In some ways, colorblindness makes sense: Race can be uncomfortable – its mere mention can thicken the air with tension.
Moreover, this country’s racist history is deeply uncomfortable: “Let’s just start fresh in a world where we don’t acknowledge racial differences and, with luck, we can move beyond our racist past.
Multiracial students who look very White have shared stories of having their faces examined, often by White people, looking for “what else” is in there.
In it, I argue that White Americans who avoid race, a behavior that colorblindness encourages, have a skewed view of the world.
Since it’s the responsibility of White folks to educate ourselves and each other (and not expect people of color to be our trainers), I encourage you take to heart the seven reasons I’ve already been taught: Because of the prevalence and history of racism, just the word “race” can conjure negative connotations.
However, racial oppression (not to mention the flipside, racial advantage and privilege) is just one dimension of race.
Novelist, and perhaps coolest-person-ever, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls for multiple perspectives so that we avoid what she calls, “the danger of the single story.” Colorblind ideology limits the stories that get told, keeping White America comfortable, but also keeping racism thriving. If you are espousing colorblindness, your failure to deeply understand race means you have likely been tripping down a long unnecessary road paved with stereotypes and microaggressions.
And while you may have been banking on the bliss that comes with ignorance, the people who know full well that race really fucking matters — people of all colors — do not trust you.