Not Blind At All!
It has been my entire life, that I have heard people say this – I don’t see skin color. I am color blind.
Assuming that you are aware of this thought process, and you understand it’s intention, please let me explain how wrong-headed this notion is.
For decades we have not been able to discuss race among ourselves. For most of those years we were not even comfortable bringing it up, and we avoided the discussion at all costs.
For those of you who don’t know why that is – a HUGE part of the inability, for white people to discuss race comfortably, with regard to black people, was that nothing nice was ever said. Think of white southern men referring to African Americans as they often did (do), by way of some horrible racial slur. (You know the ones).
As Americans, based on our history, we did not have a way, of referring to African Americans in a positive light. It was always some disparaging character reference, some cruel angry words, or some declaration with regard to ‘protecting our good white women’. We could not ever even broach the conversation, for fear of what would be said.
But we aren’t slaves and owners anymore. People are more enlightened and educated, and tolerant. We are so much more multi-racial, as a society, than we were a century ago. It’s time to take a fresh look.
And here it is… my culture is interesting. Your culture is interesting. If we could be sharing information, about the things that make us different, and the things that make us interesting, we would be better equipped to know and understand each other, and have simple discussions. We wouldn’t need to be so uncomfortable talking about who we are, where we come from, and what makes us ‘tick’.
All it takes to discuss our cultures with each other, instead of avoiding the conversation, is to show an interest and ask questions. Surely we are sophisticated enough in the 21st century, to ask constructive questions, and conduct friendly conversations, without being offensive, rude, derogatory, hurtful, or unkind.
Obviously you need to know someone really well in order to be facetious. We can’t create humor at another’s expense, as part of casual conversation.
(Example: I make the joke all the time, from a racial standpoint, about the people that ‘can’t dance’ and the people that ‘can’. But I rarely say those things in front of strangers. Same goes for jokes about sun tanning, and bland food.)
Surely we can ask harmless questions about our respective heritage, upbringing, family history, et. al, and do it with love.
I know there are people that are still angry, and unimpressed with many black people. But I swear, there are enough of us out here that are fine, upstanding, upwardly mobile individuals. We don’t need to take on negativity in order to engage. I know you know that, but there are people who don’t.
There are 195 countries on the planet. Think of what an education it would be, if we were openly comfortable exchanging ideas about ourselves, and each other, without offending each other.
I know this is a whirlwind of a new concept. But we all know that we need a better understanding of people and race in this country.
We don’t want to be color blind. We want to be ‘color inclusive’.
We are right to think that color doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. But color blind infers that we are prone to ignore color. That infers that we are blind to your culture.
Ignoring your religion, or your background, would be dismissive.
It’s the same type of thing.
We don’t want to dismiss each other. What we really want, is to explore whatever it is that makes you, YOU.
We want to learn, grow, exchange ideas, and leave everyone with a better understanding, and a warm ‘glow’, for all of human kind.
Don't you think...?