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Sat Apr 13, 2019, 10:01 AM

Colour-blind? No such bloody thing

I was in a meeting this week and a Brexiteer I work with was defending his decision to vote for Brexit. He stated that his decision was not based on race, that he was in fact colour blind. I rolled my eyes and said bollocks. This is what I should have said:

If one claims to be colour blind then one is at the very least dissembling, or as I like to call it, lying. One may not realise one is lying, but one is. One might wish that racism was not real, but unreasonably ignoring that racism exists, be it on an individual, a community, or within power constructs, is not just illogical it is plain bloody rude. One cannot pretend that racism does not exist, well one can – but it will not work. By declaring that one is colour blind, such individuals are in many ways trying to remain ‘pure’ and free of race and race issues in a world that is full of racism. If one has any self-awareness at all this surely this cannot be possible? By declaring one is colour blind these chaps are wilfully trying to deny a fundamental part of an individual’s identity. After all – is it not unreasonable to try and deny people of colour pride in their ethnicity or heritage? One declaring oneself to be colour-blind does exactly that. Why would anyone wish to deny a powerful, impactful part of somebody's identity? So, when one says colour-blind, one is really saying to people of colour that one cares not a jot about them.

At the very least maintaining one is colour blind is a declaration of intent to minimise racism. People have to manage racist encounters every day. If one is black or brown and blinking and breathing one has experienced racism. That is not going to be resolved by closing one’s eyes, sticking one’s fingers in ones ears and singing la la la. People see difference. Everyone clocks that people are different from them, there is nothing wrong, or racist about acknowledging that, in fact, it is evident that to deny the existence of difference effectively blocks of any attempts to work to eradicate racism.

It seems to me that saying one is colour-blind is about as logical as declaring that one cannot be racist as one is not burning any crosses and one doesn’t own slaves. While one can fool oneself that racism is all about everyone else, the reality is if one is white and from the west one benefits from racism, whether one wishes to acknowledge it or not. If one is white and western one has access to a set of opportunities that are denied to others based on race. Generational power structures have set it up that way. If one is white one fits hand and glove with institutional structures that provide one with access and opportunity while denying that same access and opportunity to others based on their race. Structures don’t have souls and many times the structures are blind to the fact that they are doing this - but some individuals inside these structures are perpetuating and reinforcing institutional racism. Declaring oneself colour-blind adds to that problem. It bolsters and buttresses the race and racism ever present in our major institutions and governance structures.

Colour-blind – no such bloody thing!

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Reply Colour-blind? No such bloody thing (Original post)
Soph0571 Apr 2019 OP
InAbLuEsTaTe Apr 2019 #1
Ohiogal Apr 2019 #2

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sat Apr 13, 2019, 10:05 AM

1. So true!!


Bernie & Elizabeth 2020!!!
Welcome to the revolution!!!

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sat Apr 13, 2019, 10:09 AM

2. Remember when Vanky Trump

spoke at the GOP convention and uttered the words “My father is truly color blind”?

I’m surprised she wasn’t struck by lightning.

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