BEING “COLORBLIND” IS NOT THE ANTITHESIS OF BEING RACIST
RATHER IT IS A FORM THAT SIMPLY DENIES THE EXISTENCE AND SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL POWER OF RACISM
I'm sorry, Denise. I know you mean well. But creating identities among people who have been oppressed for centuries is essential to the process of gaining political power.
And the effort to erase differences is fundamental to maintaining the racist system we refuse to acknowledge exists.
A whole hell of a lot of white people just don't get this. They have no idea the extent to which your suggestion actually ERASES people. And invisibility is a core issue for black people and people of color.
Unless and until you have experienced being invisible at the depth at which people who aren't white experience it on a daily and very painful basis, you really need to stop and LISTEN, asking yourself "in what ways does this make sense for the people who are the targets of racism?" And "in what ways might my effort to bring everyone together without labels produce the same kind of erasure as intended by racists?
There are excellent reasons for the peoples whose lives are constantly subjected to WHITE people's categorizations of them to seek labels that can unite them in solidarity against their oppressors.
Indeed, racists have contradictory desires. One of them is to mark off black people and people of color as DIFFERENT, and thereby identify them as "less than human."
On the other hand, on the white liberal side (which can, in fact, be very racist as well), there's the desire to erase racial identity, seeing that identity as "divisive."
Fact is that such an erasure means we don't have to address the vast and very real differences of experience between whites and black people/people of color experiences. Those differences result from hundreds of years of white racism that remains endemic in our social system at the same time that most of it has been rendered invisible, particularly to the white liberal eye.
If those experiences and their differences produced thereby between "us" and "them" aren't recognized, then white people don't have to feel guilty about the resulting privileges we have. We can erase the problem easily. '"We are all the same."
But we are not the same. Yes, we are all human, and their are certain aspects of our lives that can be similar, but the contexts in which those similarities are experienced make those similarities quite different indeed.
We cannot solve a problem -- OR be allies in the project of solving a problem -- that we refuse to acknowledge exists.
I strongly recommend that you read the book, "Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America," 5th Edition, by EDUARDO BONILLA-SILVA
The present conditions in which we find ourselves are very much dependent upon the history of solidly racist US policies that are hidden behind the claim to be "colorblind."
You may also wish to read some of the articles on racism that I have posted on Medium.
In particular, this one: Playing the Denial Card. Yes. All. Whites.
Apologies to Jason Pace for taking up so much space in your comment section. But these comments need to be addressed.
I myself wanted to ignore them, but they are common expressions that come from clueless white people (of which I was sort of one at one time).
Hope you don't mind my including links to my page.