Make no mistake: I was raised to LOVE being black. I love our culture, our history, our swag, our unstoppable spirit. Black people bring undeniable flavor to any table. Without Black people music would suck; fashion would suck; dancing would suck; stuff would just be dull. We are the life of every real party in the world. And we don’t need money or alcohol or drugs or violence to do it (though we have been known to employ all of them on occasion for excitement purposes).
So when I talk about colorblindness, I am absolutely NOT referring to cultural things. That’s like asking everyone to lay down their history and forsake who they are and just be plain vanilla boring. Our histories and cultures make us interesting, give us depth. Nor am I asking my non-Black friends to go around pretending we have the same culture; if we are friends, I expect you to respect my differences and I do the same.
Nope, I am not talking about culture. I am talking about everything else.
I want colorblindness where it counts:
Be colorblind when you see my non-Caucasian sounding name on a job application, loan application, or college application.
Be colorblind when it is time to look at people for promotions or scholarships.
Be colorblind when it comes to how you are policing these streets.
Be colorblind when comparing my locs and snapbacks and sagging pants and twerk team to that of my white counterparts.
Be colorblind when it is time to pay me for my services or offer a salary.
Be colorblind when it is it is time to honor talents that transcend race (e.g. art, science, engineering, music, film, etc.).
Be colorblind when it is time for me to buy a home or rent an apartment.
Be colorblind when serving up justice or meting out mercy in the court system.
Be colorblind about how you educate all of our children no matter where they are from.
See, I don’t care if you celebrate my culture–appreciate it and respect it, yeah: but you do not have to celebrate it. I, for one, do not go crashing Saint Patrick’s Day parades or try to suddenly go kick it with Latinos on the Dia de la Muerta or try to go to random Bar Mitzvahs for the food. People’s cultural stuff should be celebrated how they want to without interruptions, suggestions, or misinterpretations unless they invite you into it.
What I want for ALL people is that WHEN IT COUNTS, their color is erased from the equation. That includes your privilege and my disadvantage–GONE, just because you decided to be colorblind at the right moment. Because that is what “social justice” really is: giving people a chance to show you who they are and what they are capable of without jacked up preconceived notions about “race” (which is something made up anyway to promote aforementioned privilege).
Let me love my culture AND rep my country at the same time: be colorblind where it counts.