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Editor’s Note, DESTINY


In 1968, American schoolteacher Jane Elliott conducted one of the most famous, controversial — and successful — educational experiments of the 20th century with her Third Grade class (of exclusively white children) in Riceville, Iowa.

Singling out children with blue eyes, Elliott awarded them special privileges, such as extra helpings at lunch, an extended play hour, the right to walk around the schoolground, etc. Children with other eye colours were not only denied these privileges, but were ignored or derided by their blue-eyed classmates. The following day, Elliott reversed the procedure, singling out children with brown, green or grey eyes for the privileges, while the blueeyed children were ostracised and treated with contempt. The youngsters had received a first-hand immersion class in racism and in the reality of experiencing irrational, systematic prejudice. According to follow-up research, the lesson gave them an enduring appreciation of equality and dignity for all. In our own apartheid-scarred, polarised country, our feature, Some of My Best Friends are Racist (p42), explores the insidious effects of racial prejudice, reminding us that lessons like Elliott's can't be taught soon enough. Other important lessons South Africans need include entrepreneurial skills, and our Entrepreneurial Report, sponsored by the Eskom Development Foundation, offers a wealth of advice and information for start-up businesses. We also draw inspiration from Philisiwe Buthelezi, CEO of the National Empowerment Fund, which funds entrepreneurs in SA and aims to eradicate racial economic inequality in our country. Have a great Women's Month!

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