Karin has taught middle and high school Health and has a master's degree in social work.
Definition of a Color Blind Society
African-American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ''I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.''
This is the premise behind a color blind society. In an effort to eradicate racism, a color blind society, or race blind society, promotes that people look past color and see others as people. In 2007, Chief Justice John Roberts argued for a color blind society, stating, ''The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.''
In a color blind society, the discussion of race is often left off the table. After all, if people don't see color when they look at others, then why should they feel the need to discuss race? In a color blind society, parents might not speak to their children about race. There are pros and cons to this. To opponents of a color blind society, refraining from educating kids on race can lead to an ignorant society. To proponents of a color blind society, children who don't speak of racial differences will treat other children fairly and equally regardless of race or color. As is evident, the topic of a color blind society is a controversial one, and we will discuss the pros and cons of this ideology in this lesson.
Pros of a Color Blind Society
Proponents of a color blind society believe that ignoring race will naturally lead to a more equal society. The mentality is, ''If we ignore race, won't we end up treating everyone the same?'' Advocates of a color blind society believe:
It is a form of social etiquette.
They believe that not addressing race is a polite way to relate with minorities.
It eliminates the need for classifying people into groups
People are heeded as individuals rather than someone who is white or black, for instance.
Promotes a world where people are distinguished by character and personality
When race is left off the table, people are given opportunities and establish relationships based on their character and personality rather than their race.
Prevents government intervention in public school admissions and employment
Many supporters of a color blind society do not agree with giving preferential treatment to minorities in public college admissions or public education. They argue that if society is truly color blind, then everyone should be treated fairly, and nobody should be given special treatment.
Prevents whites from resenting other minorities
Black Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued that when minorities get preferential treatment in things like college admissions or employment, they often fall into a ''cult of victimization.'' Whites can end up resenting them for this, and even discredit their success because of the special treatment they received.
Cons of Color Blind Society
Opponents of a color blind society believe it is not realistic nor possible for people to just ''not see'' race. Some opponents of a color blind society believe that not discussing and educating people on race will lead to ignorance and more racism. Here are some arguments against a color blind society:
Ignorance of race can lead to misunderstanding
In a color blind society, people don't speak about or acknowledge race. Therefore they are not learning about it either. This can lead people to create stereotypes, generalizations, and misunderstandings against people of color.
It can discredit one's identity
Not acknowledging race of others may dishonor an identity of which they may be very proud. For example, a Jamaican-born black woman who is being treated for depression may take great pride in her upbringing, socialization, ethnicity and race. If her counselor were to ignore her race during therapy, it could do a disservice to her self-esteem and identity.
It is an argument for eradicating affirmative action
Some opponents of a color blind society believe it is important to give preferential treatment to minorities in college admissions or public employment to help compensate for the years of discrimination that minorities have suffered throughout United States history.
It can create a lack of awareness of white privilege
Opponents believe that many whites are unaware to the some advantages they have. For example, despite the fact that employers are not supposed to discriminate based on race in hiring new employees, many still secretly do. Not addressing issues like race, racism, and white privilege discredits the legacy of struggles of many minority groups.
Lack of dialogue about race can leave problems unresolved
Opponents to a color blind society believe that keeping a dialogue and conversation about race, and how it affects people, is a way to move towards peaceful race relations.
A color blind society promotes that people look past color or race and just see others as individuals. This is a controversial topic as there are proponents and opponents to both sides. Proponents believe that a color blind society is a form of social etiquette, it eliminates the need to classify people into groups based on race, promotes a world where people will be distinguished by their character or personality rather than their race, prevents government intervention in public school admissions and employment, and prevents whites from resenting minorities who received a hand out in order to succeed.
Opponents of a color blind society believe that ignorance of race can lead to more racism, not acknowledging race can discredit one's identity, affirmative action is important, it can create a lack of awareness about white privilege, and that lack of dialogue about race can leave problems unresolved.
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