Saying You 'Don't See Color' Is Actually Racist

Saying You 'Don't See Color' Is Actually Racist

We all see color, don't be ridiculous.
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As a Black women living in The United States, something that I have heard quite often from white people, in particular, is the phrase, “I don't see color." Connected to this phrase is the idea that if one just simply [white] washes away the history and culture of a colored person, that they can't be racist because now everyone is “equal." Except, we aren't all equal.

First of all, let's break down the term "colorblind." Anyone truly “colorblind" suffers from a condition known as Achromatopsia. Archomatopsia is a hereditary visual disorder due to an abnormality in the retina that affects about 1 in every 33,000 people worldwide. More common conditions are red-green colorblindness or blue-yellow colorblindness, where blues look green and yellows come off as pink or grey. This, however, is the extent to which a person cannot see color. Clearly, this doesn't apply to race.

The first reason as to why calling yourself color blind is racist is that it strips non-white people of unique traits connected to their race. There are many physical traits, including skin color, that separate us into groups. Me personally, I love my brown skin. I love how cocoa butter makes it glisten in the sunlight. I love the bounce and versatility of my hair. I love my full lips. And when you see me, I want to recognize these things about me and see the beauty in my features the way I do.

Claiming to not see color also ignores the unique cultures of Black and brown people. Living in South Florida, I have had the opportunity to meet so many different members of the African Diaspora including Haitians, Dominicans, Cubans, Trinidadians, so on and so forth. And one thing that all of these people share, is the love and pride for their culture; their music, their dance, their food, their religion and their stories of freedom and transcendence.

The second reason anyone calling himself or herself an ally needs to quit saying they don't see color is that it ignores oppression, both historical and present. Black and brown people in America have suffered through hell and high water to gain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a country that never intended to give us these things in the first place, and the struggle for it is still very real.

The United States is one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world, and it didn't get that way on accident. Slavery was the basis of capitalism for this country. The institution of slavery was the single most important factor in the trajectory of the United States and its impact on the relationship between Black and white people still affects how we see and treat one another today. To ignore color is to ignore the racial inequalities that take place every second.

If you don't see color, it might be hard for you to recognize that the local government in Flint, MI knowingly poisoned Black people for over three years in order to save a few dollars. Or that areas with heavier Black and brown populations are more prone to flooding during natural disasters due to poor infrastructure. Or that there is an over-representation of police in Black and brown areas which is why it seems as though Black and brown people commit more crimes.

Saying you don't see color is saying that you don't see racism or oppression and the effects that they have on communities of color. And if you don't see these things, how can you help to truly make this a post-racial society? How are you an ally?

The third reason why saying you don't see color is extremely counterproductive is that it ignores accomplishments made by these communities of color. If you don't see color, you probably don't particularly like Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month. You've probably asked why it's "okay" to have BET (Black Entertainment Television) and not a "WET."

Well, here's the thing, black accomplishments tend to be left out of the "American narrative." If we left it all to Prentice Hall or Glencoe/McCraw-Hill the only intelligent and accomplished people of color we might know would be Harriet Tubmen, Martin Luther King, and Oprah.

Without platforms like BET or Univision, the only time we would see Black or brown entertainers would be when they were playing the role of a gang banger or hotel maid. You are simply in denial if you don't recognize that people of color contribute tremendously to the fabric of American culture without getting so much as a shout-out.

When a Black or brown person hears you say that you don't see our color, what we hear is, “Clearly you have brown skin, but I like you so you must not be [something stereotypical] like other people that look like you." You are telling us that it's too hard for you to see us as we are and that it's more convenient for you to see us without our "blackness."

In literal terms, white is the absence of color, while black is the presence of all colors. Stripping someone of his or her color undermines everything that makes them who they are.

Let's be honest for a moment. To say that “color doesn't exist" is to say that “white" is the norm or “default." It reinforces the idea that we are all on the same playing field, but how is that true when our physical differences have done so much to shape our separate histories and cultures?

Cover Image Credit: Omar Lopez

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.

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"A man told me to have a good day...I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in, because that is the extent of modern-day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote,"I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern-day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "we can do it!" but realistically speaking, in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully-developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex-oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's Twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25-year-olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump-haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred, and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern-day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.

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I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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