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Why “Not Seeing Color” Isn’t A Good Alternative To #BlackLivesMatter

Written by Shadée Alexis

If I asked you to close your eyes and tell me what color you saw, what would you say? Some people would say black, others red, white, blue, green, etc. Based on their perspective of color, every single person will see something different but there is always the ever-present person that claims not to see color.

 

I’m not talking about the color behind your eyelids anymore because we’re all the same on the inside, I’m talking about the color in front

 

. Skin color is one defining trait that separates and categorizes people into race/ethnicity and in the day and age of social media where race issues are at the forefront of everyone’s media connection to the world, is “not seeing color” a bandwagon everyone should be jumping on? What does “not seeing color” really mean? Does it mean that you’re fine with being friends with people of color because to you they’re the same as you?

 

As a white person, does that mean you’re stripping that person of their culture associated with their color in order to appease a need inside yourself to be accepting of others? Not seeing color to me is just as ignorant and dangerous as #AllLivesMatter. Of course you see color.

 

You SHOULD see color. Color matters, it’s everywhere in the world and it’s entirely unavoidable. There’s nothing wrong with seeing color, in fact I encourage you to see and acknowledge color and instead of being afraid of it or ignorant towards it, embrace it, learn and ask questions. It seems that almost daily, an unarmed person of color is being murdered by the very people paid to protect and serve them or lost to the world and it’s a grave injustice.

 

Calling attention to #BlackLivesMatter isn’t a shot against all other races/ethnicities. Especially in a world where police are almost 80% more likely to question a person of color walking down the street than a white person, BLM is a movement that more people should get behind. Color needs to be acknowledged in a positive light, we are no better than anybody else but I believe that it’s time to see that POC (people of color) should have the right to matter. We are not trying to devalue your existence by saying #BlackLivesMatter, we are simply stating that our lives are being discarded and disregarded like trash upon the street and that is absolutely unacceptable.

 

Our blood soaks into the concrete and mothers can’t sleep because they’re concerned about their babies facing that heat. Our lives don’t matter anymore than anyone else’s, but they DO matter and that needs to be acknowledged.

 

Don’t let #BlackLivesMatter offend you, as a white person you should uphold that and believe in it because all lives do matter but it’s time that you pay attention to the ones treated as if they don’t. Not seeing color may be your way of avoiding racism and race issues, but from the perspective of a person of color; I’d much rather that you acknowledge my color and respect it. No one will fault you for asking questions about my culture, heritage and race. Questions exist to be asked and are the ultimate eliminator of ignorance. Don’t be willfully ignorant. See color, acknowledge color and learn about it because it’s time that we start to matter too. Our color shouldn’t offend you.

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