The problem with not seeing colour…

Hi world,

I’ve been meaning to write a small post concerning the topic of race, and feel I’d like to add my pet hates and loves. This is for those particular neighbours who claim to be colour-blind. I am gonna begin with this opening…

Stop saying: “I don’t see colour”

By using that statement, what you’re indirectly saying is: you and I are the same and come from the same backgrounds and traditions. Of course it’s fair to say that we share the same nationality – however we are not of the same community, and those communities differ by origin, culture and tradition. Making the “I don’t see colour” statement actually undermines me – for this mentality assumes that I must know/adhere to your social expectations that may not be popular within the community I was brought up in. My favourite example is when I sometimes state my love for black cinema. Many a time a friend would gasp and be surprised at the distinction I made, before responding with, “why would you say that? Why can’t cinema not be about colour?” Although the intent is nice and I appreciate the warm idealist attitude, the truth is: Black cinema is very different from white cinema. Much like asian cinema is very different from Bollywood cinema. It’s more than just colour… – It’s an identity.

Not seeing colour confuses you when a muslim girl wears a scarf, or a guy dressed in traditional clothing, or when a friend states to enjoy black cinema films etc. This is because the colour-blindness has taken away the ability to realise one’s culture of origin and how one celebrates that.

See my colour and me as one being; not one without the other. Respect it, along with all the traditions and lifestyles that come with it.

Ricky Baxter


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