What if We Just Forgot about Race?

"In his beautifully written new book, Thomas Chatterton Williams disputes the notion that his blackness should be central to his identity." - National Review

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dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

The ideas expressed in this article are pretty much exactly how I raised my children.  To this day, I'm still convinced that racism will never go away unless we no longer even notice skin color.  I'm not saying it should be "invisible," or that we can't "see" it, but in no way should it be a deciding or even major factor in our relationships with others.

Dave Barnhart

Mark_Smith's picture

current thinking, ie CRT, is all about amplifying and fixating on color, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, et al. Its all about division right now.

Bert Perry's picture

There's actually an interesting and sad story from the medical world about what happens when we don't notice skin color.  Back in the 1990s, when skin cancer prevention became huge, many doctors and social workers decided to ignore the fact that their patients were black and told them to use sunscreen, just like their patients of Nordic/fishbelly white extraction.  Result; they got rickets.

Now it's not all medical issues, but I for one welcome hearing about where someone came from, and at times, that has a lot to do with one's race.  If we "don't notice", what we're going to do is to simultaneously lose the stories/history of a lot of people.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

There's actually an interesting and sad story from the medical world about what happens when we don't notice skin color.  Back in the 1990s, when skin cancer prevention became huge, many doctors and social workers decided to ignore the fact that their patients were black and told them to use sunscreen, just like their patients of Nordic/fishbelly white extraction.  Result; they got rickets.

Now it's not all medical issues, but I for one welcome hearing about where someone came from, and at times, that has a lot to do with one's race.  If we "don't notice", what we're going to do is to simultaneously lose the stories/history of a lot of people.  

First off, I agree that of course medical issues have to take into account what science tells us about levels of melanin and other genetic differences.  That's no different from the diagnosis being different between two white people that might have different gender, different backgrounds based on known medical histories of certain areas etc.  All that is different from how we interact with people.  (Although in today's world, I wouldn't be surprised if a person tried to sue a hospital for not taking their claims of pregnancy seriously when the doctor finds out they are male.)

Of course in a strictly literal sense I'm going to notice if someone looks Asian, or Indian, or whatever.  And as I get to know them, I'm sure background, history, culture, etc. will come up.  But until I actually get to know someone, I won't know if someone that looks Japanese actually grew up in Japan, or just down the street from me.  They might be as proudly American as I am, whether they are naturalized or born here.  And as far as treating them as a person goes, that shouldn't matter in the slightest, and if I don't get to know them, it doesn't matter.  I still shouldn't make generalizations about what the person believes, what they might have gone through, etc., based solely on how they look, because I will most likely be wrong.

Unfortunately, if one buys what's in CRT and the whole thinking about identity these days, one is essentially forced to make some of these assumptions and then judge others by their skin color, rather than the content of their character (which can only be done rightly after you get to know them).  I always taught my children to beware of any ideas they might have about a person by just seeing them (not just racial ideas, and for what it's worth, I taught my kids there was really no such thing).  We should be careful judging others in any case, but doing so on the basis of appearance without getting to know them is, at least in my opinion, completely stupid, and the source of a lot of the "racial" discord these days.

Dave Barnhart