Yeah, it’s tough because the flip side here is “color blindness,” denying that race exists. And while it certainly doesn’t biologically in any meaningful, coherent sense, it does as a human construct, and no individual can make it not exist.
In Michigan this month, some of us are very much drawn into the racist controversy/scandal that has embroiled Founder’s Brewery, one of the prides of the state. They brew exceptional beer and have become beloved far and wide.
Only … allegations have just begun to surface that management created or tolerated a hostile work environment for Black employees. Lawsuits have been filed, and the Detroit taproom was closed.
Defending management, one senior corporate officer made the color blind defense. He claims he doesn’t even know if certain employees are Black because he (apparently) doesn’t see race.
The problem of course (if he’s telling the truth) is that not seeing race means that you don’t see racist injustice.
So the question becomes, how do we deconstruct race and whiteness while seeing and acknowledging both?