So this weeks reading kind of caught my off guard. At the same time it is a very current topic given the horrendous events that have been occurring all over the world. The reading this week was about white privilege. While agree with the fact that there is white privilege in the world even when we don’t realize it I have problems really taking everything in the reading as factual. I think some of the comments made really pertain to certain areas of the country. I say this because I have lived all over North America moving literally over 20 times before I graduated high school. I feel like living in so many locations has really let me see how different each area is. I think racism is apparent in every single nook and cranny in the world but in many different ways and regarding many different factors. For example, living in Florida in certain areas being white made you the minority.
I remember living in central Florida and going to a middle school right in the middle of the school year and literally every single student was either hispanic or black and the only white people in the entire school was myself and one very soft spoken white male who had no friends. So in that scenario the white privileged person has picked on and ganged up on throughout the school year. That being said I also remember moving to Gatlinburg Tennessee where the population was mainly white people. It was such a culture shock when I first moved there because it was the first time I had ever (literally ever) heard of people making fun of others for being black. There was one student who was technically half white and half black and because he was the closest we had to a black student he was taunted relentlessly. Why? The only answer I was ever able to come up with was ignorance. It surely wasn’t because of who he was as a person because for those of us that befriended him we knew he was a genius on the computer and could play guitar like no ones business! Perhaps some people don’t find guitar playing skills important but when you can pick up an instrument and play anything after hearing it only a handful of times that is impressive!
One of the terms discussed not in the reading directly but in an annotation through hypothesis was the term ‘colorblind’ and not in the sense of literally being unable to identify colors but meaning that you don’t judge anyone at all based on color. The responses in the annotations agreed that this was a poor method but I am admittedly still trying to grasp it. The arguments were valid in pointing out that not seeing color means not seeing culture and that it turns a blind eye to the racism that is still going on today. However, I argue that the idea if it were truly adopted by literally everyone I feel makes the most sense. Why should there be any discrimination period? To me that doesn’t mean to ignore your culture to me that is different. I for one am up for celebrating every single holiday out there and love when I have a friend that has more of a cultural connection than me so I can celebrate their history too!
Given my curiosity on finding out more about this term ‘colorblind’ referencing something I have never heard of, I decided to investigate further and found an article by Psychology Today titled Colorblind Ideology Is a Form of Racism. I choose this article because based on the title it is explaining the point of view that negates the idea and that is what I wanted to learn more about. Having only read a portion of the first paragraph of the article so far I already disagree. The article states, “White people, who are unlikely to experience disadvantages due to race…”. Okay, hold the phone, that is not true. I will agree however that it most likely true that white people haven’t dealt with racism nearly to the extent as other races I will one hundred percent agree to that but to suggest white people have never had to deal with it period is false.
As a white person myself I have dealt with being judged negatively because I am white more than once in my life. Once was when I was in middle school and quite literally every single person in the entire school was either Hispanic or black except for one white male student and myself. I was picked on relentlessly and no one tried to help me including teachers, guidance counselors or even the principle who were all also not white. The general feel from everyone seemed to be, “Finally you get a taste of what it feels like.” Finally? I hadn’t even been on the earth more than eleven years! At the same time I do see the irony that there is a much larger portion of people that dealt with similar enviroments and the fact that I was in the opposite situation was ironic. However, I personally had never been mean towards anyone due to race. I had never chased someone off the bus and threatened to beat them due to race. Yet there I was supposedly “paying” for the actions of people I had never even met?
Back to the article that I read though it did mention a point that I totally agree with and that is that the idea of being colorblind only partly fixes the problem. Well, of course! I was never thinking that some people deciding not to judge miraculously cured other people from judging but it is a start right? The article then mentions that another problem with the idea of colorblindness is that then you are saying that we are ignoring the bad color part about the person. That is not how I take it at all. I think skin tone is as unique and beautiful as every other unique aspect of the human race. I will note that I am glad that my daughter has more of my husband’s Hispanic coloring because she can be outside for more than five minutes without getting burnt and peeling until she turns back into pale again. Is that bad of me to think?
The next section in the article discusses the word ‘blind’ and points out that not being able to see someone’s color means not being able to see their culture or racial identity. Here is where I started seeing the point of the argument from the other side. Of course it is not good to be unable to acknowledge someone’s heritage! I think perhaps my mindset on this situation is not viewing the meaning to mean literally blind. I think people should definitely be able to notice other people’s kin tones and acknowledge that we all have a different background that is unique and beautiful. However I still do not think that the color of your skin should have negative impacts period. How to make that happen I have no idea but to me that is what I was taking the term ‘colorblindness’ in this context to mean. I don’t think skin tone should determine how others judge others in a negative way. I feel that people should be judged based on their specific actions and their cultural background should be embraced as just as important and meaningful as everyone else’s.