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I don’t want to be colorblind

March 19, 2010

A black friend of mine told me about a colleague who said to her, “I don’t really see you as black.”  She was insulted. She is proud of being black.

I’m wary of those who would advocate for a colorblind society. I think it is a naive to think that we don’t or won’t notice the different colors of peoples’ skin.

It’s not seeing color that’s the problem. It’s believing that some skin colors are better than others that is the tragedy and the arrogance.

Claims of a colorblind society reveal an ignorance about the different experiences that people of color have on a daily basis because of the color of their skin. It is white people I most often hear talking about a desire for a colorblind society.  I know that it may come from the best of intentions and yet it often operates as a mechanism to support the pathology of racism which would like to remain invisible and silent.

Seeing color is not the problem.  Seeing (and understanding) what causes me to have biases about people whose skin color is different from mine  is the problem. I don’t want to be ignorant about that.

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