“Colorblindness” in the Classroom
Many well-meaning students will say that they are different than generations before them, because they do not see color (by which they mean skin color, and typically mean they do not distinguish black folks from others). While this is obviously a genuine attempt to not be racist, it can have harmful consequences. I ask students to read the attached article (The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race) and then ask them these questions:
- Which person do they most identify with? Meaning, which person in the story has a worldview and experience most similar to their own? What are the similarities and differences?
- Which person do you think has a different worldview than you? Why?
- Why did the parent ultimately say that being “color blind” was harmful? Do you agree or disagree?
Police Violence and Black Death
Over the past several years, there have been many deaths of black folks captured on screen. In recent history, the first most prominent death was Eric Garner. Many black folks (particularly black men) have had their deaths played over and over again. While this has brought awareness to the issue of police brutality, it has also brought tremendous trauma to black folks. Not only are they witnessing deaths of people who look like them, they are also seeing no change or justice for those deaths. Many people choose to get on social media to escape, only to be bombarded on images of dead bodies. Listen to the podcast (A Decade Of Watching Black People Die) and consider the following questions:
- Does showing the deaths of these black folks create any real change?
- Who does it harm to show these deaths?
- How might seeing repeated violent deaths of people who look like you impact you? Also consider this in the context of how these deaths often to not carry consequences for the people who commit the murder.