her Brown Eyes/ Blue Eyes experiment was kind of like a cruel, kid centered version of the Stanford Prison Experiment. When you outline trivial differences between people, they act in a divisive way they otherwise would not have.

The fact that, in her original experiment, kids who once were friends and started hating each other because of eye color is just proof to this. Those little boys and girls saw no problem with it, until she pointed it out the differences.

She is like a white, female version of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. She exists to bring racial tensions to the forefront of thought when, in fact, racial tensions are invented by people just like her.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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Yes I saw it and agree with you instead of healing racial devision thing like this make it worse.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 07:16 PM
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I didn't watch it because from the adverts i had seen i knew it would lead the viewer down this path.

Even the title of the program is divisive and negative, 'How Racist Are You?' is implying you are already racist, now they just want to know to what degree. Shameful.

I've noticed a lot of this 'us' versus 'them' recently. Its terribly destructive.

Peace.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by LiveForever8
 




Even the title of the program is divisive and negative, 'How Racist Are You?' is implying you are already racist, now they just want to know to what degree. Shameful.


Exactly... It's a loaded question like "Are you still beating your wife?"



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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I just watched it on 4OD Here and my conclusion is that the experiment is outdated and irrelevant. While i was watching i had a quick thought of "white etiquette" And then i thought "is there such a thing?"
If i got on a bus and i had a choice to sit next to a white person or a black person, which one would i choose? If i choose the white person, would you call that racist? I wouldn’t, but the fact that someone would annoys me.

I call this experiment outdated because 4 decades ago the black people of America where still living under an intense amount of discrimination. Segregation is a terrible and awful thing to inflict upon anyone. They where kept down by the train of thought of that current period in time. White supremacy was "ok" back then and admittedly, no white folk understood the effect this was having on their fellow country men and quite frankly, none of them cared. This lady set out to educate them and she must have been successful to have continued the work.
However, the experiment is irrelevant in the UK's current climate. Racism maybe a common factor of this society, but it seems that only white people and a handful of blacks/asians understand and accept it works BOTH WAYS. We are not in the American 60's. People are no longer kept down by colour, they are kept down by class. You'll never see a child born into a working class family become a successful MP, doctor or banker.
Why? Because working class children are CONDITIONED to become working class tax payers. And the same for the other classes.

I'm sorry to hear that individuals have had a hard time with a few ignorant white people, but i dont see it as a just reason to basically call all white people racist. The best we can do is educate our children to judge people on character rather then Race, Religion or Sex. This documentary proved that ignorance is on both sides.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by SearchLightsInc
 


I agree with much of the rest of your post but when you say...


You'll never see a child born into a working class family become a successful MP, doctor or banker.


Margaret Thatcher, David Davis, Michael Howard and John Prescott are all very successful MPs that have a working class background.

It may be more difficult but I don't believe that there is any institutional or systematic discrimination against the working class.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 09:08 AM
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Perhaps it is not blatant systematical discrimination against the working class but i would say their is lack of opportunity. I reconsider my opinion and accept that yes, people from the working class can work their way up, but the amount of people that do are few and far between.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 09:29 AM
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At the very beginning of the experiment, Elliot stated "This will be an inoculation against racism", "they will think about letting it happen to others.". This has already summed up the entire program. She has already decided that all the white skinned blue eyed people are racist, and they must be taught a lesson. Not a good start.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 09:32 AM
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Hi,

I just wanted to add that I noticed on the BBC program the other week that had the BNP chap on the panel led viewers down a similar path.

I do not support the BNP but I noticed that when Nick Griffen pointed out that the original occupants and the current descendants (the current white population) have become upset that their own culture seems to be giving way to the influx of foreigners that this view was generally racist. I was astounded.
I think another panelist pointed out that people arose out of Africa, but that seemed irrelevant to the topic of race relations now. It was almost a dismissal of white people who want to protect and preserve a culture nearly twenty thousand years old.
If a white scholar or politician used that as an excuse to apologize for white colonialists returning to Africa because they "originated there in relation to nations that it colonized there would have been uproar.

There seems to be a trend in the UK where nationalism or pride is deemed as racism. It is such an inflammatory subject that it is impossible to approach without demonizing the majority or risk being accused of excusing the preconceived perception that the majority are indeed racist.

