Since the mid 1990s, race scholars have argued that after the U.S. Civil Rights era overtly racist acts gave way to color-blind (covert) racism. In other words, it was no longer socially acceptable to express blatantly racist views or use the n-word and call people other bad words in public. People now speak in coded language, utilizing “colorblind” language to discriminate. White folk claim that, since they don’t see color, so their actions can’t possibly be racist. This logic allows them to explain away education, income, and health disparities for people of color. Political and economic inequalities can be painted as the result of individual failings and cultural weaknesses.
“The Angry Eye” | part 1 | Brown Eye-Blue Eye Experiment
I’m bringing this back because it is still relevant today. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again. If you don’t have the time to watch it now, bookmark it and watch it later. Whatever you do, make sure you watch this video. Part two can be found here.
“I choose my own battlefields. Not by my blood, but by my heart! I stand on the battlefield to protect what’s important to me. And if anyone stands in my way, I don’t care if it’s one of my kind, my brother or anyone else… I’ll crush them all!”
Growing up, my son was pretty much the only close black friend that any of his white friends had. He had other black friends, but he was the only black male in AP and honors classes at his prep school, and for most of his soccer career, the only black player on his travel team.
His high school soccer career ended when one of his teammates screamed “Stop that n—–!” from the sidelines, referring to the opposing team’s star player. When my son took offense, the coach, who had known him since he was 10, told him he was overreacting. My son’s “friend” who did the hollering said, “But I wasn’t talking about you. I don’t think of you that way.” But how that teammate would characterize my son did not extend to the unknown black player on the field.
In my house, we know that having a black friend is not the same thing as not having stereotypical views of black people. If America is going to address this kind of all-too-frequent, radicalized viewpoint, we’re going to have to sober up about the limitations of friendship. It would seem as if there are many more George Zimmermans in the world than we may be comfortable admitting. Some murder. Some use racial epithets. Some do things even more subtle, like pass over black candidates for jobs or educational opportunities.
I feel like when people say this, they say it with the best intentions but they don’t really understand what it means.
First, to say “I don’t see color” points out that you really do see color, but for the wrong reasons. To me, it’s like you’re saying “I see your race but I know you’re not like one of the ‘thugs’ or ‘bad ones’”. It’s basically saying “I don’t see you as your negative stereotype”. It affirms that upon meeting a Black person/person of color, you automatically pit them against their negative stereotype and compare them. And you know damn well you don’t do that when meeting a white person.
Second, to say that you “don’t see color” smudges away all of the culture that is associated with the race whose color you “aren’t seeing”. You’re putting a cloud over the beautiful cultural practices that come with being a person of color. You’re automatically putting your culture above theirs.
Quit being “colorblind” and realize that Blackness is beautiful and that Black people are fucking smart. This is NOT what mainstream media portrays, because they want you to believe the opposite. Take a step back to realize that AND realize the oppression that there is towards people of color on a daily basis. Check your privileges and realize that these can be used to HELP uplift the Black voices that are being silenced right now.
"Part of not being racist, is not caring about what the race of people is."
Correction:part of not being racist is acknowledging others race and respecting them for it, not treating them differently because of it, and caring enough to learn how they are being treated in our society.
The whole "I don't see color" ideology is problematic, disrespectful, and drenched in privilege.