Stop Normalizing Color-blind Ideologies

Image by Peggy Dyar from Pixabay

I have been thinking a lot about the ideas of prejudice and the denial of racism that were presented in the article ?Beyond Prejudice: Toward a Sociocultural Psychology of Racism and Oppression by Glenn Adams, Monica Biernat, Nyla R. Branscombe, and others?. W?ithin this article, they suggested models that account for the denial of racism, which they identified as being the “restriction of the range of phenomena to which the concepts of racism and oppression apply, with the corresponding sense that they are relatively circumscribed phenomena that do not require drastic action to combat” (p. 233). They then go on to suggest models that would account for this denial of racism. One model in particular that stuck out to me was the idea of color-blind ideology. This was the idea that people and institutions should strive to make social judgements without regard for the racial or ethnic background of targets. Immediately when I read this, I thought back to Dr. Lassiter’s Multicultural Psychology course, where he discussed how our society has shaped itself so much around this ideology and how it presents itself as being a positive form of change when in actuality it is just continuing the dismissal of minority groups and their experiences. From a young age, we are taught to treat everyone as “equal” regardless of their race, thus creating a melting pot. While this at face-value may appear as a positive step towards change, it doesn’t account for the large success gap and inequality between the experiences of minority groups and those in agent groups. In creating a color-blind society, we’ve allowed for agent groups to remain “comfortable”in their agent status, while the experiences and struggles of impoverished minority groups have essentially been diminished. Thus creating the ideals of systematic privilege. I believe that our continual support of this color-blind society has essentially poisoned the lives of individuals within minority groups. I believe that is because of this ideology of color-blindness that allowed for White people to be ignorant towards racial inequalities for so long. I believe that a conscious effort needs to be made to encourage and embrace multiculturalism and diversity, while also allowing for people to be treated as equal. A balance of empathy and understanding of people’s backgrounds from other communities must be put into place in order to reverse this color-blind ideology that has been set forth. No longer can White people afford to tip-toe around uncomfortable conversations in regards to racism. We must face them head on in order to have a prosperous future. How will you plan on starting this conversation?

2 thoughts on “Stop Normalizing Color-blind Ideologies”

  1. Something I noticed about the colorblind ideology is that it is one White people tend to fall back on. “We are all the same! We all should be treated equally!” Yes, we should be treated equally. However, we should not ignore or delete the experiences and perspectives of people of color. As a White person, I have been having conversations with my White friends about these ideas. What does it mean to be White? What is the experience of Whiteness? I think that these two questions help allow White people to recognize the privilege that they hold in society. Reflection and eventually action is the key to eliminating the colorblind ideology. Why do White people feel the need to resort to this ideology? This is a great way for White people to think about what they have said and keep themselves accountable.

  2. I also often think about the colorblind ideology and it does anger me. After taking many sociology classes, I have learned a lot about the melting pot. Society tells us all to be the same, and it makes it seem like the only acceptable way to be human is to be white. This almost encourages everyone ti be white washed. You don’t hear about people of color very often in psychology research. Why? I think sociology and psychology makes us believe the only acceptable society is a white washed one. Taking classes like Contemporary Racism and educating ourselves and others is so important.

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