I Don't See Colour
When you say, “I don't see colour,” you’re ignoring racism, not helping to solve it.
These four words can carry more weight than you think.
The expression, though often well-intentioned, is hurtful.
We’ve all heard someone say that they “don’t see colour,” that they are “colorblind,” or that they “don’t have a racist bone in their body?”
Maybe you’ve even said this yourself.
Colourblindness is often used to express distaste for racist ideals or distance yourself from those who support racist views.
What we don’t realize is, saying that we "don't see colour" implies that we don't see the oppression and the prejudices people still have to fight because of their colour.
It prevents us from acknowledging social issues people of colour have to battle, such as featurism, colourism and racism.
By saying we don’t see colour, we are choosing not to see the pain and struggle.
When we say we do not see someone’s colour when we see them as a person, we ignore their race. Their race, which plays a big part in their life as a Black person in society.
The racial identity of a Black person has historically shaped their experience of life in society."Not seeing" race denies systemic racism. It allows us to ignore how racially stratified our society is – how Black individuals are systematically treated with prejudice.
By saying you don’t see their colour, you ignore a part of their identity and the lived experiences associated with that identity.
Racism is not about acknowledging the colour of someone’s skin but using their skin colour as an excuse to discriminate against someone, to “other” them.
To understand the struggles of racial prejudice, it is critical to have an awareness of race and stereotypes. This cannot be achieved without "seeing colour."
Seeing colour allows you to look at their obstacles from their perspective in order to adopt an understanding of Black issues in society.
By acknowledging someone is Black, you hear and amplify their voice.
When you see someone’s colour, you recognize their racial heritage.
Seeing colour allows you to acknowledge the existence of the person of colour and recognize their experiences relating to their racial identity.
In the end, we all want to be treated as an individual and recognized for who we are. Colorblindness doesn’t allow for this.