Joy Casino Ап Икс Newsletter on Color Blindness - Open to Debate

Newsletter on Color Blindness

Does Color blindness perpetuate racism Open to Debate


  Jamelle Bouie

Columnist for The New York Times



Coleman Hughes

Host of the “Conversations with Coleman” podcast, Contributing Writer at The Free Press, and Analyst at CNN



This week:

  • A necessary debate: Is color blindness the way to achieve equality?
  • A closer look at racism in America today
  • Your Sunday reading list



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. declared in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech that he hoped his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Fast forward over sixty years later: while progress has been made, especially after the reckoning that happened across the country in 2020, there’s still quite a way to go.

During Black History Month, we’re looking at an ideology some people say is the right answer for achieving racial equality, known as color blindness, or the idea that one can only treat an individual equally by going beyond race or ethnicity in any interaction.

Advocates of color blindness say focusing on one’s race increases division, and judging by character as Dr. King advocated better promotes fairness and equal opportunity.

But others push back against this, saying that declaring yourself “colorblind” means you’re actively ignoring the historical and structural factors surrounding racism and downplaying the racial bias many people experience daily. In their view, that’s not what Dr. King intended in his activism.

Our debaters, both influential thought leaders, take on differing, but insightful approaches using deep historical analysis and inspiration to make their arguments on what role color blindness should play in our culture. Jamelle Bouie argues the term has been used to undermine policies that can address systemic racism, and thus reinforces it. Coleman Hughes, who released his book “The End of Race Politics” this month, argues that taking a colorblind approach by replacing race-based policies with class-based ones could reduce inequality.

Listen to this debate now on YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. As always, let us know what you think.


Would taking a colorblind approach make a difference?




Jamelle Bouie and Coleman Hughes on Color Blindness


Jamelle Bouie

“I consider my perspective to be the perspective of Wendell Phillips… to be the perspective of the luminaries of Civil Rights movement, that we need to be both attentive to system-wide inequality, but also the specific consequences of specific policies meant to immiserate or degrade particular groups of people… There was a system of subordination and domination beginning in slavery, recapitulated and reinscribed after reconstruction, continued through Jim Crow, and spread across the country. They did structure people’s outcomes based off of this thing that we call race.”


Coleman Hughes

“The Civil Rights luminaries of the past, from Dr. King on down, were hardly head-in-the-sand about the history of racism, and they knew it on a visceral level. And yet, their proposal to address was color blind policy and class-based anti-poverty policy. In his book ‘Why We Can’t Wait,’ Dr. King [addresses] this specific problem of preferential treatment or compensation for what would have been then called the Negro. He knew that there was affirmative action going on in India, [and] he instead proposed something he called the Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged, which would target the white and Black poor alike.”





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