Sunday, September 13, 2015

The colorblind myth.

I saw a terrific article in the Atlantic that was written by Harvey Wingfield  which I would like to share.

The Field Negro education series continues.

"How many times have you heard someone say that they “don’t see color,” “are colorblind,” or “don’t have a racist bone in their body?” Maybe you’ve even said this yourself. After all, the dominant language around racial issues today is typically one of colorblindness, as it’s often meant to convey distaste for racial practices and attitudes common in an earlier era.

Many sociologists, though, are extremely critical of colorblindness as an ideology. They argue that as the mechanisms that reproduce racial inequality have become more covert and obscure than they were during the era of open, legal segregation, the language of explicit racism has given way to a discourse of colorblindness. But they fear that the refusal to take public note of race actually allows people to ignore manifestations of persistent discrimination.

For the first half of the 20th century, it was perfectly legal to deny blacks (and other racial minorities) access to housing, jobs, voting, and other rights based explicitly on race. Civil-rights reforms rendered these practices illegal. Laws now bar practices that previously maintained racial inequality, like redlining, segregation, or openly refusing to rent or sell real estate to black Americans. Yet discrimination still persists, operating through a combination of social, economic, and institutional practices.

Concurrently, it is no longer socially acceptable in many quarters to identify oneself as racist. Instead, many Americans purport not to see color. However, their colorblindness comes at a cost. By claiming that they do not see race, they also can avert their eyes from the ways in which well-meaning people engage in practices that reproduce neighborhood and school segregation, rely on “soft skills” in ways that disadvantage racial minorities in the job market, and hoard opportunities in ways that reserve access to better jobs for white peers.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf recently argued that the academic left errs in attacking colorblindness. He suggested that encouraging whites to be color conscious and to think of themselves in racial terms would encourage the nativism embraced by some Donald Trump supporters—that a heightened awareness of whiteness would produce a sense of persecution, and encourage some to rally in defense of white rights. He contends that there is some merit to colorblindness that has been ignored by what he describes as “the academic left,” which spends too much time focused on nitpicking colorblindness rather than drawing attention to “macroaggressions” such as “racially tinged hatred and conspiracy theories directed at the first black president” or the convenience of labeling Mexican immigrants rapists  “despite the fact that first-generation immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born Americans.”

As a presumptive member of the “academic left” that Friedersdorf critiques, I read the post with particular interest. I think that Friedersdorf makes some important points worth more detailed attention from both academics and those outside the academy who are familiar with the debates and concepts he references. For instance, academic debates can often become divorced from broader audiences. It is way too easy for academics in many fields to ground their conversations, disputes, and discussions among other like-minded scholars. He’s right to note that, by and large, academics can do a much better job engaging with folks outside of our ivory towers." [More]

This reminds me of the #PoliteWhiteSupremacy subject that was trending on twitter a day or so ago.

I, too, am suspicious of folks who like to declare that that they are colorblind. As a result I have to agree with the premise of the first part of this essay and not so much the reasoning by Conor Friedersdorf outlined in the second part.

I also side with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva who was named in the essay as someone who believes that colorblindness is "an ideology that legitimizes specific practices that maintain racial inequalities".

That's the problem with claiming colorblindness in a nutshell. And while I admire people who strive for that type of human perfection, given the social and societal imperfections that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, I believe that thinking we can see the world through colorblind lens is both naïve and unrealistic.

*Pic from timwise.org













36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Saying one doesn't see skin color is like saying one wouldn't notice they were talking to a beautiful woman. Of course we all notice.

Confused liberal said...

So, the only way to remove race from being a factor is to obsessively racialize everything.

Now I see...

Anonymous said...

What made Reagan so great as a President he said "We live in a colorblind society". And he was right until Obama came along and changed everything.

Even Bush was colorblind. He never once talked about color or race.

This racism is a Democrat phenomena that Field fails to see year in and year out.

Come to think of it, most of the FN Negroes fail to see this phenomena. It's a damn shame they get taken like this all the time.

We all could be living in a colorblind society as Reagan envisioned if certain folks would do their part. But now it's all messed up due to minds like Field, Lilac and PX.

lilacpr2000 said...

That "colorblind" bs is like the "melting pot" bs. There has never been any such thing.

Sheer ridiculousness! To say one is colorblind is to say that no discrimination exists and if it does you certainly don't see it. It's too negate the very individuality of the other. To erase the difference that makes them as well as you, unique. To close oneself off from a meaningful encounter,dialogue and meeting of the minds.

We are all different, and every mind is a world. How can we explore the universe that is another individual if we say we are colorblind and the other person is of another ethnicity and color?

Ridiculous

Bill said...


Isn't colorblind codespeak for I am not a racist?

Anonymous said...

Lilac, please see anon's comment and you will understand what it means to be colorblind. Reagan had the right idea. We are ALL the same, no different...it's like pillow cases. Some pillow casings are blue, some are red, some are black but inside the pillows are the same cotton....no difference. It's lefties like you who want to make something else out of it.

We are all the same.

Anonymous said...

Bill said...

Isn't colorblind codespeak for I am not a racist?


