Race in America
Why You Need to See Color
I once had a commenter tell me: “most of us white people in America want to live in a place where skin color doesn’t matter, because to most of us it really doesn’t. And the only way we know how to get there is to behave like skin color doesn’t matter.”
This is flawed logic. What social problems have we fixed by ignoring them? Sexism? Classism? Ableism? Transphobia? Xenophobia? Youth Suicide? Seriously, think about it for a minute — if social problems could just magically be solved by ignoring them we wouldn’t have any social problems in the first place.
Behaving like skin color doesn’t matter is in and of itself a privilege, one that is only extended to white or white adjacent persons, who also happen to be the beneficiaries of our white supremacist system. Imagine Bill Gates telling poor people the economy will get better if everyone just stops complaining about it. Easy for him to say, because an economy that advantages the wealthy and exploits the poor works out pretty well for him.
White people are:
- 100% of the 10 richest Americans
- 98.9% of all US Presidents
- 90% of congress
- 96% of governors
- 100% of top miltary advisors
- 99% of the House Freedom Caucus
- 93% of the people who decide what TV shows air
- 85% of the people who decide what is newsworthy
- 82% of all teachers
- 84% of college professors
And yet white Americans are about 62% of the population. If you really believe that everyone is the same, why are white Americans disproportionately represented in positions of power?
You may think that by adopting a colorblind world-view you’re being objective, but the truth is you are burying your head in the sand while an exploitative system continues to advantage you at my expense.
If you don’t see color, you don’t see how you participate in that system.
If you don’t see color, you don’t see how you actively maintain that system.
If you don’t see color, you don’t see yourself. And if you don’t see yourself, you’re a danger to me.