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Why Not Seeing Color Is Part Of The Problem

There’s a saying that some non-black/non-POC people like to say sometimes to “prove” that they’re not racist. Have you ever been on social media or even in person and, let’s say there’s maybe a race provoked situation, and you read or hear someone state the words “I don’t see color”? It happens all of the time whether there’s some form of racial injustice going on or maybe even in an interracial relationship. Not everyone means harm when they say this, but despite the fact, not seeing color is actually part of the problem.

If you’re not sure why in the slightest, then you may be confused right now, and that’s completely fine. Let’s take the situation of being in interracial relationships first. Let’s say that there is a couple where the boyfriend is white and the girlfriend is black. Let’s also assume that the boyfriend isn’t racist (because you can date a black person and STILL be a racist). Now, let’s look at what is going on in the world with racial injustice and police brutality. So, in an attempt to let her know how he’s there for her, he tells her how he doesn’t see color. In this situation, he may be choosing not to see color, but to him, he means well. Though he means well, this isn’t the right way to go. With not seeing his girlfriend’s skin color, he’s not seeing who she is…a black woman. He’s not able to fully see her struggles or her pain. He may know that police brutality is bad, but he’s probably just seeing people being beaten and not that it’s mostly black people.

Now, let’s take a situation where there’s social injustice going on and there are people online that are just ranting away at how “if the person would’ve complied”. Then, of course, they say how they don’t see color to justify their statement when someone goes and corrects them about the situation. In this instance, they’re just upright refusing to see color, and are trying to cover up for being racist/making racist statements. This is what you call Bigotry. Bigotry is another reason why there is so much division in situations where there should be none. These same people who supposedly don’t see color are possibly the same ones you might find a confederate flag sitting in their yard or would have possibly even been in the group that stormed the Capitol. But, let’s remember, they don’t see color.

Not seeing our color is not seeing us as black people. It’s not seeing what we’re going through or that we’ve been targeting now, ten years ago, or even during slavery. It’s also refusing to see the features that make us special. It’s not seeing our beautiful kinky hair, it’s not seeing our nose (with the Jackson Five nostrils as Beyonce says), it’s not seeing our lips, it’s not seeing our body…it’s not seeing us. Not seeing color seems like a good idea in theory, and maybe it would be if things were different. But, because they saw color when they put our ancestors on slave ships, you have to see color in order to help us change the world.

The black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.

marcus garvey

Comments

  1. Thank you for writing about this Deandra! I understand that people as you said might do it not to hurt and this is why we need to educate ourselves first. This post is a great point to start, thank you for sharing x

    • It was important to mention that because there truly are people who mean well when they say that, but helping educate a little bit and correct that statement is necessary and I’m glad that I was able to help do so. Thank you so much for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed my post!

  2. I feel like saying ‘I don’t see colour’ is such a cop-out. Could people say something more sensitive rather? Could people rather ask, ‘What are the misconceptions?’ or ‘Could you educate me about this issue?’ I feel like you don’t have to understand how everyone feels instinctively, but be open-minded and willing to learn.

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

    • It’s definitely a cop-out for sure. A lot of people don’t want to take the time to learn and educate themselves. This is where the problem truly begins.

  3. Hey! Thanks for writing this! I often say that I don’t see color, but in the sense that I refuse to judge someone by what they perceive to be
    However I can that it is just as important to acknowledge the person’s skin color and their personal struggles. We should in no way ignore that but acknowledge what has happened & then perhaps we can figure out how to move past it in a way that works for both parties.

    • That’s good to know that love. It definitely is important to acknowledge color and the struggle that comes with it. I hope for better in the future and that there becomes more of a want to learn rather than remain in the same way of thinking.

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