48 Jane Elliott Quotes About Racial Equality And Freedom

Looking for famous quotes by Jane Elliott? We have rounded up the best collection of Jane Elliott quotes, sayings, captions, (with images and pictures) which are thought provoking about education, racial inequality and freedom.

Also See: Popular Oprah Winfrey Quotes

Elliott is a longtime activist and American diversity educator. She is best known as the teacher who, in 1968, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, put her third-graders in Riceville, Iowa, through an Blue eyes/Brown eyes exercise to teach them about racial prejudice.

Jane Elliott Quotes

  1. “What would you like to do with them?”

  2. “Age is how we determine how valuable you are.”

  3. “Talking won’t do it. Talk is cheap. Change requires action.”

  4. “To sit back and do nothing is to cooperate with the oppressor.”

  5. “What did you people who are wearing blue collars now find out today?”

  6. “I don’t wanna go to my grave knowing that we didn’t make a difference.”

  7. “Racism is a learned affliction, and anything that is learned can be unlearned.”

  8. “First, you have to require that teachers learn what they haven’t about history.”

  9. “Nobody’s born a bigot, you have to learn bigotry. Bigotry is a learned response.”

  10. “God only created one race; the human race. Color groups are just…color groups!”

  11. “If you do that with a whole group of people for a lifetime you change them psychologically.”

  12. “Should the color of some other person’s eyes have anything to do with how you treat them?”

  13. “Education in this country is about how to maintain the status quo and to perpetuate racism.”

  14. “It’s just absolutely beautiful to see all those different colors of people out there working together.”

  15. “People who are racist aren’t stupid, they’re ignorant. And the answer to ignorance is education.”

  16. “This is the most Hitlerian administration I’ve ever seen. This man is talking about racial cleansing.”

  17. “Teachers can’t teach what they haven’t been taught, and are in danger of losing their jobs if they teach the truth.”

  18. “Racism is only, as we practice it, about 500 years old. We could destroy it, if we chose to. But that would take education.”

  19. “We learn to be racist, therefore we can learn not to be racist. Racism is not genetical. It has everything to do with power.”

  20. “Black Lives Matter movement is the most important thing to have happened on this continent since Martin Luther King Jr.”

  21. “I watched brilliant little blue-eyed white Christian children become timid and frightened, and angry and unable to learn.”

  22. “I think I’m the only 65-year-old actress in Los Angeles who hasn’t had plastic surgery, so somebody’s gotta play the old-lady parts!”

  23. “Nothing thrills me more than to be good at something. It’s very rewarding, and I feel grateful and blessed, and I never take it for granted.”

  24. “I don’t have a Twitter account. I don’t go to fan club gatherings. I’m not one of those actors who spends a lot of time engaging with the audience.”

  25. “…It’s time to insist that educators recognize the myth, teach about the myth, but teach the truth, that there’s only one race: it’s the human race.”

  26. “I’ve got news for you: There are going to be people other than Christians in the hereafter. What are you going to do about it? Are you not going to go?”

  27. “This country isn’t a melting pot. Think of this country as a stir fry. That’s what this country should be. A place where people are appreciated for who they are.”

  28. “I am absolutely opposed to political correctness. You cannot confront hate speech until you’ve experienced it. You need to hear every side of the issue instead of just one.”

  29. “I loved raising my kids. I loved the process, the dirt of it, the tears of it, the frustration of it, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, growth charts, pediatrician appointments. I loved all of it.”

  30. “Somebody has to wear the black hat and give the audience someone to shake their fists at. They want someone to hate. And if that’s what you want to pay me to do, I’m happy to do it!”

  31. “I’m not curing cancer or running a small county. I haven’t developed a greener car. I just play act. And if I can bring people a moment of fun and relief in their lives, well, that’s the win.”

  32. “We have to start seeing [all] people as our relatives. You are a member of my family; I will not allow you to be abused because of somebody else’s ignorance about the color of your skin.”

  33. “We don’t know anything about racism. We’ve never experienced it. If words can make a difference in your life for seven minutes, how would it affect you if you heard this every day of your life?”

  34. “About 10,000 years ago, males and females were acting equitably and were treating one another as equals, and then males took over the power because they have physical power and physical strength.”

  35. “No white group has founded a major religion on this planet. The major religions were started in the Orient and the Middle East, not in Greece and Rome. I always knew you racists didn’t have a prayer.”

  36. “I watched my students become what I told them they were; I watched little wonderful brown-eyed white people become vicious, ugly, nasty, discriminating, domineering people in the space of 15 minutes.”

  37. “I’m a practicing Christian – and I’m going to keep practicing till I get it right – but I don’t feel everyone has to practice the same religion that I do. You have a right to worship who you choose and how you choose to.”

  38. “They need to realize that one of the things, one of the driving forces in this election was the knowledge people have that within 30 years white people will have lost their numerical majority in the United States of America.”

  39. “When you say to a person of color, ‘When I see you, I don’t see you Black; I just see everybody the same’ think about that. You don’t have the right to say to a person, ‘I do not see you as you are; I want to see you as I would be more comfortable seeing you.”

  40. “And people who say, ‘We aren’t all racists.’ If you graduated from high school in the United States of America and you didn’t learn how to be a racist you need to take the whole program over again, because that’s what the program is: how to be a good American.”

  41. “We don’t need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in different things. You want the vegetables — the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers — to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences.”

  42. “White people’s number one freedom, in the United States of America, is the freedom to be totally ignorant of those who are other than white. We don’t have to learn about those who are other than white. And our number two freedom is the freedom to deny that we’re ignorant.”

  43. “450,000 Iraqi children have died from starvation and lack of medicine as a result of our embargo. If you believe God loves little children – and hundreds of thousands more Iraqi children will die if there is war – you have to believe that God will judge us very harshly for this.”

  44. “You are not born racist. You are born into a racist society. And like anything else, if you can learn it, you can unlearn it. But some people choose not to unlearn it, because they’re afraid they’ll lose power if they share with other people. We are afraid of sharing power. That’s what it’s all about.”

  45. “White people in this country are tweaked. We are raised to believe a myth of White superiority. Malcolm X, in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, said that White people’s “belief that they are ‘superior’ in some way is so deeply rooted that these things are in the national White subconscious.”

  46. “You convince those who are analogous to the brown-eyed people that they are superior, that they are perfect, that they have the right to rule. And you convince those who take the place of the blue-eyed students that they are less than. If you do that for a lifetime, what do you suppose that does to them?”

  47. “We are still conditioning people in this country and, indeed, all over the globe to the myth of white superiority. We are constantly being told that we don’t have racism in this country anymore, but most of the people who are saying that are white. White people think it isn’t happening because it isn’t happening to them.”

  48. “When is this racism — when is this situation going to end for people of color in this country,” she asked, frustration heavy in her voice. “And when is anti-Semitism going to end for people who are of the Jewish faith in this country? And when is hatred of Muslims going to end for people who are Muslim in this country?”

  49. “I get the same results with the exercise in Berlin or in the Netherlands that I do in the U.S. or Australia or Curacao. And what’s even more distressing is the fact that I’ve gotten the same results using the exercise with adults in Scotland and Australia in the year 2002 that I got using the exercise with children in Riceville, Iowa, in 1968.”


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