Color Blindness and Equality Essay (Critical Writing)
While delivering his ruling in the case of Regents v. University of California v. Bakke, Justice Harry Blackmum, a judge of the US Supreme Court, upheld the decision by institutions of higher learning to use race as one of the guiding factors in selecting qualified students to join college.
The court ruled out that the practice by the medical school at the University of California at Davis to preserve positions for less-privileged minority students in each entering class was unlawful. Justice Blackmum noted that “in order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race.
There is no other way” (Cornell University Law School, n. d.). I do not agree with this statement because it appears to suggest that one’s identity is judged by his/her race and that when judging someone’ potential or character, race should be a guiding factor.
If at all we intend to end racism, we must learn how to judge people based on their character, skills, and identity. We must also stop evaluating people based on their race. Racisms involve grouping people based on their ethnicity or color of their skin. It also involves taking action on racial grounds.
By definition, racism means taking account of race. Based on this definition, Justice Blackmum appears to suggest that we must be racists in order to end racism. This is not only immoral, but also illogical.
We should always endeavor to judge people by the content of their character, as opposed to the color of their skin. That this statement means is that we should not use skin color to evaluate the moral stature or competence of other men.
For example, we should not use skin color as a factor in admitting people to institutions of higher learning on in hiring them. Instead, we should admit students or hire people based on their competence, qualifications, and skills possessed. However, in our modern society, this appears to be far from the case.
Color preference seems to have replaced color blindness. Inasmuch as we may try to appear rational, there is no denying it that affirmative action entails a lot of racism (Bobo, 1998). Affirmative action promotes racism, in that it tries to please one group of people in the society at the expense of another group.
In case society decides to adopt a colorblind approach, we may end up losing more than we are likely to gain from this approach. For example, because the colorblind approach hinges on the premises that race should not and does not matter, we stand to lose all that we might have gained by identifying with a different culture.
In addition, we need to appreciate the fact that because all of us perceive the world differently, this is what adds spice to life.
By adopting a colorblind approach through affirmative action, we risk losing this valuable possession. Nobody benefits from or desires the “sameness” ideals promoted across cultures by our colorblind attitudes (Neville et al, 2000). For instance, if we embrace a blind society, we could end up losing our ethnic identity.
There is a clear distinction between color blindness and equality. Proponents of color blindness try to argue that all of us are equal by promoting affirmative action. Consequently, they attempt to mould individuals so that they can fit their description of equality.
In the process, they turn a blind eye to those values and capabilities that they would not wish to be associated with and embrace the qualities of an individual that they would want to be identified with. In contrast, equality refers to the ability to appreciate our various experiences, perspectives, abilities, and talents, in a diverse society.
Several authors have warned society against trying to adopt a color0blind attitude since different groups of people views different situations differently. Those who are keen on achieving a color blind society seems to ignore that fact that our society is deeply racialized.
Bobo, L. (1998). Race, interests, and beliefs about affirmative action. American Behavioral Scientist, 41, 985-1003.
Cornell University Law School. (n. d.). Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/438/265
Neville, H. Lilly, R., Duran, G., & Lee, Brown, L. (2000). Construction and Initial Validation of the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS). Journal of Counseling Psychology, 47, 59-70.
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