Color blindness (race) in the United States
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Color blindness (sometimes spelled colour-blindness; also called race blindness) is a sociological term referring to the disregard of racial characteristics when selecting which individuals will participate in some activity or receive some service. The rationale for "color-blind" practices is that racism and race privilege no longer exercise the power they once did, and/or that treating people equally leads to a more equal society. As described by Chief Justice Roberts, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
However, according to Christopher Doob in his textbook Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society, whites believe they live in a world in which "racial privilege no longer exists, but their behavior supports racialized structures and practices." Dr. Michael Kimmel made the statement not only in his book Guyland, but in a lecture, that "privilege is invisible to those who have it."  Those who have not been the target of racial bias cannot see or comprehend exactly what this feels like, looks like or the effects that it can have on people's lives. Whites simply believe discrimination and white privilege do not exist, because in their world they do not. Doob also mentions in his book that many times, due to the prominent racism that is still evident in today's society, minorities often do not have a choice but to participate in the racial socialization. This, he states, is due to the fact that it can be a daunting task to maintain a social identity in such a society.
Put into practice, color-blind operations use no racial data or profiling and make no classifications, categorizations, or distinctions based upon race. An example of this would be a college processing admissions without regard to or knowledge of the racial characteristics of applicants.
The goal of the 1960s landmark civil rights legislation was to remove racial discrimination and so establish a race-blind standard. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, that the hope was that people would be judged by "the content of their character" rather than "the color of their skin". Color-blind practices assume we have already reached that goal.
 Support of color blindness
Ward Connerly of the American Civil Rights Institute, has promoted and won a series of ballot initiatives in the states of California (California Proposition 209 (1996)), Washington (1998 - I-200), and Michigan (the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative - MCRI, or Proposal 2, 2006). California's initiative was co-authored by academics Tom Wood and Glynn Custred in the mid-1990s and was taken up by Connerly after he was appointed in 1994 by Governor Pete Wilson to the University of California Board of Regents. Each of the ballot initiatives have won, and Connerly plans what he calls a "Super-Tuesday" of five additional states in 2008.
Professor Carl Cohen of the University of Michigan, who was a supporter of Michigan's Proposal 2, have argued that the term "affirmative action" should be defined differently than "race preference," and that while socioeconomically based or anti-discrimination types of affirmative action are permissible, those that give preference to individuals solely based on their race or gender should not be permitted. Cohen also helped find evidence in 1996 through the Freedom of Information Act that led to the cases filed by Jennifer Gratz and Barbara Grutter against the University of Michigan for its undergraduate and law admissions policy - cases which were decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 23, 2003.
Some national bloggers and internet resources who favor the "equal opportunity" approach over "positive discrimination" include John Rosenberg's Discriminations, Tim Fay's Adversity.net, and Chetly Zarko's Power, Politics, & Money.
Actor-producer-director Kenneth Branagh frequently uses race-blind casting in his Shakespearean films. In Much Ado About Nothing, he cast Denzel Washington as Don Pedro; in his version of Hamlet, Francisco, one of the sentries in the first scene, was played by a black British actor; and in his As You Like It, David Oyelowo portrays Orlando. There are also several Japanese actors in the latter film.
 Criticism of color blindness
In 1997 Leslie G. Carr published "Color-Blind Racism" (Sage Publications) which reviewed the history of racist ideologies in America. He saw "color-blindness" as an ideology being promoted in to undercut the legal and political foundation of integration and affirmative action. Stephanie M. Wildman, in her book Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America, writes that many Americans who advocate a merit-based, race-free worldview do not acknowledge the systems of privilege which benefit them. For example, many Americans rely on a social and sometimes even financial inheritance from previous generations. She argues that this inheritance is unlikely to be forthcoming if one's ancestors were slaves, and privileges whiteness, maleness, and heterosexuality.
Critics allege that majority groups use practices of color-blindness as a means of avoiding the topic of racism and accusations of racial discrimination, and thus hide their true racial views, and that color blindness is used as a tool in attacking group legal rights gained exclusively by some minority groups.
