More and more have I been noticing this inclination that being “colorblind” is the thing to be because it means that you do not see color when you interact with others. Yes — this notion of colorblindness may seem cognate to being anti-racist to white people, but to minorities this depletion of acknowledgement of our differences and treatment can be very detrimental. By expressing the fact that you feel you are colorblind you are essentially admitting you are not sentient to the concept of race and why it plays such a crucial role on how people of color are not only seen, but also how they view themselves.
When you say we are all the same, do you really believe that?
Stating that we are all the same does not provide an explanation on why people are treated differently based on their racial makeup. In fact, it instead continues to provide oppression on minorities because it adheres to the notion that there is no privilege or detriment for simply being a particular race. Yes — race is a social construct but that construct has been undeniably damaging to people of color socially, economically, and even mentally. By being colorblind are you acknowledging your white privilege? Are you educating your fellow white people of their white privilege? Is your colorblindness somehow effective in addressing systemic oppression? Until you are able to grasp that there in fact is a problem in how people of color are treated in comparison to whites who are clearly more favorable in our society, I don’t think your stance on being colorblind provides a solution to tackling white supremacy. In fact — I believe it perpetuates it.
What are the actual benefits of being colorblind?
If your reasoning behind not seeing color is because you are open to befriending and dating different races of people, well your reasoning is not benefiting people of color at all. Friendships and relationships are not going to end White Supremacy. Friendships and relationships will simply mask it. We don’t need a mask or a Band-Aid. We need change. We need healing. We want to be able to be care-free just like our white counterparts and not always be conscious of who we are when we are shrouded with anti-blackness and encounter a situation that quickly reminds of who we are just in case we happen to forget. We don’t want nor need colorblindness. We want and need color awareness. Keep this is mind the next to time you think stating you’re colorblind is supposed to mean something.
It means nothing.
As I scroll through the comments regarding Korryn Gaines, the young mother who was killed during a standoff in the presence of her five year old son, I am noticing an exhaustive amount of apathetic comments from black people. Mainly black men. These insensitive comments insist that Korryn Gaines “got what she deserved” and how her death isn’t moving because her actions determined her demise. Sifting through these comments I am reminded of the eerie similarities of the language to comments which I have seen from anti-black white people, time and time again, whenever an unarmed black man is killed by an officer. Blaming Korryn for her death because of the circumstances is just as bad as when black men are blamed for their own deaths by a cop. Freddie Gray was blamed for his own death. They tried to say he was responsible for breaking his own neck. Eric Garner was blamed for his own choking and Alton Sterling was blamed for his death because “supposedly” he was reaching for a gun. And of course we see this same narrative of victim blaming whenever instances such as this happen, but usually not from our own.
Black men are allowed to express how far they will go to protect their families. By any means necessary at that. A black woman whose residence is swarmed by S.W.A.T. with her child inside is attacked with victim blaming rhetoric because “she may have” pointed a gun at intruding officers. Obviously, I think we all can agree that we wish this situation could have been handled better, but that does not negate the fearlessness and bravery that this woman Korryn Gaines showed unapologetically. She didn’t give in to a system that probably would have killed her regardless if she was armed or not. Her courage is admirable. Her love for her children was admirable. Her son will never forget how his mother taught him to be fearless and not be afraid of or to trust an agency that was not created to protect him. She was his protector.
Had Korryn Gaines been a man, I do believe the language used in regards to this tragic situation would have been completely different. Black men would have been immortalizing the man as a hero just as they did Micah Johnson after the Dallas Police Shooting. Vigilance against oppression apparently is something only a black man can administer and is stupidity if enacted by a woman. Black Lives Matter means women too. If black women are always there for black men when they are shot down, we expect the same solidarity to be shown to us when it is us getting murdered. Black women too feel the need to protect themselves and our children, by any means necessary. We too matter in case you’ve forgotten.
Image via https://www.facebook.com/korryn.gaines