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February 1st, 2017 | Posted by David Whitfield in Racial Justice


Don’t Talk about Race, Please

Don’t talk about race!  I don’t see color. Well, what if we said the same about gender, poverty, disabilities?  I don’t see gender. Or, I don’t see poverty! That’s a serious and damaging way of denying the reality of a “different” other: an ethnically, racially, and ably different fellow human being; meaning, when we say we don’t see color, we’re denying those of color our reality—it’s the, you-don’t-see-me notion. How does that work? Why the denial, defense, and minimization of others who differ? Imagine a mixed race child with one White parent.  And the child is taught not to see her or his parent of color.  I want to believe that a child wants to see her or his dad or mom? And how would that work anyway?

With colorblindness, not talking about race and racism impedes the opportunity to engage and interrogate these socially invented constructs! Besides both lines of thinking are deficit, and perpetuate deficit ideologies, deficit narratives, leading to racial inequities.  If we don’t see color, why the significant differences in privileges, schools, housing, neighborhoods, and salaries? Why the statistical differences in jail sentences of Whites and nonwhites when the crimes are at least legally equivalent? And if you don’t see color, why can’t I, as a Black person live where any White person lives?  Please, try another one because “Them old dog don’t hunt.”

Finally, colorblindness and avoiding discussions of race and racism result in prolonged personal, structured, and institutional racism; savage inequalities; racial inequities, racial violence; and deferred dreams of those who are racially, ethnically, ably different, denying them the cultural, educational, and community space to live, laugh, love, and learn.

Think about it!!!

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