We Need to Transcend Beyond Color Blindness

My mother and I almost died on the operating room delivery table. I had some complications at birth. Around five years old, I had an operation to improve my ability to walk. Although I overcame several odds stacked against me in life, I could never understand my white privilege. I thought about how things were unfair with sadness. Something happened that dramatically changed my point of view a few years ago.

Covid disrupted the world. Several states, including my state, were closed due to the uncertainty of the virus. When a person has time on their hands, it allows that person to reflect on life. I decided to learn more about BIPOC because of the suffering brought about by this virus and the racist rhetoric from the last U.S. President. It was realized that I had gaps in my knowledge. I was determined to fix the problem and understand BIPOC.

Some white people shouldn’t state they are “Color Blind” and do nothing to support the BIPOC community. Color blindness isn’t a one-and-done type of deal. I feel white people say they are color-blind out of fear. They don’t want to be accused of any racism. BIPOC are smart enough to see through the charades. Here’s the other life observation I want to share with you. I feel a few white people are afraid of marginalized communities of color. White people shouldn’t be afraid of these communities. We need to surround ourselves with different ethnicities and open our hearts.

The Black Lives Matter movement offended many white people. At the time, I thought something to myself. Should all lives matter? Does my life matter? While reading and learning more about Black Lives Matter, one will finally understand that Black Lives Matter is an inclusive organization that embraces people from every race and ethnicity. This is why we must learn more about people of color and overcome ignorance.

Before we examine our self-talk, it’s essential to determine its origin. My immediate family never displayed racist behavior growing up. Overall, I was a quiet kid and not a troublemaker in school. However, I witnessed racist and negative behavior while in school. Every so often, school-aged children can be cruel to one another. Children aren’t born this way. This behavior is learned from their parents and environment. An internal conversation with profound honesty must be had about the treatment of one another.

Our white privilege is not intended to step on or exploit people for personal gain. It’s our responsibility to understand how minority communities have been treated throughout history while lowering the temperature. We also need to open our eyes to how specific policies about banning Critical Race Theory courses and voter suppression are negatively impacting the black and brown communities. Once we are armed with knowledge, we can educate those in the majority culture.

White people, we’ve been pulled in two completely different directions when it comes to the treatment of BIPOC. In one direction, our minds are telling us to disregard these persons. We think our problems are more significant. Everyone has issues in life. The other direction is thinking with our hearts. Deep down in our hearts, we know that ethnic minority communities have been treated poorly. This is the time to start thinking with our hearts.

We must be “Servant Leaders” for the BIPOC community. Here is what the Bible teaches us about servant leadership:

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Color blindness is just a phrase when we don’t seriously consider the lives of others outside of the majority culture. White people, do you want people of color to start liking you as people? The first step is to learn more about the people in these communities. We must become supportive and treat them with respect as well as dignity. Your self-esteem will improve as a person. You’ll realize you can make a positive impact. Together, we will continue the journey toward open dialogue and racial equity.

By Matthew Philistine

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