I wanted to discuss this post that I saw on twitter today:
Now, I have almost no problem with what this guy is saying. He says “See my black skin. Understand what it means. Acknowledge its mistreatment.” Okay-- don’t forget about the history of black people in America. Sure, and nobody wants you to abandon your heritage or ancestry. However, I struggle to get on board with the “Act accordingly” part. My understanding is that he doesn’t want to be treated poorly based on the color of his skin but is telling me to acknowledge the color of his skin and react a certain way based upon that observation—is that a contradiction I smell?
There are over 100 comments on the post, with most people agreeing with him. However, there were a few people confused in the same manner that I am. Many responses went like this:
The girl’s response is, I feel, exactly what people mean when they say they "don’t see color" so… good job? Another person replied with: “But you must acknowledge that society has treated Black and Brown people unfairly. Accept that and then you see your privilege”. I have an issue with this comment as well; I haven’t polled the entire country lately, but I don’t think there are many people out there denying that slavery and segregation ever existed. There are also comments like this, which seem quite logical:
(Thank god @ teknomagic had the answer to that one! Phew!)
These following comments I also feel that I don’t fully understand. They seem to be implying that if I treat you decently because you are another human being, I am only doing it by ‘bypassing’ your ethnicity… because it is apparently impossible for me to be kind to you if I don’t pretend that you are white?
I am posting this because when people say “I don’t see color” I don’t believe that they mean they have to pretend you are white so they can deal with you, I don’t believe they mean that your history and culture and ethnicity don’t matter, and I don’t believe it means they are racist. The topic of race is, obviously, very heated right now and backward posts like this make it hard to understand what people want anymore.
Then again, I’m white so maybe I just don’t get it ;)