Prejudice In Matshona Dhliwayo's The Essential Blue Eyed

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This simple nine word quotation from Matshona Dhliwayo summarizes much of what Jane Elliot has spent her entire career trying to get people to understand. Watching the film, The Essential Blue Eyed, gave me an entirely new perspective on racism and in truth, showed how ignorant I had been. Jane Elliot is able to give study participants and viewers a completely new perspective on the social construction of race. According to the University of Minnesota, race refers to a category of people that share physical characteristics such as facial features and skin color (UMN 1). When discussing race, we must discuss racism which, as viewed by Revise Sociology, is “discriminatory treatment and inequitable opportunities, based on race” (RS 1). In order to fully understand what that last sentence means, we have to understand what discrimination is. Discrimination is the denial of rights, opportunities and privileges to members of certain racial and ethnic groups (UMN 2). The final two terms we need to understand before evaluating the film The Essential Blue Eyed, is prejudice and stereotyping. Prejudice is the set of negative attitudes, and beliefs towards certain categories of people or certain individuals within certain categories. Stereotyping is the mistaken …show more content…

Instead of using prejudice or stereotypes, where negative thoughts and attitudes are created and shared, she extends it to the level of discrimination and racism. Although instead of calling it racism, she uses “eyeism”, as she is discriminating on the basis of eye color rather than skin color. She calls all white men “boy”, she interrupts them when they are talking and she talks to them like she is superior. She uses the racism, prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination black individuals have experienced for hundreds of years and turns it around on the white

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