Institutions, educators, and professionals are frequently faced with some challenging questions in relation to how to deal with concerns of race in contemporary society. In this regard, issues about being labeled racists are bound to leave several people uncertain whether it is better to mention race or notice skin color in day-to-day interactions. Similarly, questions arise regarding what duty, if there is any, race ought to have, especially regarding the development or creation of school curricula, promotion guidelines, college-admission criteria, legal adjudications, and public policy. In achieving greater racial justice, I will argue that color blindness is an excellent approach to consider. I will look at legal colorblindness, organizational colorblindness, and educational blindness.
Confronted with the difficulties of managing and recruiting a workforce with great multiplicity and diversity, multiple modern-day organizations have since come to endorse an internal culture regarding color blindness. It is worth pointing out that the consideration in terms of utility with regards to colorblindness heavily depends on its capacity of normalizing workers by moving attention away from their respective cultural and racial differences to rather unifying organizational goal or identity, implying that an organization may consider emphasizing that workers are all the same, and are working towards attaining the same objective. A recent study indicates that effectiveness and credibility regarding color-blind workers-recruitment endeavors rely primarily on whether or not organizations trying to implement them are racially diverse. For instance, Purdie-Vaughns, Steele, Davies, Ditlmann, and Randall-Crosby (2008) showed that the minority applicants favorably respond to racially diverse firms that seek to endorse or support a culture of color blindness. Yet, they are a bit doubtful of such messages, especially when predominantly white companies support them. Similarly, minority applicants might have better reasons to be suspicious: Various firms which claim to demonstrate no racial preferences might still discriminate particularly on the grounds of race and subsequently justify race-based recruitment decisions under the guise of more acceptable criteria.
The Legal colorblindness
Color blindness was initially introduced to the doors of legal discussions concerning race using some decisive pieces of legislation enacted at the time of the civil rights movement. However, more recently, color blindness has come to represent the legal standard, mainly upon which several acts of prejudice are judged. This is, therefore, exemplified by the fact that no amount or form of race-based consideration is allowed or acceptable, especially in a lawfully egalitarian society (Purdie-Vaughns et al., 2008). While legal arguments with regards to color blindness were at some point symbolical of the battle for equality in terms of opportunity, especially among racial groups who were marginalized openly by some invidious endeavors, they have since become increasingly directed towards handling race-conscious policies.
The color-blind kind of approach that aims to reach greater racial justice may simultaneously be observed without close contact interactions. Recently, for example, it has become apparent that reflections of color blindness endeavor to cascade down different levels of the American educational systems (Purdie-Vaughns et al., 2008). In this regard, colorblindness is manifested in many ways in through which several districts and other jurisdictions are allowed to regulate particularly the diverseness of their schools strengthened mainly by the established school curricula which show a generalized kind of cultural identity, yet leave several group differences unattended to and regularly exhibited by a number of teachers who are seeking to model equality in their respective classrooms by stressing that “race does not matter.” Alongside these growing developments, there is evidence indicating that at 10 years, colorblindness gradually becomes children’s modal approach in handling race-relevant circumstances.
Adolph Reed, in his arguments with regards to a more color-blind approach to achieving racial justice, sought to discuss the racial wealth gap, where he explained that the inconsistencies are primarily between the poor and the rich of each racial group as opposed to the racial groups themselves (Glaude, 2002). He said that “The racial wealth gap is the wealth gap between the wealth that rich black people hold and the wealth of rich white people.”
Ian Haney Lopez, in his argument in light of a more color-blind approach to realizing racial justice, said that invoking the formal antiracism especially of the previous civil rights movement, color blindness calls upon a more principled refusal to acknowledge and also recognize race in public life (Lopez, 2005). Amidst all this, Lopez argues that in practice, color blindness seeks to promote an abstracted conception of the race, which permits the court to be aggressive not to fight racism but, according to Lopez, in preserving the racial status quo. He notes that the color blind court declines to halt discrimination, especially against racial minorities, while continuously condemns attempts to directly cure racial inequality.
Consequently, several sociologists highly disregard color blindness, particularly to achieve greater racial justice. They posit that the framework that sought to recreate racial unevenness has become increasingly more obscure and covert than they were, particularly during open legal segregation. The language of open racism has given rise to a discussion of color blindness. They, therefore, fear that the denial of taking public note of race to a more significant extent gives people room to ignore manifestations of relentless discrimination out rightly.
In conclusion, color blindness is the racial approach that is the best way of reaching racial justice, mainly by treating people as equally as possible irrespective of race, ethnicity, or culture. At face value, this type of belief seems to only amount to a dismissal of the lived experiences of people of color but similarly argues that racism does not exist as long as someone ignores it. Nonetheless, the opponents of colorblindness argue that when race-related challenges come to the fore, color blindness appears to individualize shortcomings and disputes instead of evaluating the bigger picture, where stereotypes, cultural differences, and values are contextualized.
Glaude, E. S. (Ed.). (2002). Is It Nation Time?: Contemporary Essays on Black Power and Black Nationalism? University of Chicago Press.
Lopez, I. H. (2005). Race and colorblindness after Hernandez and Brown. Chicano-Latino L. Rev., 25, 61.
Purdie-Vaughns, V., Steele, C. M., Davies, P. G., Ditlmann, R., & Randall-Crosby, J. (2008). Social identity contingencies: How diversity cues signal threat or safety for African-Americans in mainstream institutions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 615–630