Time and time again I’ve heard someone say: “I don’t see color”. Consciously and unconsciously I’ve tried to ignore it. Yet admittedly, it has always made me feel … well… some kind of way. Recently I read an article which caused me to take a deeper mental dive into why it is that I find that phrase particularly unsettling. The answer is profoundly simple, it’s because: I DO see color!
I’ve found that many people use the phrase “I don’t see color” to reassure others that they are not racist. Instead, they are able to see beneath the outer layers of skin/skin color and deeper into who the individual truly is as a person. However, this gives me pause for cause. Isn’t dismissing the outer layer of skin, i.e. one’s skin color, in effect disregarding a part of the whole person?
Per the Huffington Post, “Colorblindness” is part of a “new wave of thinking to end discrimination by treating everyone as equally as possible; disregarding race, culture, and ethnicity. Such notion entails a lack of acknowledgment of the very real ways in which racism has persisted and continues to do so, both systematically and on an individual level.” However, “this new wave of thinking avoids conversations on race... It invalidates the racial issues that marred us as a society. Colorblindness naively suggests that the depths of racism experienced in our past are of a bygone society although they very much affect individuals till this day.”
In my mind, ideally, a person should be able to see/acknowledge the color, cultural traits, and other authentic ethnic identifiers of another individual and STILL make a connection with them, as a human being! Does that make sense? To be clearer, instead of not seeing color, one would see color, appreciate and value it. One would also go the extra mile, seeking to go beneath the surface to actually know and understand who an individual is at their very core.
For me, seeing color is not an option. I see color. I am color. I love color. I embrace color.
Vest: Bobeau | Crop top:One Clothing, also worn here | Cullottes: Bobeau | Stilettos: Nine West| Bag: Vintage