Out of the backdrop, the images begin to take shape. The grays merge into pink, trimmed in crimson, and blacks glow from turquoise to blues. With the emergence of light, bearings take hold and plant feet firmly on the ground with rich browns and ebony. Clarity becomes more and more vibrant. The sun defines the separation between each brilliantly filled splash of color. In The Umbrella Song, Rihanna says “When the sun shines, we’ll shine together.”
This display is not a Farscape of futuristic utopian fantasy. This is your neighborhood as the night turns into day. But what are you speaking? Is it the healing words of morning or ancient subjugating words of the dark? Yet, out of the insecurity of now, there is a reach into the past, with the phrase “When I see you, I don’t see color.” Such words speak from a dark place. Light reveals color. To live in a color-blind world obscures me, a black man, in irrelevance. It takes marginalized communities of color’s uniqueness and baptizes it in a world defined by whiteness. Whiteness is not a people, a race, or even a heritage; it is only a social construct that camouflages a changing world with a Yesterday that will never return.
Regardless of how well intended, it is untruthful to say I don’t see color when everything about American society is tied to the veneer. From body shape or shame, to hair texture, color or lack thereof, to which designer brand you wear, “I see you” is who we are. Our predatory binocular vision analyzes with precision what stands before us and whether they are friends or foes. Depth perception identifies color changes that separate shadowing from pigment, fur, etc., to measure speed and whether the object or person is moving toward or away from us. In all this, saying I don’t see color is fiction.
“As the old saying goes: ‘You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression’.
According to one university study*, people make eleven decisions about us in the first seven seconds of contact (“The 7/11 Rule”. Positive Business DC By Shannon Polly, MAPP
Cultural Colorblindness is an acceptance of white majority and, more specifically, whiteness and hegemony as the norm, and anyone or culture that falls outside this group is inferior and irrelevant. When the marginalized cry out in their pain, they are called out as divisive for so-called race-baiting and not assimilating. All the while, our children are watching with binocular vision scanning for friend or foe. Some would want to teach them through a whitewashed, culturally sanitized lens of colorblindness, and therefore tilting the scales, that to make any mention of difference and the burdens that are determined upon the lives of those outside of the present, yet waning majority, are those foes.
These culture warriors, wage war in the classrooms, school boards, cities, and state legislatures; they exhibit a cultural cognitive dissonance that wants to decry the indoctrination of the ascribed “woke agenda,” while at the same time, they indoctrinate, through subjugation, censorship, and suppression, voices of marginalized communities of color.
“Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”
Letter From the Birmingham Jail MLK
In Malachi 4:2, scripture reminds us, “The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.”
“Let’s all shine together” and not shrink from the call to enlightenment. Note, that the healing comes from the light which penetrates the darkness. Walking into a windowless dark room, you will find that the people, floor, ceiling, desk, furniture, and all that is within that space will be black. That is the true color of creation. It is only through the light as it permeates and reflects from the objects or people that we can observe differences and the unique beauty of everything that is touched by the light. In this month of May, May we all allow societal healing to begin through Light and Truth.
By Kevin Robinson, Founder/Editor, Publisher of Three-Fifths Magazine
2 thoughts on ““When The Sun Shines, We’ll Shine Together.””
I think I never even thought about whether or not I see color, which is in itself problematic. But I remember clearly one day as an adult in my 30s or 40s, seeing a bi-racial couple and realizing that I saw their color. How I could go so many years in my life without having this awareness baffles me. I know it’s a part of my conditioning, which I’ve been blind to and that it’s my work to expand myself out of this conditioning. I see you. I sense your difference. I see the lack in my life in not communing with people different than me. I see you. I appreciate you and your voices.
Thank you, Jennifer! Truly, as God’s light shines upon us, may we all shine together, and you are appreciated too.