Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why do people say "colorblindness" is racist?

The Church of Rationality lists a few possible reasons why people so often express this odd view. My favorite point:

You're not much of a punk rock insider if you like the Ramones. Everyone likes the Ramones. If you're an expert concerning some Portugese band whose whole output consists of flexidiscs published with Greek fanzines in the late 1980s, then we're talking. Likewise, you're not much of an anti-racist if you're simply against racism. Even the conservatives are against racism these days. You'll have to offer a little more. The more extreme, the better.


Jason (the commenter) said...

Conservatives think racism consists of treating people differently based on the color of their skin.

Liberals think racism consists of not treating minorities preferentially based on the color of their skin.

Ann Althouse said...

That's amusingly put. But I think people who say "colorblindness" is racist are saying that because the real-world facts have some people at a disadvantage — on an "uneven playing field" — that anyone who invokes the idea of treating everyone the same is really trying to preserve the disadvantage. If you think the people who say "colorblindness" really want that continued inequality, then it is racist. There's a veneer of goodness based on abstract principle. But if you apply that in reality, you get inequality.