In response to racial furor online – local and internationally – I see a lot of people say that they don’t see the problem in these issues because they are “colour blind” every one is the same in their eyes sooooo , ja they don’t “get the fuss”
I just wanted to weigh in and say sorry/not sorry but I’m not colour blind.
See, I am very aware that my white friends are white, I’m aware of what privileges that affords them (don’t have a fit, they are aware too). Maybe I’ll ask them to make the bookings for me in a racial sensitive area, jokes jokes. I am aware that my black friends are black, they are aware of my race too, I think – my hair throws people off. They know that there are experiences we share and some we don’t.
My mix bag of friends and acquaintances teach me things, I teach them things. Usually race does not come up because our love of all things geeky and of pretentious meals and corny movies and crafting and and and trumps all that.
My Indian friends know that they better keep me birfi on Diwali, and that although my great grandmother was Indian I’m not sure if wearing a sari would count as cultural appropriation. How about a bindi? Flip just gimme the birfi, I culturally appropriate food all day long, I see you there sushi.
Thing is I’m not colour blind because I love people too much (like not every day and all the time, here in my space, but like theoretically) I like learning why my friend shaved her head when in mourning, why brides are covered in blankets after weddings, why Muslim brides are not in the actual ceremony, why dreadlocks have a significance to my Rastafarian buddy. (Yes these aren’t all races, but let’s not pretend that race is the only thing separating us, there is culture, language, social status, Star Trek vs Star Wars, Marvel vs DC)
In any case your background shapes the way you see a situation, and we need to be aware of that. Know that some things that might seem crazy to you is the norm to others. From the food we eat, the way we interact with people, animals, things. We are products of our surroundings and often (no matter how diverse your friendship circle and your community) there are things that are culturally ingrained in us and that makes us different. THAT’S OKAY! That is more than okay (Like the darker she is the more layers your mother in law insists your newborn needs to wear, hehehe – my white friends’ kids are over here in vests and the brown one’s are in blanket burritos; my observation, could be a local thing). But ja we are different and it’s okay.
Culture, race, religion, it’s interesting and it’s beautiful and being a person of mixed decent, whose blonde blue eyed great great grandfather couldn’t resist the charms of an Indian woman on one side of the family and whose Sotho and Cape Malay ancestors hooked up on the other side of the family tree. (I’m guessing behind a leaf, because it was not legal) I want to learn more. So I’m not likely to become colour blind soon (I’m night blind and wear glasses all the time, that’s enough blindness for me) . I intend to keep this hippie dippy lifestyle going straight into my parenting where I want Aidan to RESPECT and APPRECIATE others but always be able to put all that aside and recognize a toxic person regardless of colour and creed. Douche baggery, now THAT, that is colour blind