Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Colorblindness is the new racism" and #blacklivesmatter

      As I read the first section of “Colorblindess is the new racism” by Maryanne Armstrong and Stephanie Wildman, I agree with Amanda that I felt guilty that I am in part the person they are talking about . Like Amanda and Michael I don’t see people based on their race rather as a person and has always been taught treat others as you want to be treated. After being in this class for a few weeks I have definitely begun to understand what they mean by white privilege and how it exists.I’ve never really thought much about privilege and how it affects me y and society as a whole.  Before the SCWAAMP activity it never came to  my mind that the color of band-aids are more similar to caucasian skin than non-caucasian skin. I’ve been more intuned when I watch commercials and noticing how more characters are caucasian than non-caucasian.
    In the article, the authors talk about a Powerline which is similar to the idea in Johnson’s about the Diversity Wheel. An example they give on page 64 is “a white lesbian professor might be privileged in respect to her race and education, but lack privilege based on gender or sexual orientation.”  This example made me think of the the article I posted on Johnson’s blog about Altaf Saadi. She lacked privilege based on her culture. These examples relate to  the idea on page 64, “most individuals have some privileges while being excluded from privilege for other aspects of personhood.” This quote is similar to what Kivel talked about in chapter 3 of Johnson’s article , "In the United States, a person is considered a member of the lowest status group from which they have any heritage"

    One of the main focuses of the article is what the authors call, Color Insight, “serves to promote equality and to emphasize non-discrimination amongst races (68). To develop color insight there are four steps one must take. The first step is “considering context for any discussion about race” meaning we must be willing to mention and discuss race which relates to a point that Johnson made on page 11, “you can’t deal with a problem if you don’t name it; once you name it, you can think, talk and write about it.”  In order to discuss race we have to be willing to say there is a race problem and that discussion must be an open dialogue amongst the group. In his article Johnson talked in great detail of what privilege is; in this article by Armstrong and Wilman they give examples of things we can do to examine ourselves in terms of privilege.

          In the second article, “The next time someone says ‘all lives matter,’ show them these 5 paragraphs,” by Kevin Roose gives some great insight into the #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter debate. Even though this article is only 5 paragraphs it makes a strong and clear point. I agree that Reddit game the best explanation of the why #alllivesmatter is bothersome to those involved in the movement. I have to admit that even though I watch the news daily and have heard about the #blacklivesmatter movement, I have never really fully understood what it meant. This article gave clear insight into what the hashtag means, they are saying our lives matter….our stories deserve to be heard. In the article they talk about a scene in the movie Nightcrawler where one character tells another she doesn't want footage of a black or latino person dying she wants stories about affluent white people being killed because the media wants to hear stories about white people not black people, “there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of audience (who are white) can identify with.” This point makes me think of the many discussions I have had regarding the media and coverage of missing children; there is so much more national coverage about missing caucasian girls then there are about non-caucasian  girls. In a CNN report posted on Mediaite, they talk about a black girl that went missing and “the fact that she is black has made her less attractive of a news story for national media.” This is so absurd, any child or person that goes missing should get equal coverage...they are first and foremost a human being and coverage should not depend on race.

P.S. *I tried to look up more information on color insight but couldn’t find anything….could anybody else find anything*


  1. I appreciate the reflective way you approached this, Alicia. Not easy to "see yourself in the unflattering light of another's angry gaze" (Delpit). Hard work this privilege stuff! More in class!

  2. Hi Alicia!

    I found it interesting how closely we related this article with Johnsons article. It is so important to open up a dialogue about this issue. It’s not just an issue for those being oppressed but an issue for the privileged to understand, recognize, and address. I grew up in a predominately white middle class town (Rehoboth, MA) but I didn’t go to our public high school. I think for me, it was a culture shock to be in such a diverse school but it opened my eyes to colorblindness in my hometown. Before going to high school, I would go to Providence and see people of other races and not even consider what life must be like for them. It wasn’t until I was in a diverse school community until I realized after making friends with people of different races what they go through. Of course, being a person of privilege, I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand. But talking about it and taking classes like this to learn about color insight, are steps in the right direction.
    Also, it is heart breaking to hear stories about missing (or any wrong doing to) black children that is not publicized because they are not of privilege.
    If anyone gets a chance, check out this heart breaking movie but very interesting that I watched the other night… “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets”.