Colorblind Racism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "colorblind-racism" Showing 1-6 of 6
Robin DiAngelo
“I was co-leading a workshop with an African American man. A white participant said to him, "I don't see race; I don't see you as black." My co-trainer's response was, "Then how will you see racism?" He then explained to her that he was black, he was confident that she could see this, and that his race meant that he had a very different experience in life than she did. If she were ever going to understand or challenge racism, she would need to acknowledge this difference. Pretending that she did not noticed that he was black was not helpful to him in any way, as it denied his reality - indeed, it refused his reality - and kept hers insular and unchallenged. This pretense that she did not notice his race assumed that he was "just like her," and in so doing, she projected her reality onto him. For example, I feel welcome at work so you must too; I have never felt that my race mattered, so you must feel that yours doesn't either. But of course, we do see the race of other people, and race holds deep social meaning for us.”
Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Robin DiAngelo
“Racism is a complex and interconnected system that adapts to challenges over time. Colorblind ideology was a very effective adaptation to the challenges of the Civil Rights Era. Colorblind ideology allows society to deny the reality of racism in the face of its persistence, while making it more difficult to challenge than when it was openly espoused.”
Robin DiAngelo, What Does It Mean to Be White?; Developing White Racial Literacy

Sergio de la Pava
“The relevant question is not whether back then a few extraordinary individuals could overcome a system strongly weighted against them or whether today an admittedly far greater number requiring far less talent can succeed. The real question is whether it's harder for the people in this audience to succeed be they extraordinary, average, or below average. If it is, and I think it obvious that it is, then that's untenable in a country that purports to provide equal opportunity for all. Now of course you'll dispute my claim that it is more difficult to succeed for them. You say the battle's over. I say not only is it not over but you yourself are stationed on the frontline of the battle and have been all these years. This room and the criminal justice system as a whole is the frontline. This is where modern-day segregation lives on.”
Sergio De La Pava, A Naked Singularity

“Imagine for a just a moment, if you will, that the slaves who were brought to America weren’t dark-skinned. Instead, white people and black people were both the same neutral skin color. The only way that slave holders were able to tell the slaves apart from themselves was by marking them in some manner, like a brand or something. After Abolition, when former slaves had children they were no longer given marks to tell them apart from anyone else. Imagine now that illegal Mexicans who sneak into America in hopes of making a better life for their families are this same neutral skin color, just like “white” people and “black” people. There is no concrete way to tell them apart from anyone else except that they might sound different. But once they have children who sound just like everyone else there is no concrete way to tell them apart from the “natives.” As human beings, we naturally find ways to categorize ourselves. The very first thing that we do when we see a person is compare their appearance to our own. We use an internal ranking system. Maybe it’s time to consciously abandon our internal ranking system. The only way to achieve true equality is through colorblindness. Let’s try a little harder and see what happens.”
Aaron B. Powell, Quixotic

“What does it mean when I say that 'I don't see race?' It means that because I learned to see no difference between 'white' and 'color,' I have white-washed my own sense of self. It means that I know more about what it is to be a white person than what it is to be Asian, and I am a stranger among both.”
Michi Trota

“The shift may, in fact, come as something of a relief, as it moves our collective focus away from a wholly unrealistic goal to one that is within anyone's reach right now. After all, to aspire to colorblindness is to aspire to a state of being in which you are not capable of seeing racial difference—a practical impossibility for most of us. The shift also invites a more optimistic view of human capacity. The colorblindness ideal is premised on the notion that we, as a society, can never be trusted to see race and treat each other fairly or with genuine compassion. A commitment to color consciousness, by contrast, places faith in our capacity as humans to show care and concern for others, even as we are fully cognizant of race and possible racial differences.”
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness