“I don’t see people as black or white. I just see people as people.”
As a representative of almost every stereotype of privilege, I believed that successfully becoming “colorblind” was an antidote to prejudice.
Then I heard a black woman expand on the phrase. At first I vehemently disagreed with how she presented it, but I soon saw she was right.
I began to understand that when I say “I’m colorblind,” what I’m really saying is, “I treat everyone as if they were just like me.”
Because that’s a whole lot easier than really getting to know people individually.
But people aren’t just like me. And pretending they are can do more harm than good. And the issue goes beyond skin color.
She went on, “I don’t want you to be colorblind. I want you to see my color; it’s part of who I am. To reject my color is to reject part of me. Don’t ignore my background, my history, my experience. Honor it. Value it.”
Honestly, I’m not sure how to end this post. I can’t tie it up in a neat bow. I don’t have a clear personal conclusion or new, succinct philosophy.
Maybe it’s best just to acknowledge that part of my historical thinking has been dismantled, and to leave things open to keep learning.