11:21 PM
---------
Yes, Bill, now you got it! Except it's not codespeak, it's genuine. I swear, I thought the Blacks on FN were missing the point, but some of you Whites are missing it too. And I consider myself a good teacher.

dinthebeast said...

"I see nothink, I know nothink!" Sgt. Schultz.

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

Doug knows nothing.

Equality said...

lilacpr2000 said...
We are all different
--

That's discrimination, Lilac.

You are not allowed to notice differences.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, Bill, now you got it! Except it's not codespeak, it's genuine. I swear, I thought the Blacks on FN were missing the point, but some of you Whites are missing it too. And I consider myself a good teacher."

I don't think so, Lilac.

People who say they "don't see color" are speaking metaphorically. Nobody who is saying this means they literally can't tell what someone else's ethnicity is, because of some kind of weird vision impairment. They are just claiming they aren't racist. Honestly, I am stunned at the number of black people who are fixated on the wording of this expression and seem to think the speaker means it literally. That's just a bizarre and pointless debate to be having.

It's like those white people who hear the slogan "Black Lives Matter" and are taking that to mean only black people have a right not to be killed. Talk about missing the point.

ctrl+halt+del said...

Colorblind. Okay,Now that we've got that out of the way. That just leaves reparations

Anonymous said...

Damon Wayans has never been a house negro. He is a "homey" (as in D. Clown) and doesn't play that regarding that designation.

anotherbozo said...

Every time the subject came up (often), Stephen Colbert loved to say "I don't see color. People tell me I'm white and I believe them, but..." I thought he sent up "color blindness" on a regular basis. But I guess his audience wasn't all that large or representative.

As a visual artist, I guess I'm privileged. I love the variety of pigmentation, all the styles of beauty and handsomeness in faces you can find around the globe and in an international city like NYC. But young kids of all colors see that variety in pop and rock on a regular basis, too. Once you start enjoying different looks, and don't deny but actively celebrate difference, it's easy to see our social problems for what they are—poverty, poor education, neglect, crime—a result of generations of passive lip service, active disenfranchisement, fleecing of citizens by the corporate-owned government. Corporate greed, in fact, is the only colorblindness, now that I think about it.

Bill said...


The FieldNegro said...
I saw a terrific article in the Atlantic


So did I.

Stephen Colbert's Writing Staff: 17 Men, 2 Women
And all 19 of the Late Show’s writers are white

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/09/stephen-colberts-writing-staff-17-men-2-women/404944/

It sure is strange how all these rich white liberals talk the talk yet surround themselves with all white people.

It sure is strange how rich white liberals keep getting away with it.

Bill said...


Why does everything rich white liberals want hurt Black people?

Rich white liberals hate hunting.

A Hunting Ban Saps a Village’s Livelihood
Since Botswana banned trophy hunting two years ago, remote communities like Sankuyo have been at the mercy of growing numbers of wild animals that are hurting livelihoods and driving terrified villagers into their homes at dusk.

The hunting ban has also meant a precipitous drop in income. Over the years, villagers had used money from trophy hunters, mostly Americans, to install toilets and water pipes, build houses for the poorest, and give scholarships to the young and pensions to the old.
...
Calls to curb trophy hunting across Africa have risen since a lion in Zimbabwe, named Cecil by researchers tracking it, was killed in July by an American dentist. Several airlines have stopped transporting trophies from hunts, and lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced legislation that would further restrict their import into the United States.

But in Sankuyo and other rural communities living near the wild animals, many are calling for a return to hunting. African governments have also condemned, some with increasing anger, Western moves to ban trophy hunting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/world/a-hunting-ban-saps-a-villages-livelihood.html


The rich white liberal agenda even hurts Blacks in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Here's an excerpt from a commission re: Ferguson people. Unfortunately, they broke down the glaring discrepancies by Blacks and Whites when they should have been colorblind. Link to article is below.

"The commission, which was made up of law enforcement officials, activists, business leaders, educators and the clergy, offers some bleak realities about racial disparities in St. Louis and Missouri.

Life expectancy differs by nearly 40 years depending on Zip code. In mostly white, suburban Wildwood, the life expectancy is 91.4 years. In the mostly black, inner-ring suburb of Kinloch, Mo., life expectancy is just 55.9 years. Black motorists are 75% more likely to be pulled over by a police during a traffic stop than white motorists. And more than 14% of black elementary school students were suspended last year, compared to 1.3% of their white peers."

“The law says all citizens are equal,” the commission writes. “But the data says not everyone is treated that way.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/09/14/ferguson-commission-releases-recommendations-racial-inequity/72248102/

Anonymous said...

I know standing up for one's faith and GOD is not kosher on FIELD NEGRO, for the blogger himself has been a condescending proponent of Christian faith and GOD. Nevertheless, Kim Davis has been freed from jail for standing up for her GOD. This is a 'rare' human being and rare Christian with the courage to do so.

Kim Davis went to jail for her belief in GOD. She has been released and is back at work. She still refuses to issue same-sex licenses in her name, which is consistent with her religious beliefs.

Kim should have the right to live according to her conscience and her living relationship with GOD--without persecution for refusing to go against her GOD.

