It is without irony that the race theorists have panned and even ridiculed the principle of racial colorblindness as racist.
To them, judging someone by their character and not the color of their skin erases or otherwise ignores someone’s experience. Instead of promoting
“racial harmony”, it can only ever permit those who enjoy “racial privilege” (white people) to close their eyes to the experience of
These claims, all of them made without example or evidence, helps to close the minds of those who preach them. They contend that racial colorblindness
has a pernicious effect on members of certain racial groups, while benefitting other ones. For “people of color” (not white) in particular,
colorblindness “denies their negative racial experiences, rejects their cultural heritage, and invalidates their unique perspectives”. Even though
the proponents of racial colourblindness are diverse and of many shade and backgrounds, the approach is only beneficial to whites, giving them a
reason to “ignore racism in American life, justify the current social order, and feel more comfortable with their relatively privileged standing in
society”. What’s worse, teaching colorblindness in education leads to shame and guilt: “instead of nurturing children’s natural curiosity
about differences, it teaches them to be wary and to feel ashamed if they even notice their friends’ skin color”.
These and other misrepresentations are myriad.
“Colorblindness” is an awful word to begin with given it’s clinical application in other fields. Race conscious thinkers use this confusion to
erect strawmen. For example, phrases such as “I don’t see race”, which though figurative, is taken literally. One should probably refrain from
using these words—not because they are untrue mind you, but because from a race conscious perspective, they are unable to articulate enough the
As a principle, Racial colorblindness (in philosophy, race skepticism) isn’t about being blind to skin colors, to differences, to experience, but to
see these as qualities of individuals, not racial groups. In fact, it is to see an individual better, to re-humanize them, absent the mental baggage
and identity politics of whatever categories they or others put themselves within. It doesn’t deny experience, but simply notes race isn’t a
necessary condition of experience, nor an indicator of it. It is to refuse “racializing” people, classifying them like insects into this or that
taxonomy, for the selfish purpose of making them easier to define, or worse, to define ourselves. It is to deny essentialism, that old platonic
idealism, to avoid the fundamental error of believing groups are individuals, and treating them as such. It is the reassertion that the individual is
primary to his abstract classifications. Most of all, it’s the point that we cannot ever banish racism by continually applying it in our thinking.
What is racism? Racism is, essentially, the belief in race (race-ism), to premise one’s thinking on the principle that human beings can be
partitioned into racial categories, color-coated taxonomies, each with their intrinsic qualities and characteristics. Francois Bernier first
articulated this taxonomy in 1674, in what he called “A New Division of Earth”. Whether this new division was better than the old ones is
debatable, but it no less became popular among natural philosophers. The question of whether each race of man was its own distinct species became a
heated debate in this and the eras following.
Essentialism assumes a distinction, a division of human beings into groups and mental artifacts and abstract objects of thought, to which intrinsic
attributes, essences (“whiteness”, “blackness”), characteristics, behavior patterns, and names can be applied. This form of platonic idealism
leads, inevitably, to hierarchical thinking, to origin myths: Group A is never equal to group B, born of different mud and timber, and so on. That
they make the eternal mistake of considering and speaking of groups as if they were individuals should raise numerous red flags.
To subscribe to essentialist thought is one thing, but to do it upon a foundation of race is quite another. Like all species of categorization,
thinking upon racial lines assumes a tenuous relationship between the objects under consideration, in this case human beings without relationship,
save that maybe their distant ancestors came from the same continent. Race could only ever reference a relationship so distant, so disparate, so
abstract, not to mention superficial, that its application appears useless even in common parlance, let alone in scientific analysis.
Besides, we know where it all leads: to accepting the animating principles that once justified Nazism, Jim Crow and Apartheid. We’ve played this
game before, and in zero cases has it led to fruitful outcomes. The mental apartheid and segregation of race-conscious thinking tends towards real
apartheid and real segregation.
Race skeptics should recognize that racism is not in decline. Racism hasn’t disappeared; it has only become more mainstream and ubiquitous. That
race theory is taught in institutes of higher learning, and that looking at the world through a “a lens of race” is sold as a viable principle, is
evidence of this. The attempted refutation of colorblindness in both common periodicals and the voices of the most obscure race nationalists, attests
to its scope. Racism is used to articulate voting blocs in elections: “the white vote” or the “black vote” for instance. More pernicious is
the race identity politics now permeating through the larger culture: in movies, in music, in literature, and education.
Race identity politics is not a reaction to a history of systemic racism, marginalization, and race nationalism, but its necessary, logical
conclusion. Racial quotas, affirmative action, appeals for race diversity, differential treatment for different races, are not protections against
racism, but the continuation and application of racism. The same words, the same identities, and the same mental furniture persists throughout it all.
The belief in the theory of race grounds it, keeps the nonsense arising from it afloat. And because they refuse to repudiate the race-based
categorization of human beings altogether, and in fact cling to them, identity politicians have simply adopted racism and used it to serve their own
purposes, just as their racist forefathers and the men with the whips did before them.
Since racism is best defined as the belief in race, colorblindness and race scepticism is the antithesis of racism. We should not let the racists
attack colorblindness, and reverse the steps anti racists have made towards the colorblind society.
edit on 4-3-2018 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)