Stop Using Colorblindness as an Excuse for Racism | Teen Ink

Stop Using Colorblindness as an Excuse for Racism

August 5, 2019
By Anonymous

Many kids are taught that people are all the same. They are taught to ignore the color of people’s skin. They are hushed by uncomfortable adults when they point out a difference in skin tone or facial features. Here’s why trying to ignore differences doesn’t exempt anyone from being racist.


The fact of the matter is that humans come in different shades and shapes. It’s a flat out lie for someone to say that they are racially colorblind because different races come in visibly different colors. It’s entirely misleading to tell a child that someone who looks physically different than another is the same. While I can see the intention of trying to teach disregard skin color in an effort to prevent racism this logic is inherently flawed. This is because it should not be considered offensive to appreciate someone’s culture and background that may or may not come with the color of their skin. It is not okay, however, to attribute preconceived notions to someone based on their skin color. 

In addition, using racial color blindness as an excuse for racism is invalid for the same reason. For example, individuals who claim that they are not racist towards Asian people for being pushy are making an argument against themselves. The fact that they have used race to help identify a person and their behavior  proves that they have not only generalized an entire population of people, but also cited their race as part of the cause. If they truly did not believe that skin tone had to do with their opinions, they would not have to refer to the individual as a race but simply as one individual. Attempting to ignore the way someone looks as well as the subconscious stereotypes our brains learn to create does not help anyone. It incites confusion, frustration, and guilt in those who inevitably notice differences in people’s appearances. And at the end of the day, they still missed the point: race does not attribute towards certain behaviors and race does not change anyone’s value.

What people should be teaching is that there is nothing wrong with seeing color, but the color should not come with a license to inequality. Color should not come with a stereotype of how prone an individual is to having a criminal record. Color should not come with a stereotype about how long they have been living somewhere or what their “real” name is. Color is what makes us different, and there is nothing wrong with that.   

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