I picked up this article off of Racialicious. Color-blindness used to be the “goal,” until people realized that it wasn’t really doing the work. If people were “color-blind” to me it usually meant they saw me as “white,” or disregarded my tie to the Korean culture. This wasn’t helpful in terms of real connections with people.
Dr. Brandesha Tynes researched the problematic ways “white students and those who rated highly in color-blind racial attitudes were more likely not to be offended by images from racially-themed parties where attendees dressed and acted as caricatures of racial stereotypes.” It’s interesting how much I encounter an expression of this kind of perspective here – that 1) color-blindness is necessarily good, 2) racism is not present anymore, or 3) because-I-attend-a-diverse-school/work/whatever-then-I-am-not-racist-or-have-certain-stereotypes-that-still-drive-my-assumptions.
Though the research utilized a small slice of the student population, it is still incredibly telling. What she discovered confirmed some of my own experiences as well as what I’ve heard from others:
“If you subscribe to a color-blind racial ideology, you don’t think that race or racism exists, or that it should exist,” Tynes said. “You are more likely to think that people who talk about race and racism are the ones who perpetuate it. You think that racial problems are just isolated incidents and that people need to get over it and move on. You’re also not very likely to support affirmative action, and probably have a lower multi-cultural competence.”