I think the Media may also be trying to destabilize the rise of parties like the BNP who are receiving support because people feel like the other parties do not really care about the UK or its people.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 09:40 AM
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Two white people walk out because they do not want to be part of an experiment that requires them to discriminate, yet they are labled as being ignorant of discrimination. How the hell does that work. This is one of those no-win situations, how do you prove you are not a racist?

She openly admitted she thought all white people were racist. Yet her very last words were

"what people say about me is of little concern to me".

Perhaps she should have spent the last 40 years preaching that sentiment to minority groups.

[edit on 31-10-2009 by quackers]

[edit on 31-10-2009 by quackers]



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
Was I the only one that thought it was incredibly racist against white people?


The experiment was specifically designed to highlight the issue of racial discrimination when you are not white whilst living in a society which is predominantly governed by white people. It was not designed to highlight the vast array of prejudices that reside within us all.


It implicitly and explicitly stated, with no challenge offered, that all white people and only white people were inherently racist.


She actually stated that white people are conditioned to the myth of white superiority from birth, something I believe was definitely the case forty years ago, but has changed since, if only for a small minority. So I agree somewhat with her statement.


It continually stated that anyone who disagreed with the experimenter on the issue that white people were racist were in denial thus pre-emptively dismissing any argument made to the contrary.


The idea of dismissing without argument was to highlight the fact that it matters not that you have an opinion, but that you do not have a choice or a right to argue, if you are unwilling to accept this you are labelled as disruptive, you will not be listened to because you have blue eyes.


In another room monitoring the experiment/exercise were two experts (I don't think we were given any details about these people) who both consistently reinforced the notion that white people specifically are inherently racist even though this really didn't have any connection with the exercise as it was originally carried out. This position was never challenged except by those taking part who, as stated earlier, were pre-emptively dismissed as being in denial.


The two experts that were in the monitoring room were Professor Dominic Abrams and Dr Funké Baffour, you are correct, there was no real detail given out about these two individuals other than they were psychologists, so you can click on their names to find out more.

I disagree with your statement regarding the aforementioned psychologists consistently reinforcing the notion that white people specifically are inherently racist, to confirm this I have gone through each of the scenes where they were voicing their take on the experiment, and saw no evidence to that which you accuse them of.


Watching this I kept hoping that the conclusion would explain how everyone was manipulated into taking a tribal stance (blue eye vs brown, black vs white) and that this is how racism propagates.


I too was hoping this would deal with the issue of racism from all areas, but that is not what her experiment is about.


But it didn't, it ended with the exercise leader saying out right that if you were white and educated in the UK then you are either inherently racist or an idiot because you didn't understand that they were teaching you that white people are superior.

What she actually said was that if you graduated from high school and weren't racist then you should have got an 'F', basically saying that the education system is geared toward the promotion of white superiority, something I certainly could not dismiss.

One thing she mentioned that was fundamental in my opinion, was when asked:

"Do you think there are things white people should feel guilty about"

her reply was

"Yes, behaviours, white behaviours, but I don't think you do those things because you are white, but because you are ignorant"

And that to me is the crux of the matter, address your ignorance and you can break down the judgemental barriers we all hold inside.

I've supplied the link to Jane Elliott's website below:
Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise

[edit on 31-10-2009 by Koka]



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by andy1033
lol, why do you bother watching, london is very anti white now.

Why bother watching.


Would you like to elaborate on this generalisation?



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by Koka
 



The experiment was specifically designed to highlight the issue of racial discrimination when you are not white whilst living in a society which is predominantly governed by white people. It was not designed to highlight the vast array of prejudices that reside within us all.


It actually wasn't, the synopsis of the programme from channel 4 reads...

“Are we all more racist than we realise or would like to admit?

For this Channel 4 documentary Jane Elliott, a controversial former schoolteacher from Ohio, is recreating* the shocking exercise she used forty years ago to teach her nine-year-old pupils about prejudice.

Elliott is asking thirty adult British volunteers - men and women of different ages and backgrounds - to experience inequality based on their eye colour to show how susceptible we can all be to bigotry, and what it feels like to be on the other side of arbitrary discrimination.

Does Elliott's exercise still have something to teach us four decades on and in a different country? Presented by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, the exercise is observed throughout by two expert psychologists, Prof Dominic Abrams and Dr Funké Baffour, who will be unpicking the behaviour on display.”


