*Some things bear repeating. Like this video of professor Jane Elliott reprimanding a Caucasian student who couldn’t handle being treated the way Elliott says Black folk are treated by racists every day. The video shows an excerpt of what happened in Elliott’s Racism Class, and obviously, its a class that offers a pill that difficult for white people to swallow.
Elliott has been described using many labels — including one that’s thrown out whenever folks feel somewhat threatened.
In plain sight, this woman takes no prisoners and has been outspoken on many topics (Google her); but the tough one she is most recognized for is racism. In her Racism Class she even breaks the act down into subtitles ; one of which is called white ignorance.
This particular video excerpt shows mainly Caucasian students. You can see from their reactions her lesson is a difficult one. She is posing examples of how racism makes a person feel.
But its the turn that the class takes that prompted this article.
As Elliott teaches, she becomes openly offended by one student — a white woman — who continues to raise her hand while the teacher is talking.
…and one that Elliot doesn’t excuse.
Now, without knowing what fully occurred prior to where the video starts, we hear Elliott snap: “Your hand is still up! You still didn’t learn anything, did you? Didn’t I just say that when your hand is up, you are thinking about what you’re going to say instead of what’s being said?”
“Yes,” the woman responds.
Elliott then asks the student a direct question, elaborating on what she has already laid down; and when the student doesn’t respond with the required “yes” or “no” answer, Elliot goes in hard.
The student, obviously frustrated, accuses the teacher of “persecuting” two students who dared to “speak out” earlier and dissolves into a meltdown when she feels she is not being heard.
This was Elliot’s point all along; using racism as the culprit…which the woman obviously can’t handle.
I wouldn’t dare attempt to re-address the commentary she so eloquently puts out. You’ll have to take a hard look at this video yourself.
One thing I will say is that the class appears (“appears” because I haven’t seen it in its entirety) to offer a brilliant portrait of an ugly reality; one that white people today need to realize and address if they ever expect to understand the reasons behind why many Black folk can’t…won’t just roll over and sing “Kumbaya.”
The meltdown student storms out of the class. Elliot brilliantly continues; using the actions of this woman as a backdrop, showing how Martin L. King and Emmett Till were murdered for acts the student is taking for granted; and moreover, faces no physical threat because of it.
Add to this, when the woman re-enters the class moments later, Elliot doesn’t back down…as many would have.
“Nuh-uh. You don’t get to come back into this room until you’ve apologized to every person in this room. Because you’ve just exercised a freedom that none of these people of color have…If you’re going to be in this room, you’re going to apologize to every Black person in this room. And do it now.”
What happens next?
Take a look at the video. And after that, learn more about Jane Elliott by clicking on the “RELATED” article below it.
Want more Jane Elliot? Check out what she did on Oprah’s Where Are They Now?