Of course I think that this exercise influenced the participant’s lives. I’m sure that every time they encountered a situation where discrimination was involved they thought back to their third grade teacher and how she drilled it into their heads that it does not matter the color of skin, everyone should be treated the same. Every time, during that class and throughout the school year, she brought up discrimination, she more or less made them repeat that it’s bad and they won’t do it.
If something is that constant in your life, you are not going to forget it that easily. I think that this exercise would be extremely successful for people who are very prejudiced. I don’t mean this in a conceited way but I think highly of myself and I would like to make the assumption that people who are very prejudiced think very highly of themselves as well. I’m not prejudiced but I know if I was put into this exercise, I would feel horrible every time I thought something bad, just because of someone’s race.
Now say I’m a very prejudiced blue eyed person and in today’s exercise the blue eyed people are inferior to the brown eyed people. People are going to call me names and pick on me even though I think very highly of myself I’m going to start to doubt that I’m special. I will start to realize that it’s not a great thing to look down at people for something that they have no control over, like their eyes, and start to relate it to other things like skin color or hair color.
I think it would be a great eye opener. The most powerful part for me is how quickly the children turns on their friends. Their best friend could have a different eye color then they did so all of a sudden they stopped talking. I can’t imagine not talking to my best friend in third grade just because they had brown eyes. I learned that the power of influence from the right people is a strong bond; whether it is a good or bad influence, the influence spreads fast.