* She didn't, the exercise carried out on the show was nothing like what she did in the 60's.

I'm very familiar with the exercise as it is done now and as it was originally done. As it was originally done then it does highlight the range of prejudices very well and gives all participants a very good understanding of how it feels to be discriminated against.

As it was done on the TV show it did not do this in any effective way.


She actually stated that white people are conditioned to the myth of white superiority from birth, something I believe was definitely the case forty years ago, but has changed since, if only for a small minority. So I agree somewhat with her statement.


She said that if you are white and went through the education system in this country then you are either a racist or dumb. That is pretty much saying that all white people are inherently racist, at least in the UK.

Either way it is itself a racist notion that does nothing for helping to elevated the problems of racism.


The idea of dismissing without argument was to highlight the fact that it matters not that you have an opinion, but that you do not have a choice or a right to argue, if you are unwilling to accept this you are labelled as disruptive, you will not be listened to because you have blue eyes.


That would make sense if she confined this dismissive attitude to the blue eyed group but she didn't, the experiment fell apart because she brought in real world discriminatory factors which polarised the subjects into white vs non white as opposed to blue eyes vs brown eyes.

The result should have been to have galvanized all members as either blue eyes or brown eyes and displaying behaviour consistent with being a member of one of these groups. This is how it worked in the original experiment.

It is because the blue eye/brown eye divide is so arbitrary that the participants can see how affect they are by prejudice and how easy it is to fall into that behaviour.


I too was hoping this would deal with the issue of racism from all areas, but that is not what her experiment is about.


As above, that is what channel 4 sold is as being about.


One thing she mentioned that was fundamental in my opinion, was when asked:

"Do you think there are things white people should feel guilty about"

her reply was

"Yes, behaviours, white behaviours, but I don't think you do those things because you are white, but because you are ignorant"

And that to me is the crux of the matter, address your ignorance and you can break down the judgemental barriers we all hold inside.


That doesn't make it better. It's the equivalent of saying “all black people smell” and qualifying it by saying “oh it's ok, I'm not saying they're smelly because they're black, they're just smelly because they're not taught to wash.”

It's still incorrect, offensive and counterproductive.


I'm currently going through the show again so I've not replied to the part of your reply talking about the two experts but I will. But remember I'm not saying that they were explicit in their reinforcement, it was more the fact that they never challenged this notion.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 05:11 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


I have to admit that I never read the synopsis until you showed it to me, I merely watched the programme and judged what I saw, and what I believed it was meant to be, I don't feel diddled by it not forfilling the synopsis that C4 gave as I still found it quite interesting.

I think the experiment would yield more effective results in more segregated societies, such as was suggested by Dr Funké Baffour and although the UK has a distinct racial divide in the more rural areas, the UK is a far smaller region than the likes of the US and Australia.

I wouldn't expect the experiment to be exactly the same as that which took place back in the 60's, the divide was far greater then and prejuduce was more readily accepted, she was also dealing the children, and a US which was dealing with black civil liberties.

Jane Elliott, admittedly made sweeping statements which are hard to swallow, but was never asked or pointed out her view on the existence of racism within ethinic minorities, but I can't assume she would deny it exists.

I agree the experiment is somewhat outdated, but I think the people it would benefit have outdated views, it certainly isn't designed to educate all as it obviously has a distinct bias toward educating white people, but that's exactly her objective, highlighting the plight of black people living in a white society.

To me this is just one aspect, but a fundamental one for ethnic minorities which is still relevant in todays societies.

I am aware that racism is far from a white only issue, I in live London and have experienced, throughout my live, it targeted in all directions.

To me racism is not the issue, its ignorance and racism is only one aspect of it, whatever the colour of your skin.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 05:32 AM
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Yea i whatched that show, and i totaly DISAGREE with some of youre views. I mean saying that all whites are racist is not true but people this was an exercise to show what it feels like to be on the receiving end of racism. It was an exercise to make sure that YOU would not make racist comment, or YOU would stop someone if they where doing it themself.

