Is color–blind ideology a solution to racism?

by Emilie Hui Ting Soh

Turning color-blind, in this context, refers to consciously ignore and disregard the skin color of an individual so as to eliminate the race factor that one possesses just by the way he or she looks. The negative issues of race normally come from the judgments and stereotypes one makes in his or her mind, which will then be translated into actions. Indeed, this is a very ideal concept and if the society is that simple and gradually turned that way, then the people living together in the society will have peace with one another. This is, however, an assumption. The point of discussion that I want to make here in this blog post is on whether or not such an ideology will help in solving the negative issues concerning race?

There are several criticisms being made to the ideology of being color–blind. The first criticism argues that such an idea would add more cruelty to the negativity, which racism brings about. The concept is to ignore and disregard an individual’s race and their unique racial experience and treat every individual as ‘race–less’. Let us put this criticism in an imagined scenario. Imagine that we are all ‘race–less’ and treat everyone as though we are all the same and forgetting any differences we have amongst one another or simply, noticing the difference yet having to keep it within yourself because it will be frowned upon when mentioned. With that, would it not make life more difficult for both ‘us’ and ‘them’?

Furthermore, the question to this ideology is whether or not we can really turn a blind eye to race, and disregard the differences between ourselves. For a long time, we have been advised to not have or should not practice any racial discrimination. However, in the process of growing up, we observe the surroundings and the people around us and internalized these observations within ourselves and develop our own mindsets. Hence the imagery and stereotypes that we have developed thus far will remain deeply rooted in our mindsets and behavior consciously and subconsciously.

Therefore, in my opinion, even if we do succeed in turning the blind eye to any racial differences, would it not just become a silent form of racism, whereby we do not talk about it but still hold on to some kinds of negativity towards another individual? There should be other ways or methods we can adopt and use to ease these issues such as accepting that such difference exists and to educate the future generations. We should share the common idea that we may look different from one another, but we are no different in the use.


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