Being ‘colorblind’

Growing up in a very white area, having a lot of white friends and family, and being white I’ve heard phrases like “I’m colorblind: I don’t see race”, “we all bled red”, “I don’t think of you as [insert race]” way too often. I fully admit that in my more ignorant phases growing up, I used that phrase and fully believed in it. Since then, I’ve come to realize the racism that is stated with the belief.

*I want to preface this post by saying that I am not trying to speak for any person of color with writing this but instead trying to articulate the best I can of what is wrong with colorblindness. This is written by a white person for other white people and as a way for me personally to better articulate why colorblindness is really problematic.

Being colorblind comes from a place of privilege and negates the experiences, cultural values, norms, and expectations that come with being a person of color. Not only does this sentiment deny the experiences of racism that people of color experience but it also removes you from seeing and addressing your privilege as a white person.

By not seeing or talking about race, you don’t magically cure racism or live in a post racial society. (In fact! A study found that white people and those that ranked high in color blind ideologies were less likely to not be offended by images of people enacting racist stereotypes.) Instead, you just don’t address critical issues and alienate people from interacting with you. Being aware of someone’s race does not make you a racist. Making stereotypes and assuming things because of someone’s race, on the other hand, most definitely makes you a racist. Also be careful not to assume how someone identifies.

Quotes and media on the issue of colorblindness:

“Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter what neighborhood he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’ The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.”

– Sonia Sotomayor, on why pretending that America is a colorblind, post racial society does not make it so

“You do not have the right to say to a person, ‘I do not see you as you are. I want to see you as I would be more comfortable seeing you.’”

– What you are actually saying when you say that you don’t see color


“You know what I love? When people don’t see my race. There is nothing more affirming for me as a person than to have essential parts of myself and my experience completely disregarded. I mean, inside we’re all the same. And there’s only one race: the HUMAN race! Amirite??? Ugh. Listen. If your ability to respect someone’s right to exist requires pretending that they are just like you, that’s a problem. We are not all the same. And things like race, gender, disability, etc. are exactly the kinds of things that shape our lives and our experiences and make us different from one another. Being different is not the problem. The idea that being the same as you is what gives us the right to exist is the problem.”

– Mia Mckenzie, 8 Ways Not to Be An “Ally”, found in her new book “Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class and Gender”


Statements like these assume that people of color are just like you, white; that they have the same dreams, standards, problems, and peeves that you do. “Colorblindness” negates the cultural values, norms, expectations and life experiences of people of color. Even if an individual white person could ignore a person’s color, society does not. By saying we are not different, that you don’t see the color, you are also saying you don’t see your whiteness. This denies the people of colors’ experience of racism and your experience of privilege. “I’m colorblind” can also be a defense when afraid to discuss racism, especially if one assumes all conversation about race or color is racist. Speaking of another person’s color or culture is not necessarily racist or offensive. As my friend Rudy says, I don’t mind that you notice that I’m black.” Color consciousness does not equal racism.

– from shitrichcollegekidssay, by Debra Leigh


7 Things Your Colorblind Friend Might Say and How to Respond – Atlanta Blackstar (also includes a great definition of racism)

The Problem with Colorblindness – Alex Seitz-Wald, Washington Post


I can tell you right now that I don’t know a whole lot about the context of what is happening in Gaza and between Israel and Palestine. But I can say without a doubt that I do support Palestine and all Palestinians right now and rather than try to write a post about it, I’m just going to compile a list of articles that I have been reading.

A Look at the U.S. Marches Calling for and End to Violence in Gaza

American teen recounts savage beating by Israeli police that helped spark crisis

Gaza Resident: I’m Called a Human Shield for Refusing to Leave My Home (Video)

To my fellow American Jews

58k Gaza Kids Hit by ‘Death, Injury, or Loss of Home’ in 10 Days

Renouncing my Israeli citizenship

Angela Davis on Palestine and the Prison Industrial Complex (32 minute video – she talks about a bunch of topics and starts talking about Palestine around 7:50ish)

Havens Are Few, if Not Far, for Palestinians in Gaza Strip

Palestinian Children Tortured, Used As Shields By Israel, UN Says

Not in Our Name: Jewish activists arrested in sit-in at Friends of Israel Defense Forces NYC office

Palestine Reader, from owning-my-truth

**These are just some of the resources available and there’s so much more out there about what’s happening. I didn’t really have much trouble finding these articles BUT that is 100% because I was looking in the right places and all of them came from other people posting them. I’m hoping to add more and learn more as time goes on.

My fatness

So I’ve been thinking a lot about food, eating, fatness, and my parents’ relationship with what I consume. I’ve been fat pretty much my entire life and it has always been a touchy subject for a plethora of reasons.

