Colorblindness is an inherent form of racism

By Jessica Wang

What does the name Eric Garner mean to you? What about Trayvon Martin? Michael Brown? Or perhaps even Tamir Rice? What does the name Freddie Gray mean to you?

The answer varies. For most, these names exemplify a culture where certain lives are more disposable in nature. For others, these names are mere letters strung together to formulate soon-to-be-forgotten syllables that roll off the tongue in nonchalant, insignificant means.

Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old from Baltimore, Maryland who suffered spinal injuries after being arrested for possession of an illegal switchblade. Gray’s death under police custody sparked national uproar.

Now, in the aftermath of a year gone by, it is important to reflect on where we are in comparison to where we were. One reflection warrants the most attention in that it is an ideology that has quickly cultivated in the year gone by and is, therefore, the premise of this opinion piece: colorblindness is an intrinsic form of racism.

Colorblindness refers to the sociological ideology in which individuals disregard race as a means to combat discrimination, but it is one that is much too detrimental in nature.

Simply put, it is a half-assed solution to alleviate centuries of systemic discrimination.

While the idea of focusing on shared characteristics most likely stems from nothing but the best of intentions, to disregard differences completely would not only be insulting, but also counterproductive in that it diminishes the many adversities that people of color have faced.

The concept of colorblindness is most prevalent in the “All Lives Matter” rhetoric, established to combat the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the individuals who preach it.

The entire concept of this “All Lives Matter” nonsense both confuses and annoys me because of its condescending nature.

Would it not be the equivalent of the statement “humans need oxygen”? Or the equivalent to individuals who feel the need to state that they love food? Who in their right mind would not love food, dear Holmes? As human beings, we quite literally need oxygen and food to sustain our livelihood and wellbeing.

Consequently, you are not a special snowflake for stating that you love food. You are also not a special snowflake for stating that “All Lives Matter.”

The point is, why is the inherently obvious being stated? Obviously, all lives matter. But the major issue with this rhetoric is that it was created solely to lessen the issues faced by Black lives in order to ease the uncomfortable feelings of privilege that those who use this rhetoric possess.

The individuals who consistently preach that not everything is about race are essentially the individuals who have never dealt with adversities due to their race.

To adapt the ideals of colorblindness would be to grossly weaken the impact of the misfortunes that have occurred, whether it be the desperate cry of being unable to breathe in the streets of New York, racial-profiling in a gated community in Florida, unarmed shootings in the streets of Missouri and Ohio or the lack of police procedurals in Maryland. The list goes on and on.

Hiding behind ideals of colorblindness will not resolve the major issues at hand. And while I understand the sentiments of wanting to run from all things difficult to confront all too well, this is a tactic that does not bode very well in the long run.

Colorblindness, in addition to being counterproductive and obnoxious, is essentially a form of racism that attempts to hide behind the guise of compassion.

And this is something that I am definitely not here for.

Trayvon Martin

Courtesy of Examiner

Trayvon Martin

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