I was inspired to write this post after seeing someone tweet about how she wishes someday “we will not see colour”. It reminded me of something Tamera Mowry-Housley said [in response to Stacey Dash saying channels like BET promote segregation and threaten unity]
“Networks like BET, Tellemundo, they don’t cause segregation. They celebrate diversity”.
And I thought, how perfectly does that apply to the whole idea of being colour-blind?
I don’t think that we were born into different ethnicities to ignore the differences that we have, we were meant to appreciate and celebrate them. We were not meant to criticise others because their hair curls a different way, they wear hijab on their heads or they have more melanin in their skin.
We live in a society that is allowing every culture to shine in its own light and distinctiveness more and more every day. We unfortunately live in the same society where some people will become uncomfortable being in the presence of someone different and this stems from various places, two of which are:
1. Discontentment- they don’t like (or sometimes don’t even know) who they are and they are trying to exude all that negativity onto others.
2. Ignorance- they have no interest in being culturally enriched and believe in stigmas and stereotypes. Let’s clear a few things up for them:
o Not every Islam native is a terrorist or believes in terrorism
o Not every Black person is a criminal
o Not every Jamaican is a pothead
o Not every White person is a racist
o Not every Asian eats dog meat.
The most important thing is to not let society keep you in a box, you were not brought into this world to cater to anyone’s comfort zone. Whether that would be the people who don’t want to see your difference out of fear of segregation or those who have resentment for it.
Do not get me wrong, I am in support of unity 110%. What I cannot stand are people who make you feel like you are threating unity by acknowledging diversity. On social media sometime in 2015 there was a campaign running urging people to be colour-blind. I by no means think this project had foul intentions but it could have been executed differently. It comes down to something as simple as the wording having a negative connotation.
Promoting colour-blindness binds groups that have faced inequalities in the past from openly sharing their experiences. This will be the demise of people’s stories and then the cliché falls perfectly into place- you cannot know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from.
It is wrong to give the impression that seeing colour is a problem. It is better to teach people to acknowledge that:
o Yes that person is different from me
o Yes he/she has different beliefs from mine
o Yes he/she has a different colour skin, different texture hair and a different body build
o Yes he/she may never fully understand where I come from or the past my people had
o But he/she is not allowed to make me feel small for my difference
o He/she is not superior to me because we are different
o He/she is not allowed to silence or reduce me because he/she is uncomfortable with my difference.
Seeing colour is not a problem, period.
In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.-Dr Maya Angelou