Many people have this preconceived mindset that if they acknowledge someone’s race, it’s racist. However, we fail to remember that race is part of our identity and is crucial to society’s diversity. We do not do justice to people of color when we ignore their ethnicity and race. Many people believe that by ignoring race, it makes society and themselves seem progressive, when it does the opposite. Color blind ideology refers to when someone doesn’t “see” or acknowledge another’s race. Though this may seem very progressive, it actually acts as counterproductive. We have to evaluate who gets the privilege to be “color blind” and how these methods erase critical initiatives.
When someone uses the color blind method, for example, “I don’t see color or race,” as a means to not be racist, they are also averting their attention away from current racist practices. Adia Harvey Wingfield from the Atlantic in “Color-Blindness Is Counterproductive” describes how, “[Sociologists] fear that the refusal to take public note of race actually allows people to ignore manifestations of persistent discrimination,” (2015). This is predominately why white people are the ones to use colorblind ideology because they have the most privilege to deny these racist practices that don’t affect them. As a society, we need to remember that to erase history, group or individual, that we ultimately commit a racist act. As I stated in my last column, by becoming hyper aware of these practices and actively working against them, we can progress.
We have to keep in mind that race is not a bad thing. In fact, we can embrace our race and culture as something positive. Personally, my Mexican culture is something I take pride in and is a crucial part of my identity that contributes to my values. To whole groups, their ethnicity and race is vital to their history and why present issues still affect them. Acknowledging race is not inherently racist, there are reasons why it can be virtuous and celebrated, but singling out and exploiting is not the answer either.
Discussing race outwardly is still a topic that people can cause discomfort. I understand that this may not be everyone’s expertise, but we also need to keep in mind that if we do nothing, nothing will get better. By educating ourselves, we become better. I encourage everyone to look more in-depth with aspects about race that they may not understand. There are numerous podcasts, articles, and books that are accessible to everyone. Let us educate ourselves in order to become better citizens, allies, and society.