“Not seeing color just means defaulting to the regular standard, which is white.”
Sometimes people say they’re “colorblind” — that they don’t see race, and race doesn’t matter to them.
While this might be well-intentioned, the idea of colorblindness is problematic. It often becomes a mechanism for ignoring systemic problems with racism, rather than addressing them. And instead of eliminating racism, colorblindness can “erase” the identities of people of color and minority groups.
Kerry Washington summed it up well in a discussion on colorblind racism:
“I’m not interested in, sort of, living in a world where my race is not a part of who I am. I am interested in living in a world where our races, no matter what they are, don’t define our trajectory in life.”
In this comic from Empathize This, the artist describes how it feels to be a minority and to be subjected to “colorblindness,” or whitewashing:
Next time you hear someone say they’re colorblind, share this comic with them.
When we acknowledge the beauty of racial diversity and address the problems surrounding race in our system, we create a world that is more inclusive for all people — and that’s pretty important.