Did We Fail the Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Experiment—Or Did It Fail Us?

A Half-Century Old Classroom Exercise Shows Americans’ Hunger for a Silver Bullet to ‘Cure Racism’

Today’s heated arguments about critical race theory shouldn’t surprise us because they aren’t new. Indeed, one of the best-known classroom experiments to combat racism remains a divisive subject more than a half-century after it was tried out in a rural Iowa elementary school.

You may not know Jane Elliott by name, but you likely have heard of the blue eyes/brown eyes experiment, which has been performed on hundreds of thousands of children and adults across the United States and around the world. Elliott was a schoolteacher in Riceville, Iowa, a small …

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What Can We Learn From the Failings of William Mulholland? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Can We Learn From the Failings of William Mulholland?

The 'Father of Los Angeles' Was a Link in a Chain of Theft and Loss—And Its Consequences Ripple Into the Present

For much of my life I have been in conversation with a man who died 86 years ago.  He was born in Dublin in 1855 and grew up poor, with …

Where Does Climate Change Data Come From? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where Does Climate Change Data Come From?

A Web of Satellites Provides Massive Amounts of Information—And Proof That Global Collaboration Is Possible

It’s starting to feel as though scientists and governments announce new policies and predictions for our warming planet every week. But where do the data undergirding the alarming headlines and …

Can We Still Bump n’ Grind to R. Kelly? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can We Still Bump n’ Grind to R. Kelly?

To Grapple with the Immorality of Artists We May Have to Go Through Their Art

Whatever else “cancel culture” might be about, when it comes to the arts, it’s about this—if you want to do right as a consumer of art, the work of some …

What Crime Does the Thanksgiving Turkey Answer For? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Crime Does the Thanksgiving Turkey Answer For?

A Philosopher Reflects on How Pardoning the Birds Only Compounds the Holiday's Hypocrisy and Brutality

“Merciful President Pardons Turkey” declared headlines when John F. Kennedy saved the turkey gifted to the White House from being on the dinner table in 1963. But the tradition of …

America Should Lower Its Expectations | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America Should Lower Its Expectations

Triumphalism Has Made Us Reckless. Can Making Peace With Our Shortcomings Save Us?

I get how hard it is to admit defeat, to lower expectations. Even when things are breaking down in every part of the national machine, from public health to education …