In a lot of the conversations I’ve had recently about race, I’ve heard a lot of people coming to me with what I assume are good intentions in saying that they don’t see race. They tell me that they don’t see me as black, they see me as a person and they tell me that they don’t judge me because of my race.
Now, while I think that the concept of being colorblind is a great one, I also think that there are a couple of issues with it and that’s what this video is going to be about.
Now, one of the reasons why this bothers me so much is that every single time I have a conversation about systematic racism, I always have a person, usually a white person, coming into my conversation and telling me that they don’t see color and that they’re colorblind and this is usually said with a very smug, very, you know, I’m more evolved than you, I’m more progressive than you, undertone.
There are many people, usually white people, who enter into these conversations and say that my simple discussion about racism is inherently racist because I’m specifying between black and white people. In other words, I see race and they don’t and that makes them just so much more progressive than I am and then there’s always this conversation about equality and how I don’t believe in equality because I’m seeing people in white.
Well, let’s talk about equality. Now, a lot of these colorblind people seem to think that equality is simply this vague suggestion that everyone is created equally and that we all have the same opportunities to succeed in this country. This is something that I hear them say often and to be honest, overlooks what equality actually is.
Now, let’s say that equality is everybody having the opportunity to pick an apple out of a tree. Let’s say that the apple is seven feet high. If you are six feet tall, all you have to do is raise your hand a little and you pretty much got the apple. Someone who’s say, four feet tall, is going to have to use a stepping stool in order to get the apple and someone who is two feet tall is going to have to get an entire ladder in order to climb up the tree to get the apple.
Just because everybody has the same opportunity, it doesn’t mean that everyone has the same access. We can’t make everybody six feet tall, so we have to give them the tools in order to help them proceed to their goals and that’s what equality looks like.
A lot of people, generally people of privilege, seem to think that the vague suggestion of equality is enough, but it isn’t. You have to acknowledge first of all, that racism is real and that it exists and because of that, there is certain rights and privileges that haven’t been afforded to white people that were not afforded to people of color.
If you truly want to end racism, you’re going to acknowledge those differences and come with us to fight against racism. Speaking of differences, equality also isn’t denying or ignoring that I’m black.
Telling me that you don’t see me as black, is not a complement. I am black and black is beautiful.
Equality is acknowledging that yes, we all have our differences, but we also have our commonality. To me, a unified world looks like a world where we’re all celebrating our differences and not pretending that they don’t exist.
If you’re a white person that says that you don’t see color, my question to you is, how often do you say that to another white person? Anyways, I don’t care what color you are. I want you to always remember and never forget that you are beautiful and you are loved. Bye.
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