If colourblindness it's just a metaphor, doesn't mean what it says and is confusing people, then why don't we scrap it? I don't use it myself. When I was a child in the 1970's before I'd heard of racism the term often used in the UK was 'colour prejudice'. Many protested that we should not be judged by our skin colour. Is that all that colour blindness means? If it is a metaphor for something else then what is the something else?

Glen Loury recently challenged the growing appeal of 'racelessness', is racelessness and colourblindness the same thing? or does colourblindness accept the reality of race, while arguing that metaphorically we should proceed 'as if' race didn't exist?

The argument continues because there is something behind it. Are we dealing with personal conduct? That people should treat each other with kindness and respect? Or are we talking about systemic and institutional problems that will not disappear if left to good intentions and individual good will alone. Loury talks about growing up amongst black people and seeing them as 'his people', he also points to the data that show that black people are over-represented in social categories that show disadvantage (prison, welfare, poverty, health etc).

Race is a social construct but it is a historical reality, it has at times been taken literally and scientifically.

But what is the problem today? What is the argument about? Certainly there is an argument between black people (albeit not in the mainstream media). Those who treat race as a fundamental explanatory concept are in the ascendency. There may be an argument that anti-racists are themselves maintaining the idea of race, and trapping black people in narrow racial categories. Is this what colourblindness is challenging? Are there other ways of challenging this view?

Is racism still a problem? Most would agree that it has not gone away (even if some exaggerate it for their own purposes). Is racism not a problem for proponents of colourblindness. If colour blindness is just a metaphor (I don't think that it is) then the term is redundant (I don't think it is).

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Apr 22Liked by Winkfield Twyman, Ada Akpala

Great article, thank you. I often question the sincerity and integrity of those who argue against colourblindness - people like Sunny Hostin who recently argued with Coleman Hughes on The View. Perhaps I shouldn't, perhaps I should always assume the best motives in others - even when what they are proposing is so obviously damaging and wrong. But putting someone's race front and centre, the most important consideration, as critical race theorists do, is so obviously a cul de sac, nihilistic and hopeless. Whereas colourblindness is hopeful, visionary and inspiring - a vision that can unite everyone, inspire everyone. That's why Martin Luther King Jr's Lincoln Memorial speech is so powerful, 60 years on it can still send shivers up and down your spine (in a good way!). Also colourblindness, if we can link the idea directly to MLK's vision, has a proven track record. The progress made in race relations between the 1960s and the 2000s in both the US and UK was dramatic - Colin Powell, Condoleezaa Rice, Barack Obama. Condoleezaa Rice was born in the segregated South, I believe, and became US Secretary of State - that's an indication of dramatic progress, in my opinion. But over the past 10 years or so, I feel that progress has stalled and we are becoming more divided and the future less hopeful and I would put that down to the increased influence of critical race theory and a concerted effort in some quarters to undermine colourblindness and to turn people away from MLK's inspirational vision.

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