Being fat, I quickly realized that everyone seemed to have more agency over my body than I did. My curves and rolls and skin and bones didn’t belong to me – everything about me belonged to those who thought they knew better. It didn’t matter that I grew up playing soccer and was a bomb ass defender and later on, a pretty decent goalie. It didn’t matter that despite having asthma, I played soccer with all my strength for 10 years growing up. It didn’t matter that I took to skiing in no time flat and when I was 13, won a skiing race with the fastest time for my age group. It didn’t matter that I ran cross country for my high school team for 3 years in a row and even though I didn’t do that well, I still ran as much and as fast as I could. It didn’t matter that I also rode horses for a few years, which is much more difficult than people realized.

It didn’t matter how active I was because I was always fat. There were times when I was constantly active, sometimes in more than one sport or activity at a time and on top of school and volunteering. People would always make comments about me being fat, claiming to be looking out for me and wanting me to be the best I could be.

I had a health professional tell me I needed to exercise and lose weight when I went to my university’s health center for anxiety. I had my dad just recently tell me that “it looked like I was losing weight and [he] loved me for it“, as if his fatherly love was completely dependent on if I was consistently losing weight. I’ve had ailments and illnesses blamed on my fatness, making going in for health care help nearly impossible without having anxiety.

I’ve realized that I hate eating around my mother and do everything I can to avoid eating around her because she comments on how much exercise I will need to do to work off my meal. I hate eating around people because I worry that they will make comments or judge me for the food or portions I eat. I try to order last when out with friends, to make sure that I’m eating a similar sized meal or something smaller. And if I’m at a party, I usually try to avoid eating if there are not others eating as well.

I’m tired of being the fat girl – well, truthfully I’m tired of being labelled the fat girl and I’m tired of the way in which I’m seen by others. I started working out recently – running, walking my dog, going to the gym. But I’ve done it not to lose weight but to go back to being active again. I love being active – swimming, running, skiing, hiking, almost all of it. And I went into this summer knowing that me getting back to being active has nothing to do with my weight and everything to do with loving myself.

I love my fat ass but I love it more when I’m fat and active.

Hobby Lobby and why religious beliefs shouldn’t trump all

I’ll admit – I was initially a little out of sorts when the SCOTUS decision on the Hobby Lobby birth control came out yesterday. I had seen some posts from feminist friends sharing their distaste for the ruling but I wasn’t too clear about what exactly happened. After some digging, I realized what the ruling meant and promptly got extremely anxious and thoroughly disappointed.

Bitch Magazine has a piece about the issue that pretty accurately reflects my views on the issue and included part of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent on the ruling, saying that “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s entire 35 page dissent on the ruling can be found here. I haven’t read it yet but The Raw Story has a piece that has some quotes from the dissent and discusses what was written in it.

I fully believe in religious freedom and that’s the key – freedom. I believe that every single person has the right to practice their religion however they see fit. As long as you are not causing harm to others, I fully believe that you have the right and freedom to your religion and beliefs.

But as soon as your beliefs start to significantly impact other people, that’s where I draw the line. Your religious beliefs should not dictate another person’s bodily autonomy and people have the right to use and not use birth control for whatever reasons they have. If you don’t use birth control for religious reasons, great. You made that decision for yourself with personal factors that contribute to your life. If you use birth control to help prevent pregnancy or to help alleviate cramps or literally any other reason, I fully support that.

I fully believe in people being able to make their own decisions about their lives (within reason) and having access and resources to carry out those decisions. Corporations should not have control and power over individuals and yet they do. I’m frustrated that people aren’t able to understand that religious freedom not only means being able to freely practice their religion but that it also means being free from religion. I’m mad that cis white men are continuously taking away rights from others in a plethora of ways and I’m mad that a huge corporation has the ability to limit reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.

I’m angry that there isn’t great sex education within the United States because I fully believe you can be abstinent but know what a fucking clitoris is. Saving sex until marriage doesn’t eliminate the fact that you can at least know the ways in which STDs/STIs are spread. Not using contraceptives at all doesn’t mean you can’t know what a condom is/how to put it on and what exactly birth control is.

People should NOT be shamed for making the best decision for them and should be given access to things like birth control, abortions, and a living wage. People should NOT be harassed and shamed for making decisions that are best for them, meaning that despite the SCOTUS ruling, there should be buffer zones around abortion clinics. There is a difference between freedom of speech and harassment/threats and people should feel safe for whatever decisions they make about their own bodies. (Side note: other than making someone feel incredibly awful about their entire existence, what do you gain as a person for protesting in front of abortion clinics?! You look like a douchebag.)

This turned into a much longer rant than I initially intended and more and more things keep coming up with this topic. But basically, I believe that religious liberty should never trump body autonomy and that people should make the best decisions for themselves and have access to resources to make those decisions.

Anyway, those are my two cents on the issue.