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A class divided

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A class divided


"A Class Divided" is a film that everyone should view no matter what race or ethnicity a person might be. Whether we realize it or not, everyone is prone to some form of discrimination or prejudice. Most Americans are not part of the dominant group, therefore due to being a minority, we undergo a feeling of inferiority. This film presents us with a different view on the color of someone's skin. After viewing this, a person will hopefully be less likely to focus on the differences they have with other people and see people all as equals. This topic was of great interest to me due to the fact that I witness discrimination many times a day. Even myself, as a woman, will face discrimination in my life. This film helps those who do not face prejudices in their everyday life, realize what it is like to be on the other end.

Those who are a part of the dominant group feel no close association with those of a minority group and often feel threatened by them as a result. The dominant group consists of all rich, well-educated, white, Protestant, male, who are older and heterosexual. If lacking even one of these characteristics, a person is then considered a minority. This is the typical way that we separate the two groups. In this film however, they choose to deal with blue eyed people, versus brown eyed people.

The film starts off with a reunion between the third graders who were in the film, "Eye of the Storm." A teacher put them through an experiment in which she initially tells them that the blue eyed children are better than the brown eyed. She gives them more privaledges such as giving them more play time, and allowing them to drink out of the drinking fountain, where as the brown eyed had to drink out of plastic cups. She also said that the two groups were not allowed to play with each other. She made the blue eyed children feel as though they were better and smarter than the others. The next day she switches places, and tells the brown eyed children that they are better than the blue eyed. The film also does this with adults, allowing the blue eyed to feel stupid as she points out how they forget things quicker, and do not pay as much attention. We see the reactions to this treatment throughout the movie, which I will go through step by step.

This film makes us realize how many concepts are still evident today in every day life. One is name calling, another is referring other people not in your "group" as "them" or "you guys." The film also shows us that people who are normally cooperative, turn nasty and discriminating, while also this creates micro Cosmo societies in which the group bonds together. The most amazing concept is the fact that when the dominant group feels support, they appear to think quicker and do better on tests. It just shows that all we need is a little ego boost and we can do almost anything that we want. We need motivation from the people we look up to and respect.

The teacher points out to the children the ascribed trait that they were born with blue eyes or brown eyes. The first day in which the blue eyed had the upper hand, tensions grew between the two groups. One boy hit another due to the fact that he was called "brown eyes." Someone of authority told him that he had blue eyes so therefore he was better. He called him a name to hurt him, not to be funny. He saw the brown eyed as different and therefore since they were told they were the best, he wanted to make him realize he was not as good as him. We see this happen in everyday life by things we call "stereotypes." We automatically look at Mexicans and assume they are out to do harm. Jewish people we consider to be stingy with money. We have name calling just as the children were calling each other names. Our society uses names such as nigger, cracker and gook to dehumanize the other group. We witness name calling almost everyday, though we hardly even notice it anymore.

Another concept from the film was the arrogant attitudes where a group would refer to the others as "them" or "your people." Even today we relate certain groups that are not like us to phrases such as these. This arrogance makes me think about Hitler and the Jews. Hitler told the Germans that all those who had blue eyes and blonde hair were better. Therefore, everyone who did not hold these features, should be removed. Obviously he was referring to the Jewish people. Everyone believed him or got brainwashed by him in my opinion. Even though the Jewish never caused harm to the Germans, they saw no need for them to remain on this earth.

Another concept I noticed was the fact that the different color eyed children were creating micro Cosmo societies in which those with similar eyes bonded together. They were not used to being called different having been brought up in a town where almost everyone was white and Christian. This was shown with even the adults. As the blue eyed were told to wait outside in the hall while the brown eyes were inside the room, they started to unite together. The idea even came up that they should just run in the room and take over. They wished to annoy the brown eyed people because they felt they were being left out. It was interesting how a few people stood up for themselves, while the others stood back and waited to see what happens. We ...

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