The (Color)blind Leading the Blind
The concept of colorblindness seems benign.
“I don’t see race” sounds Martin Luther Kingsian and is intended to absolve the speaker of any potential accusations of racism.
The current White House occupant, Donald J. Trump, is an avid practitioner of Colorblindness Theology and we’re seeing it at play in this fracas he initiated with black athletes.
When The Donald called out black NFL players for protesting the national anthem and then disinvited Steph Curry from the White House in quick succession, he was making a clear statement to a large subset of his Breitbart-fueled supporters that he was still on their side.
As if to clear up any potential confusion on what his intent was, he contrasted the very black NFL with the lily white NHL. He then extended his praises to the lily-whiter NASCAR. Soon, he’ll be singing the praises of the Lacrosse league and the Equestrian team!
Playing his colorblindness card, he asserted that the dispute had “nothing to do with race or anything else.” That it was actually about “respect for our country and respect for our flag.”
The colorblindness card is meant to make a clear pattern seem like a coincidence. It renders any attempt to rectify a bad situation impotent and it vilifies the victim. It is designed to give the aggressor a safe space from which which he can oppress members of a marginalized group without fear of reprisal.
The recurring question is whether Donald Trump is really racist. He has black friends, right?
Those questions are besides the point. Either he’s a racist, or he’s pretending to be one, and the latter is actually much worse.