The “AllLivesMatter” movement has really annoyed me in epic proportions. Witnessing all those people, predominantly white, surging against the #BlackLivesMatter protests made me wonder how “colorblindness” could possibly be perceived as a great concept by so many people. Then I recalled this great TED Talk given by Mellody Hobson back in 2014, and she said something that really resonated with me. “Don’t Be Color Blind, Be Color Brave”.
Full disclosure, I am an immigrant from France to this country, and I am white, and yet I created DLG Media, a platform that aims to elevate the voices of multicultural America. And while I am a huge advocate of diversity and multiculturalism, I am not confused as of how privileged I am because of the way I look. Let’s be realistic, I am a Caucasian male in America and as such, as perfectly stated by Louis C.K a few years ago, I won the f*cking lottery. As a white person, I do not feel threatened or offended by the #BlackLivesMatter movement and neither should you. In fact I do not understand how one can be against such an organization created to point out the obvious struggles and countless discrimination faced by African Americans everyday.
HOW CAN YOU BE COLOR BLIND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS?
Numbers don’t lie. Black lives are not valued the same way in this country. Let’s just take a look at the number of “unarmed people” killed by the police in 2015.
- Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015
- Nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were identified as unarmed, though the actual number is likely higher due to under reporting
- 37% of unarmed people killed by police were black in 2015 despite black people being only 13% of the U.S. population
- Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015
- Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime
And the trend continues in 2016. One shocking example is the shooting of, Charles Kinsey, unarmed behavioral therapist, shot by the police with both hands in the air, while trying to help an autistic child.
— DLG Media (@DLGMediaNYC) July 21, 2016
AN INCREDIBLE LACK OF EMPATHY FROM WHITE AMERICA
While there is obvious discrimination that occurs on a daily basis against Black people, a recent study released by the Pew Research Center reveals that black and white adults have widely different perceptions about what life is like for Blacks in the U.S.
Indeed, while 88 percent of African Americans say the country needs to continue making changes for blacks to have equal rights with whites | Only 53 percent of whites say the country still has work to do for blacks to achieve equal rights with whites. And this scary statistic is only one of many that proves how delusional white America is regarding races inequalities in this country.
According this study,Blacks are more likely than whites to say Black people are treated less fairly:
- in the workplace (a difference of 42 percentage points),
- when applying for a loan or mortgage (41 points),
- in dealing with the police (34 points),
- in the courts (32 points),
- in stores or restaurants (28 points),
- and when voting in elections (23 points).
How can we fix racial issues in America when there is such a disconnect?
BEING COLOR BLIND DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GOOD PERSON
Let’s get three crucial points out of the way.
- Colorblindness is not brave.
- Colorblindness is not a noble human concept.
- Colorblindness is not a statement that promotes equality for all.
None of it is true. As a matter of fact, “colorblindness” is institutional racism in disguise. Don’t get it twisted. And if you still have a doubt about it, you might be interested to know that Ivanka Trump recently referred to her father, Donald trump, as “colorblind” during her speech at the Republican National Convention. If you believed “colorblindness” was a virtue, I truly hope this will remove all doubt.
Colorblindness does not make you a world citizen. It makes you delusional, at best.
- Colorblindness is a refusal to acknowledge that all “races” are not treated equally in America.
- Colorblindness is a conscious effort to dismiss the suffering and discrimination faced by people of color on a daily basis.
- Colorblindness is a failure to recognize that black people are hurting. That their lives are not valued the same way as white lives. And this is despicable.
Don’t be color blind, be color brave. Of course “All Lives Matter”. Of Course. But stop saying that, especially if it is in opposition of #BlackLivesMatter. Do not use the #AllLivesMatter hashtag on social media. Ever. It is offensive and counterproductive.
WAKE UP AND EMPATHIZE. All lives won’t matter until black lives do.