Saying “I don’t see color” can have unintended negative impacts, despite being well-intentioned. Seeing color doesn’t mean conceding to racism.

Here are some of the ways claiming not to see color has can hurt and harm people of color:

  • By claiming not to see color, you are invalidating the experiences and identities of individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Acknowledging differences in skin color and ethnicity is crucial for recognizing and respecting the unique experiences and challenges faced by people of different racial backgrounds.
  • Disregarding color or race can maintain a “colorblind” approach that ignores systemic racism and inequalities. It’s important to acknowledge and address these issues rather than pretend they don’t exist.
  • When you claim not to see color, you are ignoring your own privilege and the advantages you have due to your race. Understanding and acknowledging privilege is essential for promoting equity and justice.
  • By ignoring color, you miss out on opportunities to learn about and appreciate diverse cultures, histories, and perspectives.
  • People from marginalized communities may feel unseen or misunderstood when you claim not to see their race or ethnicity. It can create a barrier to building authentic connections and relationships.

Instead of saying “I don’t see color,” it’s better to recognize and celebrate diversity while actively working to address systemic injustices and promote equality and inclusion. This involves acknowledging differences, listening to, and learning from diverse perspectives, and taking action to create a more equitable society.

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