There is a cantankerous old man living inside of me, and — while I sometimes can be all too patient, for all too long a period of time — I can suddenly go into a rage over stupid remarks or lies, which I feel are as provocative as other insidious behavioural displays or acts of discrimination. One such remark / lie is: “I don’t see colour, or race!”
BULLSHIT! Everyone sees skin colour differences, racial differences, height and weight differences, gender differences, perceived social status differences and more. Please do not insult yourselves or your surroundings with this lie. I would rather hear: “Yes, I see that we look or appear or seem different. It is my hope that we can reach a good level of understanding / co-existence beyond our learned biases.” Or, even perhaps: “I have too many biases to see you as an equal or to trust you. We are just too different for me to try.” Real communication and trust has a much bigger chance of being successful when it does not start with a lie.
It has to do with “owning” our own limitations, biases … and not transferring the total responsibility of making us feel comfortable in our own skins to those that do not fit into the way we wish to perceive / experience the world. Being or feeling “challenged” by differences does not necessarily have to translate into “being / becoming racist.” It is quite normal on this planet at its present stage of consciousness to feel uncomfortable with people, things and situations that are “different”, and are therefore scary. And you know what? Even Black folks can feel wary of Caucasians, Asians, Latinos, American Indians, gays, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, short people, skinny people, rich people etc., or even other Blacks that they perceive as different from themselves.
How about admitting that we are different, that we are aware of many differences between us, and then trying to embrace the beauty of a larger society composed of different individuals and groups? In truth, not many minorities really believe you anyway when you say that you do not see colour or race, and for some it will be a signal to watch out for the “but …” that often follows “I do not see colour” or “Some / one of my best friends are / is xxx”. Besides, what is really wrong with people having different skin colours, religions, genders, physical disabilities, sexual orientations etc., whose problem is our personal bias to begin with really, and why must “the problem” always be transferred onto the one who is different from how we want the world to look?
HERE is an excellent article about modern challenges regarding race relations.
And HERE is a good article about how Darren Wilson and cops can be perceived as the guard dogs of White America.