Authored by: Rev. Clyde & Nichelle Jones, members of the Commission on Racial Justice & Reconciliation
I have always been a bit weary when having a conversation about race, and someone says, "I don't see color." I know they don't mean any harm by that but being color blind doesn't work. God has created the differences in us for a reason, and we should appreciate each other and want to learn as much as we can about each other. If God did not see the need for color, the flowers in the field would all look the same.
Color blindness also seems to minimize the effect of systematic racism, such as the redlining in real estate, the disproportion in the distribution of home loans, the ability to establish generational wealth, and the distribution of justice in our judicial system. Adia Harvey Wingfield's article Color Blindness Is Counterproductive found on theatlantic.com states: There are more than a few members of the academic left who argue that color blindness is problematic precisely because it offers a way to avoid addressing social problems"(2015).
When I think of one of my favorite Dr. Suess stories, the story of the Sneetches comes to mind. According to The Prindle Institute for Ethics (2020) The Sneetches is Dr. Seuss's story about prejudice: the capricious features we use as a focal point in the justification of treating people differently. The story of the Sneetches is about a race of yellow bird-like creatures who live on a beach. The star-bellied Sneetches are part of the "in crowd," while plain-bellied Sneetches are shunned and consequently low in spirit. They eventually realize that the stars won't matter to any of them and come together as a whole society where all non-star-bellied Sneetches possess the same rights to the community and activities as any other Sneetch. The Sneetches don't stop seeing the differences between themselves; however, they start appreciating and accepting the differences they have. The fictional story of the Sneetches can be used to teach us that whether we are black, white, or shades in between, recognizing color benefits the society in which we live and makes each one of us better.
We hope that when you see us that you recognize our color, our differences, and how we can help our society to come together as one and genuinely start appreciating and accepting the difference we all possess.
"Color Blindness Doesn't Work."
The Prindle Institute for Ethics. (2020). The Sneetches. Prindle Institute https://www.prindleinstitute.org/books/the-sneetches/
Wingfield, A. H. (2015). If you don’t see race, how can you see racial inequality? The Atlantic.