A Guide to The Eye of the Storm
Video: Eye of the Storm-http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/class-divided/
In The Eye of the Storm, a 25 minute film, a classroom situation isdeliberately created to teach third graders how it feels to be on the
receiving end of discrimination. Jane Elliott, a teacher in the nearly all-white farming community of Riceville, Iowa, is deeply disturbed by
the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. When one of her third grade students remarks “They shot a King. Why did they shoot a
King?”, Mrs. Elliott decides to help her students experience the pain of discrimination. This documentary explores the nature or prejudice in a
dramatic third-grade classroom experiment conducted in a small Midwestern town in the United States – a town without Ghettos or civil unrest.
It demonstrates how quickly wholesome, friendly schoolchildren can be infected with the ugly virus of discrimination that leads to frustration,
broken friendships and vicious behavior.
Instructions & Requirements
During viewing focus on the following:
• The body language, words and behavior of the children when they are encouraged todiscriminate
• Most of the children believed what the teacher told them
• They accepted that they should be treated differently as they were “superior” and others “inferior”, i.e., have an extra 5 minutes for
recess; “leave the yardstick on your desk”
• ‘Brown eyed’ became a derogatory term.
• Russell is asked whether he is using the term “… to be funny or to be mean” (“Iwas only joking” is sometimes given as an
explanation/excuse by people using offensive language)
• Roy is asked “What’s wrong with being called ‘brown-eyes’?” He replies “It means that we’re stupider and – well, not that…” “Oh,
that’s just the same as other people calling black people ‘ni__ers’!”
• All the children performed better in the test when they were in the superior group because, as their teacher had told them they were
“…better and smarter” they were more confident about themselves and their abilities. They lived up to her expectation of them
• Jane Elliott also considers the exercise ‘an injection of the live virus of racism’. Many parents vaccinate children against serious
illnesses knowing that doing so may make them ill for a short time to protect them in the future. Participating in the blue-eyed, brown-eyed
exercise allows people to understand and recognize racism and its negative effects so that they can challenge it and other ‘isms’ more
confidently whenever they encounter them in the future.
The exercise clearly shows the ‘anatomy of prejudice’. Negative behaviors are not the result of a genetic predisposition! Even scientists agree
that there are more differences within any of the so-called ‘races’ than between them. This video shows that it is discriminatory treatment
that leads to the negative behaviors that are often cited to characterize people in less powerful groups.
To successfully meet the requirements for this assignment as outlined in the assessment rubric, write a summary report of 2-3pages relating what
you have learned in class to what you learned from the viewing the video, “The Eye of the Storm”. In the summary report, you will need to
encapsulate the results of watching the video interview, reflecting on the video, and providing your comments from the questions asked and
Write a 2-3 page (minimum) Paper on your comments/reflection of the video:
Use the following questions to frame your paper as of today, January 2016, specifically in the hospitality industry. We certainly can draw
parallels between the eye color exercise in the video to individuals/groups of people in roles of housekeeping, golf course maintenance, and
kitchen staff;race and ethnicity discrimination in the hospitality industry.
• What are the implications of being under emotional stress while trying to learn or to work?
• What can you do to challenge discriminatory treatment within the hospitality industry?
• Can you suggest ways to reduce prejudices?
• What is the responsibility of college curriculum in educating future managers in the hospitality industry?
You will need to provide supporting evidence two (2) from your readings, textbook, or other resourcesof:
• What BEST Practices have you identified that work to eliminate discrimination or prejudices in the hospitality industry.
• What do you think should be done in to encourage appreciation of others as individuals, without prejudice because of rage, religions or
nationality within organizations or business within the hospitality industry?
1. APA referencing is required.Basic Rules to APA Referencing
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