I think that white lady in the blue eyed section that totaly disrupted the activity was completly rude and obliviouse to the fact that there is racism in modern brition. The comment about a black young boy would be searched by the police more than a white young boy is completly true, becuse of the sterotypical way they are viewed, yes ok mabie her boy has been checked but OVERALL the young boy with the dark skin coulor would be checked OVERALL more times than the white skin coulored boy.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 06:20 AM
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reply to post by backtobasics
 


Which views do you disagree with?

I believe most everyone is racist, its the degree of ignorance that is more relevant. We all make judgements based on skin colour together with a multitude of other factors we take in, even if we do not realise it.

The woman you point out was indeed ignorant to her own prejudice, it worries me that she is a teacher and the fact that she was surprised that the child who grazed herself had pink tissue below her black skin is a prime example of such ignorance. She, together with the guy who felt that using the term "gollywog" should be allowed, are prime candidates for this kind of exercise, although getting them to change their mindsets or at least empathise would be next to impossible given the short time span and the environment this exercise took place.

Using blues versus brown eyes with the group shown on this show was always going to be a point of failure given that the result in dividing in such a way would place, pretty much, only white people into the blue eyed group. In the 60's, the environment this exercise took place in would have yielded far different results as the subjects would have been almost 100% white and as they could not focus on skin colour, eye colour would have been far easier to focus on. It was always going to be hard for the subjects to get passed this issue.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by Koka
 


I’m less bothered by the synopsis not being fulfilled than by the sheer lack of balance, this should not have focused only on white people or at least not in the manner it did. The reason being that doing so has effects on the perceptions of the participants and viewers to the extent that what each take from it is far less objective than if it were kept to the blue eye/brown eye divide.

Everyone has a pre existing opinion on racism that will inevitably colour whatever they see as the outcome of the exercise. Those biases don’t exist when it comes to eye colour and had it kept to eye colour, in my opinion a better discriminator would have been height, then people would have been better able to reach a calmer, objective view of the results.

The exercise, if conducted along its original lines, would have shown what it is like to be discriminated against, it would have shown that it is easy to fall into defined group roles and it would have demonstrated the effect of outside perceptions on self and group esteem. Crucially it would have done these things without muddying the water with the issue of race which, again, allows pre existing opinions to override any objective analysis by either the volunteers or the viewers.


I wouldn't expect the experiment to be exactly the same as that which took place back in the 60's, the divide was far greater then and prejuduce was more readily accepted, she was also dealing the children, and a US which was dealing with black civil liberties.


How the exercise was conducted has nothing to do with the degree of racism that exists, the 1960’s exercise was simply better at achieving the desired goals and also achieved far more in terms of allowing everyone to understand prejudice as detailed above.

The programme just ended up as a very badly compared debate on racism with all sides remaining firmly in there starting positions.


Jane Elliott, admittedly made sweeping statements which are hard to swallow, but was never asked or pointed out her view on the existence of racism within ethinic minorities, but I can't assume she would deny it exists.


We can’t rely on assuming things, the producers should have ensured that the programme was fair and balanced and did not characterise one group without providing a counter viewpoint.

reply to post by backtobasics
 


What do you mean when you say YOU? Do you mean white viewers?

Even if it was it is still racist to make the argument that all white people are racist. More over it is dangerous, just as it would have been for the Race and IQ programme to have only represented the views of those saying that black people are inherently less intelligent.

Making such sweeping statements does not serve to educate anyone about what racism is like, it just does not work from a psychological standpoint. If it does anything it entrenches negative stereotypes.

It’s also not even applicable in the UK, there are a myriad of laws stopping broadcasters from making such statements about other groups so it’s not as if anyone can say “well this is what non white people get all the time.”

If this was the true goal it should have been made explicitly clear at the end of the programme but it was not, probably because it was not meant in this way and it was in fact meant, by Jane Elliott, to be taken as true.


I think that white lady in the blue eyed section that totaly disrupted the activity was completly rude and obliviouse to the fact that there is racism in modern brition. The comment about a black young boy would be searched by the police more than a white young boy is completly true, becuse of the sterotypical way they are viewed, yes ok mabie her boy has been checked but OVERALL the young boy with the dark skin coulor would be checked OVERALL more times than the white skin coulored boy.


You’re missing the point; I’m not disagreeing with that. What I am saying is that the methodology used was not effective in its goals and that it is unfair to characterise an entire race with no counter argument made.



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