Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Prejudice - "I don't see color."


To be sure, like the rest of race, whiteness is a fiction, what in the jargon of the academy is termed a social construct, an agreed-on myth that has empirical grit because of its effect, not its essence. 

But whiteness goes even one better: it is a category of identity that is most useful when its very existence is denied. That’s its twisted genius. 

Whiteness embodies Charles Baudelaire’s admonition that “the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” Or, as an alter ego of the character Keyser Söze says in the film The Usual Suspects, “The greatest trick the devil ever played was to convince the world that he didn’t exist.” The Devil. Racism. Another metaphor. Same difference.

DiAngelo, Robin J.. White Fragility (pp. ix-x). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.

While maybe well meaning people who say they don't see color are acting in a prejudiced way. Not seeing color is not seeing a key factor in personal and social identity. Not seeing color is not seeing essential parts of a person's history and social experience.

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