Be Color Conscious, Not Color Blind

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The following is a quote from law professor Michelle Alexander’s must-read book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness. In the book, Alexander explains how the shaping of U.S. law around the concept of colorblindness over the last 50 years has negatively impacted communities of color. Near the end of her book, she casts an alternative vision…

Far from being a worthy goal…colorblindness has proved catastrophic for African Americans…Saying that one does not care about race is offered as an exculpatory virtue, when in fact it can be a form of cruelty…

…A commitment to color consciousness, by contrast, places faith in our capacity as humans to show care and concern for other, even as we are fully cognizant of race and possible racial differences…

…Seeing race is not the problem. Refusing to care for the people we see is the problem. We should hope not for a colorblind society but instead for a world in which we can see each other fully, learn from each other, and do what we can to respond to each other with love. That was King’s dream—a society that is capable of seeing each of us, as we are, with love. That is a goal worth fighting for.

Click here to read more about The New Jim Crow.

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