RECOGNIZING RACISM REQUIRES US TO SEE IN COLOR

I’ve heard people say “I am colorblind” when the topic of racism arises. I know what they mean to say… “they” meaning white people like me… mean to say they love all races equally. I may have even said it before myself. But I’ve come to understand why it’s not helpful. Furthermore, why the concept is harmful.

I hope I am NEVER colorblind. I love color too much.

Wouldn’t it be better to recognize and see the beauty all of us have to offer the world. Why be blind to something that makes us, all of us, beautiful?

To be colorblind is to ignore the issues that need attending to. You have to RECOGNIZE and see the colors in order to understand the fight. Because the truth is…. society isn’t colorblind. It never will be. And racism is something we really should be fighting against everyday.

The first step in fixing any problem in our society is to recognize the problem, ask ourselves how we can be part of the solution, and then verify with those being harmed if it’s indeed a good solution.

The problem isn’t the colors it’s the way we see the colors. That’s something we can work with.

This post is me acknowledging that saying we are “colorblind” as a response to racism isn’t the answer. Seeing color and recognizing how color enhances the beauty of a person… that’s what I think would be more helpful.

Just my two cents.

15 thoughts on “RECOGNIZING RACISM REQUIRES US TO SEE IN COLOR

  1. I think people say that automatically as a way to appear accepting. It’s become a cliche phrase — I’m colorblind. Unless a medical condition, there is no such thing. The reality, as you say, is that we are different — color, culture, etc., and nothing is more obvious. Be accepting, yes, that’s the trick, regardless of what we see with eyes wide open. Great post.

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  2. Excellent points, Hasty. I have come to the conclusion that “being colorblind” is not possible. One cannot un-see a person’s skin color, hair, makeup, clothes, and so on. The recognition, the awareness, to cultivate is of the assumptions and judgments we make so easily, even automatically, from what we see, and question them. Those who claim to be colorblind are deceiving mainly themselves.

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  3. I disagree — if you have time to celebrate the colors that’s great. But if you have to get stuff done and need to move it along, being colorblind means you treat everyone equally. Equally nice, equally brusque. Just equal, no preferential treatment or specifically crappy treatment. I live in color (NYC), I don’t have the time to differentiate.

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    • Not all communities are as diverse as NYC first of all. To be colorblind means you don’t believe racism exists. Try living in a community where minorities aren’t as common. Where they are treated unequally and harassed. I live in Oklahoma. Being a colorblind white person in a community like that is basically to ignore an issue that needs resolved. Just because you treat everyone equally doesn’t mean everyone around you does. Treating people equally doesn’t make you colorblind it makes you a good person. A person willing to see and accept when there might be a problem with inequality. Colorblind is just what it means… you are blind to the plights others might be facing due to their color.

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      • I still say, just treat someone as a human. See no color – be aware of cultures of any type, but don’t over compensate because some might have had trouble elsewhere. I grew up with one black kid in my HS and a family of Hmong in my Church, not a lot of diversity. My parents were respectful and equal to all colors and walks of life. Good manners to Humanity. To me, that is colorblind. Awareness of experiences, backgrounds and cultures? That’s something else. Maybe we just disagree on semantics~XO

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  4. I’m a rainbow girl myself. 🙂 The absence of color offends me. It always has. I can’t stand drab essences such as gray and taupe. Growing up in colorful neighborhoods I thought was a normal experience, but as an adult, due to employment, I moved to a city that was nearly all Caucasian. I hated that aspect of where I live. I am happy to report it has gotten more ethnically diverse as time has passed. It makes me crazy that racism still exists, it shouldn’t. We must all do our part to eradicate it permanently. 🙂

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    • I’ve had people tell me,”it only exists because you talk about it!” Ummm I wonder if that works with rape and domestic violence and human trafficking too?

      We talk about and acknowledge when people need help. The only way to be open to helping is to acknowledge our differences. Being blind to color, race, religion, economic status… never helped anyone find a good solution. Eyes wide open… otherwise blissful ignorance is what you get. And while that obviously works for people it doesn’t work for me.

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