“I don’t see color.”
I cringe inside every time I hear these words. In most instances, people utter them in an attempt to let me and all who are listening know that they are not racist or that they value people regardless of their race. But the statement itself devalues me as a person of color, and it does not foster the racial reconciliation and healing that is currently needed within our churches and the broader culture. I’ve had several questions come to mind after hearing the “I don’t see color” statement. Questions like, “Why not? What is it exactly that you are refusing to see? How would you feel if I said that I didn’t notice the fact that you were a man or woman?”
Perhaps more important than the answers to those rhetorical questions is the reality that we do see color. We acknowledge its beauty when we select fashion patterns. Colors contribute to our enjoyment of food. Color is one of the many things that we appreciate about nature and the changing of seasons. We all see color. So if we refuse to see color when we look at the eyes, hair, and skin of another person, we are inherently acknowledging that something is wrong about our gaze.
Continue reading at Christianity Today.
One thought on “Coffee Talk: Why I Don’t Want My Child to be “Colorblind””
Natasha, I so appreciated reading your perspective. As a white woman, I recently wrote an article in which I used that very statement, “Sometimes, I don’t see color.” I went on to explain, “Sometimes, I do.” I’m grateful for this gentle rebuke, as one reader of my post also pointed out, “of course we see color, as much as we notice whether a person is male or female.”
I suppose what I meant in my own writing was that at times, color is not the first thing I notice. I think once you get to know people, they just become your friend so-and-so, as opposed to “a Hispanic female” or “an African American male.”
Grateful to have stumbled upon your writing via Twitter, and definitely look forward to reading more in the future.
Here is the post I’m referring to, if you’re interested:
Blessings to you.