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Claiming to be color-blind

by PRIDE Newsdesk

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We live in an imperfect world where people are not always treated equally depending on the color of their skin. It is wrong and unfortunate, but that is the reality that exists—in some countries more so than others. One’s color is not the only factor dictating how one is treated, but it is the one that is visually used without knowing anything about a person’s personal background, status, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

Historically, and even now, people of color have been mistreated, trivialized, and discriminated against by the dominate populations in many countries. The United States is no exception when it comes to its horrendous treatment of people of color. Therefore, putting emphasis on skin color has been a contributing factor to how one is treated. It is literally indoctrinated in the psyche of this country.

The egregious treatment toward people of color is so profound, that many moral and highly sensitive people find it defensive and insulting to be considered a part of those harboring such animosity and venom based on color. Many people who truly believe that all people should be treated equally, see themselves as vessels promoting this belief and are quick to point out that they do not ‘see’ color.

Beware! The statement ‘I do not see color’ can be just as controversial and offensive as it is considered ingratiating. Many people see those acclaiming to be color blind as overcompensating, trying too hard to prove they are not like so many of their peers who are indifferent to pain, suffering, and discriminatory practices toward people of color. Those claiming to be color blind may mean well; however, they often use the term defensively when they feel they are viewed in a negative light. It is also used frequently by Whites claiming to be friends to Blacks.

Just think of the words: ‘I don’t see color.’ Are you blind? Of course, you see color which is a very descriptive part of a human being. But it shouldn’t be used as a weapon, contributing to how you treat a person. What is really meant by ‘I don’t see color’ is this: ‘I don’t relate to the unfair treatment attributed to people of color.’ Because saying you are color blind could mean that you are either aware or unaware of the treacherous treatment of people of color in this country.

What do you conceive in your mind about a person when you see a person’s color? Color should not define a person’s worth or how they should be treated. Color is not the problem, inequality is. Unfortunately, the stain of the indignity imposed on people of color has made saying you are color blind a confirmation that you don’t support treating people differently. When we have equality, one’s color will be irrelevant to how one is treated.

Please be careful or even refrain from stating you are color blind. Perhaps you should say, ‘I see everyone as equal.’ How are you going to describe a person in detail and omit their color, ethnicity, or race? In fact many people are proud of their color, which is usually indicative of many qualities and traits associated with their ancestry and heritage. We are all different, and it’s okay because it makes us all unique. It is sad, that one’s color can attributed to how one is treated. Hopefully in the future it won’t matter.

I am an African American, and I don’t want anyone to be color blind when you see me. I am Black, proud, and beautiful. My color is an unapologetic part of who I am. In truth, my color only enhances the legacy, dreams and hope of my ancestors for the equality they never experienced. You don’t have to feel as if you have to avoid my color when you see me. I celebrate my color, so please do not feel you need to not see it. I only ask that you see me as an equal.

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