Oct 22, 2021 Uncategorized

Color blind racism and what to understand


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” 

James Baldwin

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” 

Audre Lorde

In this unit, we began with a reading about race and how embracing difficult subject matters can be addressed and focused on in classrooms and in a school atmosphere and how being uncomfortable can be an opportunity for growth. Then we moved on to the concept of privilege and how privilege works and how we are all advantaged and disadvantaged in certain ways. Then we focused on racism and more specifically colorblind racism and its complexities. Through our readings, we learned what coloblind racism is and how it works, why it can be problematic, and what it obscures. We’ve deeply analyzed the ideas of several authors and their ideas on this subject all in the goal of sharpening and honing in on our critical thinking skills. 

One of the hardest parts of critical thinking is looking at ourselves and those around us and being able to see not just the positives and the strengths but also the flaws and biases and shortcomings and things we often don’t see, and then seeing and understanding the ways they can connect to actions and opinions. In other words, one of the hardest parts is engaging in honest and difficult critical reflection of the self, of others, and of society. One of the ways of doing this is taking the idea of being colorblind in regard to race and claiming not to see someone’s race, and then questioning this, and analyzing it, and thinking about other’s perspective and opinions on this, particularly people of color, and using our critical thinking skills to reflect on this and take it all in and make sense of it all and see if this is problematic. In that regard, this paper is your opportunity to engage in that exact exploration for yourself, to reflect and critically think about your own beliefs and thought process here as well as the points others make, and to break down your reasoning and logic for what you think about this all and where you land. Like your first essay, this assignment also allows you to practice writing at the intersection of personal reflection and analytical academic prose but will probably be more analytical than personal at least compared to your last essay. 


In the essay “All Right ‘Color-Blind’ Colleagues, We Need to Have a Talk” Vu Le states, “In a perfect world, everyone would be treated equally and we don’t need to think so much about skin color and other identity traits, which is why it is so tempting to fall for color-blindness. But the ideal world does not exist yet, and the more we believe that it does, the less likely we can bring it into being.” What does this quote and idea mean to you and how do you make sense of this? Oftentimes people think being colorblind in regard to race is a good thing. Sometimes we are explicitly taught this. After critically reflecting on the readings in this unit, what are your thoughts and analysis on this concept? Is it problematic? And, if so, why? Does it have good intentions, but also have flaws? Can you unpack and explain these flaws and problems? Are there bigger implications and problems with this that fit with race in particular, but also how our society does things or views things or goes about and functions? What are some of these problems?

You get to decide how deep you go here and what you narrow in on, but these are some potential questions that might drive your focus. Overall I want you to break down how you are analyzing and making sense of the idea of colorblindness and to include your reasoning and proof from the readings to help explain your rationale for why you see the way you do.  Don’t simply answer the questions, but use them to help clarify your opinions and explore and write what you believe and think.

Format: Your essay should be 3-5 pages in length (12 point font, double spaced). Additionally your paper should include quotes from at least two outside sources including (not limited to) the content from this course and should be in MLA format and have a correctly formatted works cited page.

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