When I was 17, I met a girl in one of my classes who was 19. She explained that as a result of that class she realized that she had never been seriously aware of the fact that she was White. She never thought about it. Why? Because her mother purposely taught her to be colorblind and that was how you show respect to everyone. At my house, Santa was Black, angels were Black, Jesus was Black, dolls were Black and I’ve always been aware of the fact that all those things had to be Black in our house because they’re white everywhere else and that doesn’t represent us.
I saw the movie The Giver the other day. I loved the book and the movie. The story teaches a lot of important messages. One of the messages conveyed is the danger in being colorblind. By telling people to ignore race you ignore their history and culture. And for those of us who are aware of our culture it’s extremely hard to stop seeing race.
“The luxury of obliviousness” isn’t afforded to people of color because in this country that I was born in (as were my great-grandparents) we are still seen as “other.”
I won’t stop seeing race until nude colored stockings come in shades of dark brown. I won’t stop seeing race in everything until walmart no longer deems it necessary to mark the aisle where I can find hair care products “ethnic.” I won’t stop seeing race in everything until Black people aren’t so easily found at a graduation at Michigan State because there are so few of us. I won’t stop seeing race in everything “until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons.” -Ella Baker
I won’t stop seeing race because it won’t stop existing. But I might chill when racism and White privilege are acknowledged and dismantled.
One thought on ““Luxury of Obliviousness””
Wow Cae! I couldn’t have said it better.