Monday, July 14, 2008

the trib talks 'race' and the result is...varied

This is the column in today's Trib from Dawn Turner Rice who's doing a series on race. I suppose we can credit the Year of Obama for being the catalyst for all this racial navel gazing.

Whenever a paper or media outlet decides it's going to tackle race, I gird my loins for a discussion that will, inevitably, derail in seconds. My standards for having these conversations is high and I can't stomach the kinds of comments that make me wonder if we're living in 2008 or 1958. This time, I really couldn't allow the conversation to veer off into troll land so I got really into it (if you read the comments, you'll find Ding peppered here and there.) Surprise, surprise, I manage to keep my temper and have a few exchanges that are civilized.

The question of color blindness comes up. Blah di blah, we all know that saying 'I don't see color!' doesn't really work as a racial justice strategy. Racialicious and Too Sense have good posts on color blindness worth looking at.

But the thread made me wonder, if ideological color blindness could actually be achieved, how sure am I that I could be racially color blind (like, skin color carried no semiotic weight for me)?

I gave myself a random 90% - I am 90% sure I could act/behave in a color blind way, considering my ethnic background, how I grew up, who my friends were/are, and my current/past behavior. At first I was going to say 100% but that's not true; I'd have some issues. (Originally, I gave myself an 80%.)

No, this doesn't have metrics built into it in any way, but as a wholly unscientific assessment, it's at least as worthwhile and revealing as Which Sex and City Character Are You?

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