The Daily Tar Heel did a good job with the above article. However, what becomes more disturbing, and hints at the racism that is still prevalent in our society, are the comments that people have posted online.
One of the notions discussed is that of being a society that is colorblind; a society where we don’t examine race, and it doesn’t matter because we’re all being judged by our merits. While I would love to live in a society where race doesn’t matter, I am also very aware of how my race has shaped me. And in all honesty, people being colorblind to that can lead to much insensitivity. I’ve experienced the “colorblind phenomenon”, as I’ll call it, when people of other races have said “I don’t even think of you as black. You’re just like me.”
Well, while that’s a nice thought- I’m NOT like you, and it’s offensive to me for that to be said. When someone exercises this “colorblind phenomenon” towards specific blacks (or people of other races), what they really mean is that you’re not part of the stereotype that I had of this group. And since you’re not part of this stereotype, I’m not going to think of you as being a part of that group.
Now, since we all know that races are monolithic (note the sarcasm), and that people were lying when they said there’s more variation within races than between them, OF COURSE, I can’t possibly be black if I: can’t dance, can’t sing, don’t wear ‘urban clothes’, am ‘articulate’, etc. etc…
Sometimes I wish we’d give more thought to the things we say, noting what’s implied by our comments. I believe that the idea of being colorblind should really be replaced with the notion of having heightened sensitivity to our cultural differences. I am proud to be black, and I don’t want my ‘blackness’ stripped away (of course, it never can be) in this quest for ‘colorblindness’. I just feel that if we are sensitive to our words, thoughts, and actions; ‘colorblindness’ won’t be necessary.