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Are you colour blind or colour cognizant?

· Race does not have any meaning to me; I treat everyone with respect

· I was taught to treat everyone the same

· I don’t see color

· I don’t care if you are pink, purple or polka-dotted

· My parents were/weren’t racist, so that is why I am not racist

· Everyone struggles, but if you work hard, you will succeed

· I have lots of friends of colour

If you answered in the affirmative to the list above, consider the following:

· Colour-blind racism is an example of racism’s ability to adapt to cultural changes, and according to this ideology, if we pretend not to notice race, then there can be no racism.

· Consider the colour-blind ideology from the perspective of a person of colour: If you don’t see colour, do you not see people of colour? Are you denying their reality and challenges? If you don’t see colour then how will you see racism?

· Colour-blind ideology makes it challenging for all of us to address unconscious beliefs.

· While the idea of colour blindness may have started out as a well-intentioned strategy for interrupting racism, in practice it has served to deny the reality of racism and thus holds it in place.

· We cannot change what we refuse to see and acknowledge.

Aversive racism is a manifestation of racism that well-intentioned people see themselves as educated and progressive are more likely to exhibit. It exists under the surface of consciousness because it conflicts with consciously held beliefs of racial equality and justice. Aversive racism is a subtle but insidious form, as aversive racists enact racism in ways that allow them to maintain a positive self-image (e.g., I have lots of friends of color; I judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin).

(Adapted from Robin DiAngelo)


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