Thank you Kim, for modeling what it means to be a true Christian where GOD is the Highest LAW.

GOD bless Kim Davis.

Baretta said...

“The law says all citizens are equal,” the commission writes. “But the data says not everyone is treated that way.”

That commission report if full of outright lies and misrepresentations of the data.

Everyone knows why blacks get arrested more often, have lower life expectancy, and why other folks do not want to live anywhere near them.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Hedwig Alfredo said...

And keep your eye on the sparrow.

Anonymous said...

Most black people are middle class. The problem is most low class blacks are criminals, welfare recipients, dregs of society and live in cities where they cause problems for all city people. It is the low class, criminal, violent, scary ones that taint the whole race.

Ohmigosh said...

How much longer are we all going to tolerate this racial b.s. That's the 64 thousand dollar question. All this hatred is getting older than cat shit and causes nothing but pain. Sooner or later it's going to have to cease. How it ends might not be pretty, might not be anyone around, but it'll be gone.

Anonymous said...

"All this hatred is getting older than cat shit and causes nothing but pain. Sooner or later it's going to have to cease. How it ends might not be pretty, might not be anyone around, but it'll be gone."

You are right, it must cease. And it 'will' end. Humans cannot live this way for it is not living at all.

'How' it ends in America will likely be the way it began. Violently. That is what racism is about. That is its purpose...to destroy and kill humans.

There is a weird feeling happening in America. It's like there is dark clouds portraying a kind of doomsday scenario across this nation. And it's close by.

It's a shame that people in America has never had the heart and courage to the right thing. It's sad. But every ruling nation throughout history has bit the dust in this way. However, America will be the youngest nation--'the flash in the pan'-- nation to bite the dust.

Compared to the other nations, America lived far from what its ideals were supposed to be.

The Rise and Fall of BRA said...

"There is a weird feeling happening in America. It's like there is dark clouds portraying a kind of doomsday scenario across this nation. And it's close by."

It's about Goddamned time.

field negro said...

Amon@1:34, may god bless her first three husbands as well.

PilotX said...

Limbaugh and others like to brag about their supposed colorblindness but quickly show their real stripes when an opportunity comes to attack a person of color. I'm colorblind is code for "I'm a racist asshole". It does have a better ring to it so they should stick with it.

Anonymous said...

PX, you are wrong about Limbaugh and others. They are not the KKK, so let's not get things all twisted.

lilacpr2000 said...

field negro said...

Amon@1:34, may god bless her first three husbands as well.

6:43 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hahaha and God knows how many lovers! you know, in between the 'husbands'...

Anonymous said...

"The rich white liberal agenda even hurts Blacks in Africa."

C'mon, Bill. Even you are better than this. African rules on hunting have nothing to do with "the liberal agenda." Often, it's about money. Visitors to game parks bring in lots of dough to cash-strapped developing nations. And poachers stand to exterminate all of those animals for selfish personal gain.

The "Cecil the lion mania" that happened for five minutes here in the U.S. was all about stupid animal rights activists anthropomorphizing animals (personally, I don't believe a lion's life is inherently more valuable than that of the cow that provides the patty on my hamburger, and we have more than enough to worry about in guaranteeing human rights without stressing out about Cecil's). But in Zimbabwe, Cecil's death meant yet another blow to their already disastrous, collapsed economy. That's why the Africans were angry.

Colorblind Clem said...

PilotX said...
I'm colorblind is code for "I'm a racist asshole".
---

I thought PilotX was code for that.

Anonymous said...

Blogger field negro said...
Amon@1:34, may god bless her first three husbands as well.

6:43 PM
---------------
If she married 10 times and 10 times divorced, that would not change her conscience about same-sex marriage. It's wrong to the Christian and Muslim conscience. just plain wrong...

God bless Kim and all the people who are standing by her. May God give her the strength to do His Will, instead of the law of man which usually turns out 'wrong' anyway.

Anonymous said...

Lilac, "Hahaha and God knows how many lovers! you know, in between the 'husbands'..."

7:51 PM
-----------
Shut up, Lilac. Just STFU.

lilacpr2000 said...

Anonymous said...

Lilac, "Hahaha and God knows how many lovers! you know, in between the 'husbands'..."

7:51 PM
-----------
Shut up, Lilac. Just STFU.

8:00 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ahahahaa! Struck a nerve did I??? x*D

and that's not counting all the one night stands, in between the lovers, in between the husbands! Ahahahaha! I'm loving this! Bitch is hot to trot huh! XD

But she so fat and that looooong hair ugh! Would you do her??? Huh, would you??? Ahahahahahahaha! I bet you would too!

LOLOLOL!

field negro said...

"Shut up, Lilac. Just STFU."

Oh ohhh, husband #3 is that you? :)

lilacpr2000 said...

Ahahahaa! Yeah Field I think so too! Sour grapes! He's so mad,awww, he lost his chubby wubby! But when you get a hot to trot mama like that, you know she's gonna shop around :)

Over here they say "se cambia mas de machos que de panties"

Ahahaha! "She changes more men than she changes her underpants"!

Aaah such is life! xD

Anonymous said...

Such is a puta.