Friday, February 17, 2017

On "colorblindness" consider these posts...


The “age of colorblindness” is now. Years of calls for "law and order" created the New Jim Crow law system of mass incarceration.  The only “colorblind” part is that we can’t see the racial caste system.  In our world today, racial discrimination is considered rude and intolerable; however, criminal discrimination is considered just. Leaders throughout the years have created a system where masses of people -- especially young black men -- are swept into jail usually for minor infractions, only to be punished with longer and harsher crimes. When the “criminals” are released from jail, they are stripped from their status as human beings with labels of “criminal” and “felon” following them for the rest of their lives. This prohibits them from ever advancing to a level of high superiority. After time, society becomes influenced by racial bias (which can be implicit or explicit), whereby blacks are regarded as inferior.

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The “age of colorblindness” is our own era, when many argue “I don’t see race” or “I am colorblind to other races.” This has spiraled into a national debate over racial profiling, mass incarceration, and the masking of old racial castes. . . . In our nation today, many politicians and public figures make an effort to mask many castes: between gender, race, and social status. While many of these efforts become very successful and make an impact, most movements are faced with difficulties and challenges. For example, if you search “Women’s March” many articles are provided; yet written in most of the titles is a counter argument as to why the movement may not have been as successful as shown. There may never be unified opinions related to these social, political, and racial issues in our nation, but what does this say about past efforts to mask racial caste and how we should alter these efforts to enact real change?

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Justice is not colorblind; justice is determined by race. Although this seems an extreme statement from byMichelle Alexander, it is backed up with plenty of facts. Starting from the War on Drugs, race played a big issue. Alexander explains how white people are equally and sometimes more responsible for selling drugs, yet only black people get caught for it. “Where do whites get their illegal drugs?" she asks. "Do they all drive to the ghetto...No...Whites tend to sell to whites; blacks to blacks” (Alexander, 2). This is just one example of how one race is targeted and policed.

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Growing up we are taught that talking about race is a 'no no' because parents and people of an older generations believe that was the way to deal with race, by ignoring it. By teaching that race is not a topic of conversation, we suppress the issue, and mask the system that we have created of white supremacy and racialized social control. The age of colorblindness attempts to mask racial caste by ignoring the issue of race, and it enforces white privilege. Colorblindness dilutes the racial caste system that trivializes African Americans, and it dismantles the argument against racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. To be able to say you are 'colorblind' enforces white privilege because it is a privilege. White Americans have the privilege to be colorblind, but black Americans are constantly reminded of their race and how it makes them inferior. "Black lives matter" is so important because it calls to attention the inferiority and it demands action to change. "All lives matter," however, is a form of colorblindness because it takes away from "black lives matter." It diminishes the fight for racial equality by denying the importance of black lives with the statement that all lives matter. Colorblindness is a front to respond to racial discrimination, and "all lives matter" undermines the attempt to uncover -- and counter -- racial discrimination in our society. 

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