I caught this interview live as I was getting ready for my day. I gotta tell you, this interview really made my day. Firstly, I think she exuded much grace and charm, which given the “angry black woman” narrative that often dominates the media, is so welcomed in these times. I even mentioned to friend on twitter that maybe her ordeal was one of those necessary evils given the obvious silver lining found in the truth that was her message, then, and now.
The irony of her message, was that I recently received an email from a longtime friend who happens to be white. My friend is also an avid reader of this blog, and we’ve been friends for about sixteen years after being hired by myself, for our then corporate slave-master. So when I say that him and I go back some years and he knows me, that’s not an understatement. Truth be told, I moved in with him after my first wife and I were separated.
So my buddy emails me to mention that he’s probably not going to read my blog anymore because in his opinion, it has gotten a little bit too “kill whitey” for his taste. It was after reading my latest interview with Brother X-Squared, that he arrived at that opinion. When I read that, I laughed my ass off. I was still laughing my ass off when I responded to his email letting him know that Brother X-Squared wasn’t real; it’s satire.
Of course he had a good laugh himself and was relieved to know that I hadn’t become one of those radical “we gotta kill Crackas,” types. I was glad that he respected our friendship and my character enough to raise his concern; I truly was. But the only thing that bothered me in his initial email, was him mentioning the fact that he couldn’t be down with all this “racial shit” because he’s colorblind.
Now the only reason I’m bringing up the “I’m colorblind,” thing, is because this is the second white friend who has said this to me in the last week. Usually when I hear the term colorblind used by a non-minority as an adjective describing themselves, I usually toss it up as being the difference between ignorance and apathy. Whenever someone says that to me, what I hear is, “I don’t know, and I don’t care,” when it comes to racial issues.
Of course it’s wrong for me to think that this represents the iniquitous nature of the person who proclaims colorblindness . But, I think it’s as silly a defense as the “I’m not racist, I have black friends,” cliche. Listen white people, take it from me: black people do not walk around in a state of paranoia as to whether their white friends are racist. Chances are, we would have known if you were and we wouldn’t associate with you.
That is, unless you’ve got some money; then…
Listen, the truth is, we do not live in a colorblind world, or society. Hell, Stevie Wonder was born blind but I’m sure even he knows what the word nigger means, or how historically the issue of race has played out in the annals of American history. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why he makes beautiful music that brings people of all walks of life together.
Having said that, maybe this is the reason Shirley Sherrod does what she does, or has done, as a civil rights activist. She didn’t exactly defiantly sit on a bus and became famous. But for every celebrated and well recognized hero of that era, like Shirley, there are countless unknown and unsung heroes who championed the cause.
Could you imagine how the world would be without her if she was colorblind? Where would be as a society if in the face of racist ideologues we all chose to be colorblind? In the interest of freedom, justice, and equality, how exactly can we come together and make a difference socially should we all walk around colorblind? Sorry, I’m not buying the “I’m colorblind,” rhetoric: and I’m glad there there are people among us able to see.
People who aren’t afraid to make a difference: