A lot of people that I interact with claim to be colorblind (mini-confession: I too claimed that at one point). Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that people are trying to not be racially biased but the truth is, we see color. It’s an evolved survival mechanism (more on that later in a follow-up post).
The more insidious piece of “not seeing color” are the many other pieces of the issue we also become blind to in the process. Blinding ourselves to color, also infers blinding ourselves (who identify as Caucasian) to the many privileges we too easily take for granted. Comedian Dave Chappelle eloquently summed up the issue:
“Things like racism are institutionalized. You might not know any bigots. You feel like ‘Well, I don’t hate Black people so I’m not a racist,’ but you benefit from racism. Just by the merit, the color of your skin. The opportunities that you have, you’re privileged in ways that you might not even realize because you haven’t been deprived of certain things. We need to talk about these things in order for them to change.”
Not convinced you are the benefactor of white privileged? There are plenty of sites that can help open your eyes, including this one, which summarizes 11 facts that merit discussion.
It’s the discussion I’m here to push. These are the conversations we need to be having in our homes, our schools, and our places of employment. Candid and honest discussions can do more to bridge divisiveness than any number of blindfolds, no matter how well intended.