Critics assert that color blindness allows people to ignore the racial construction of whiteness, and reinforces its privileged and oppressive position. In colorblind situations, whiteness remains the normal standard, and blackness remains different, or marginal. As a result, white people are able to dominate when a color blind approach is applied because the common experiences are defined in terms which white people can more easily relate to than blacks. Insistence on no reference to race, critics argue, means black people can no longer point out the racism they face.
Critics of color-blindness argue that color-blindness operates under the assumption that we are living in a world that is "post-race", where race no longer matters, when in fact it is still a prevalent issue. While it is true that overt racism is rare today (Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo.; 2006, p. 25), critics insist that more covert forms have taken its place (Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo.; 2006, p. 25). Eduardo Bonilla-Silva suggests that racial practices during the Jim Crow Era were typically overt and clearly racial, whereas today they tend to be covert, institutional, and apparently nonracial. Another criticism is that color-blindness views racism at the individual level (e.g. Lines of reasoning such as "I don't own slaves" or "I have very close black friends" to defend oneself) without looking at the larger social mechanisms in which racism operates. In an article in the journal New Directions for Student Services, Nancy Evans and Robert Reason argued that color-blindness fails to see the "structural, institutional, and societal" levels at which inequalities occur.
Doob, Christopher Bates. Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013. Print. Kimmel, Michael. Guyland. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
- http://books.google.ca/books?id=jXZA9r_6ofAC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=equality+colour+blindness+%22the+way+to+stop+discrimination+on+the+basis+of+race%22&source=bl&ots=VDYKxGrkgt&sig=5fvCPK55THTujyrl9ekfQsFkGIA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dCh2T_KjHKbt0gHA-Y3CDQ&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=equality%20colour%20blindness%20%22the%20way%20to%20stop%20discrimination%20on%20the%20basis%20of%20race%22&f=false. Retrieved 2012-03-29
- Christopher B. Doob
- Dr. Michael Kimmel
- Burdman, Pamela (2008). "Race-blind admissions". Retrieved 2008-01-18
- David O. Sears (UCLA), James Sidainus (UCLA), Lawrence Bobo (Harvard) Racialized Politics: The Debate about Racism in America University of Chicago Press, Publication Date: 2000-02-15; Contributors are Lawrence Bobo, Gretchen C. Crosby, Michael C. Dawson, Christopher Federico, P. J. Henry, John J. Hetts, Jennifer L. Hochschild, William G. Howell, Michael Hughes, Donald R. Kinder, Rick Kosterman, Tali Mendelberg, Thomas F. Pettigrew, Howard Schuman, David O. Sears, James Sidanius, Pam Singh, Paul M. Sniderman, Marylee C. Taylor, and Steven A. Tuch | ISBN 0226744078 | ISBN 978-0226744070 | Edition: 1
- Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America By Stephanie M. Wildman. Published 1996 by NYU Press
- Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2006). Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0-7425-4686-1.
- Chang, Michael (2004). Racial Politics in an Era of Transnational Citizenship. Lexington Books. p. 104. ISBN 0-7391-0621-X.
- Parker, Laurence (1999). Race Is-- Race Isn't: Critical Race Theory and Qualitative Studies in Education. Westview Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-8133-9069-9.
- Mark, Halstead (1988). "Mark Halstead on racism". University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
- Ansell, Amy E. (2006). "Casting a Blind Eye: The Ironic Consequences of Color-Blindness in South Africa and the United States" (– Scholar search). Critical Sociology (Brill) 32 (2–3): 333–356. doi:10.1163/156916306777835349.[dead link]
- Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2001). White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. pp. 137–166. ISBN 1-58826-032-1.
- Reason, Robert D.; Nancy J. Evans (2007). "The Complicated Realities of Whiteness: From Color Blind to Racially Cognizant". New Directions for Student Services 120 (120): 67–75. doi:10.1002/ss.258.