It’s about time for us to tackle this “colorblind” myth that has been floating around. I’ve heard many people simply say, “I don’t see color,” especially when dealing with racial and systemic issues within our culture. But is this true? Do people really not see the physical characteristics that make up an individual? I have to admit I cringe when I hear people say that. In my experiences, that cliché has been a way for some people to try to get out of dealing with certain issues that people of color have to deal with on a daily basis whether it be at school, the marketplace and, sadly, even in the local church.
Perhaps, there are some Christians out there who use this phrase because they are trying to encourage unity rather than division. If you fall within this category, I want to say I’m encouraged by your willingness to promote unity within the brethren. As Christians, we should be united (1 Peter 3:8). However, using this phrase does the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do. When you say, “I don’t see color,” there is a plethora of things that go through our minds. I rarely try to speak for other “black” people, but on this issue, I’m comfortable with sticking my neck out. Let me share some of those things that go through our minds:
· Our issues are not that important to you.
· We’re not valued because the color of our skin.
· You’re dodging the bullet of bearing our burdens.
· Since you don’t see color, therefore you’re not a racist.
There are other thoughts that come to mind as well, but these are just a few. Trust me! But I hope you get the point. So advocating that you don’t see color does nothing, but hurts us and makes us feel insignificant. We are moving backwards as opposed to moving forward by making such statements. I would argue that if “you don’t see color,” then you’re not realizing God’s beautiful creation. If I can quote the great poet, Propaganda, “You see my skin and I see yours and they’re beautiful.”
If “you don’t see color,” how can you fully appreciate the glorious work of the Gospel that God saves people from different nations, tribes, cultures, languages (Revelation 7: 9-11)? God saves all types of people. We gain a larger view of God when we see color. We see that He doesn’t just save all blacks or whites, but people from every ethnicity and culture!
The reality is we do see color. We can’t get around it. So, please don’t insult our intelligence. It’s one of the first qualities we recognize when we meet someone. So why try to down play it? We see that God loves diversity and He created each and every one of us in His image (Genesis 1:26). So, let’s not run from the issues that people of color face in our culture. Let’s not dismiss the reality that people have color. Let’s share the Gospel and let it touch the hearts and minds of all people. And let’s get rid of this myth of colorblindness. With all this said, I would imagine there would be people on both sides of this topic. But in light of these realities, let’s ponder the question: are we really color blind?