What Color are Your Eyes?

Discriminate: to make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.

If you have ever been discriminated against because you did not meet some criteria someone considers important, we share that reality. I have been both personally and professionally discriminated against, and yes, had to overcome some of my own areas of discrimination. For example, two weeks after 9/11, I was flying from Boston to Stockholm and there was an Arabic person waiting to board the plane. I must admit I, and others waiting to board the plane, looked at him with a suspicious attitude—this was both unfair and unkind to that gentleman.

There is a very well-known blue-and brown-eyed discrimination exercise that was first conducted in 1968. Third-grade students were told blue-eyed children were not as smart and capable as brown-eyed ones. The results and how the children began discriminating against the “inferior group” offers a dramatic example of the evils of discrimination. It demonstrates how easily we can be deceived and get into a “right-wrong” mentality about individuals or groups based on false and misleading opinions presented as “facts.”

At one point during the exercise, one of the students pointed out that the teacher had blue eyes. Another commented, “She could have been the principal if she had brown eyes.”

As a Scientologist I recognize that we each are, truly, spiritual beings, and I have yet to see a color on any one of those.

I have personally had to deal with discrimination as a Scientologist. I have also been very happily married for over 42 years to a Black woman (I am White). Over the years we experienced very little negative discriminatory response, but I had family members who would not talk to me because I did not marry a white woman. My wife’s oldest sister who, because I was white, was suspicious of me and my motives for going out with her sister, somewhat seriously threatened me with bodily harm if I did not treat her sister well.

But why, besides our family (which we could not choose) had we encountered so little discrimination? I concluded that it was because we were surrounding ourselves with individuals who judged us on our individual merit, not the arbitrary color of our skin.

As a Scientologist I recognize that we each are, truly, spiritual beings, and I have yet to see a color on any one of those.

So, what color are your eyes?

Perhaps right now, someone, somewhere, is coming up with a theory that anyone who knows someone with your color eyes should beware.

Which is why you should beware of discriminating against an individual or organization because you were fed another’s misguided “truths”—opinion (or worse, hate) disguised as fact.

Photo by: Natalia Yankelevich / Shutterstock.com

Bernard Percy
Author, educator, international lecturer, proud dad of three adult daughters, husband (for 45 years), and a Scientologist (since 1968). He has had eight books published on education and family relationships; he was a New York City elementary school teacher for 12 years and he has a master's degree in childhood education from Columbia University.