Articles of Diversity Educator Jane Elliott

I live for the day when people start living by the Platinum Rule, instead of the Golden Rule. The Platinum Rule says to do unto others as others would have you do unto them. In other words, treat others the way they want to be treated. In order to know how they want to be treated, you have to ask them what they want, listen to their response, and then do as they ask. This rule requires that we communicate with one another. Doing 'for' and 'to' people doesn't work; doing 'with' people will.

It's time to stop talking about white privilege and start a discussion about white ignorance. There are those who will refuse to give up their privilege; why would anyone want to do that? To be privileged is a good thing, in their eyes. However, being ignorant is not seen as a good thing, and ignorance, after all, is the problem.

There are those, after all, who think that God is an old, white man with a long gray beard, who looks like Charlton Heston playing Moses, and who, therefore, makes whiteness equal rightness and brightness. Why wouldn't those who look like the God that we've created be the privileged ones? Until we realize that God is a spirit and has neither color nor gender, we will be stuck in this ridiculous situation.

Nathan Rutstein said that prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance. Where can you possibly find a truer quote than that?

"Love" and "Equality" are two words that, for centuries, have been used to keep people in their place. It's time to replace them with "Justice" and "Equity", since the former goals are impossible to achieve and the latter are eminently achievable. We are equal only in the eyes of God. In reality, however, we are not equal, nor should we have to be. I do not have to be young, tall, male, and brilliant in order to expect equitable treatment under the law: I'm promised that in the Constitution of the United States. I'm not promised equality, nor do I wish for it. I would have to lose a whole lot of quality in order to be equal to some people, and I could never, no matter how hard I worked, be equal to some others.

bell hooks says that we will never have a loving society until we have a just society. She's absolutely right. Legislate justice if you want to create a loving, equitable society. That, you can do.

Now, you're probably thinking that I do nothing but quote other people's words. You're right, and that's because most of those people, as my father would say, "Have forgotten more since breakfast than I will ever learn."

Jane Elliott

October 11, 2014

Jane Elliott's statment about
The Event: How Racist Are You? (2009 documentary)

I have no formal contract guaranteeing that the Channel 4 documentary would be authentic, but I was assured by the producer, sitting at my dining room table, that no actors would be used in the program; that the participants would not be handpicked for the purpose of having a more energetic production. I was certain that allowing the exercise to progress as it ordinarily does would produce an emotional and interesting documentary. It wasn't until viewers from the UK, who recognized the actors from Survivor-type shows, sent emails vehemently protesting the use of actors on the show, that I became aware that my suspicions during the taping were valid; that the participants weren't reacting to the experience but were acting for the cameras. I was shocked and disgusted, since we had made numerous powerful documentaries of the exercise without employing actors to enhance the effect of being mistreated on the basis of a physical characteristic over which we have no control. Obviously, for Channel 4, reality is not what reality tv is about. They should have entitled the show, "Let's Pretend."

Jane Elliott

15th Octuber 2014

Share |

© ADRD, All Rights Reserved