The concept of race is a relatively new and spurred around this country’s founding, thanks to European imperialism. In America, race was used to create a power structure and to justify chattel slavery and the extermination of Native Americans. Considering this, it is no question as to why many people advocate for a post-racial society of colorblindness - especially when considering “race” does not exist scientifically.
In George W. Gill’s experience, minority students “almost invariably have been the strongest supporters of a ‘racial perspective.’” Although discussing racial biology could plausibly promote racism, it is better to combat the already present racism by openly discussing it even though our society has racial structures already built into its foundation.
Discounting race even though it has shaped how people view themselves not only runs the risk of promoting the dominant culture as one of the entire population but also suppresses important narratives of oppression due to the fact that there is no way to combat the racism that has always been present in America if everyone claims to no longer “see race.”
Race has inarguably played a vital role in the founding (and maintaining) of America. Because of this, many people define themselves by racial means though the terminology is baseless according to science. As many African-American children grow, they are faced with the task of figuring out what it means to be “black” at the contact stage of their racial awareness while many white children at the same stage are not considering the meaning behind being “white.” According to psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum, during the contact stage of white development, many would describe themselves as “just normal”. The contact stage is best described as obliviousness and the privileges associated with being white are taken for granted.
Though it is known that children as young as three notice racial differences, race is still a very taboo topic. This too is a developed phenomenon that is problematic and leads to the toxicity that is the colorblind ideology. Imagine the following scenario: A White child in a public place points to a dark-skinned African-American child and says loudly, "Why is his skin brown?" The embarrassed parent quickly responds, "Sh! Don't say that." White children quickly become
aware that their questions about race raise adult anxiety, and as a result, they learn not to ask the questions.
I think it is important to decriminalize, destigmatize, and deconstruct ideas surrounding race while making sure to be sensitive to the damage that the system of race in America has already caused. Americans should look towards multicultural ideals that embrace open conversation and celebration of racial and ethnic differences. The idea of colorblindness has helped make race into a taboo topic and if people are afraid to openly discuss it, people cannot openly fix it.