Thanks to Chalice Chick who pointed me to this article and offered her own personal thoughts on her developing understanding of race and racism. The reality of our growing racial and cultural diversity in the USA is tempered to the point of ludicriousy given the stability of segregation since Brown v. Board of Education. Let France and the race riots there be a lesson for us Americans on the point of ignoring race as a national past-time of the intellectual and elite classes…not only did the NY Times write and excellent expose’ on France’s constitutional colorblindness and the relationship to the deep disparities and lack of political, economic and social redress, but clearly who wants to be minimized/ignored/marginalized in a White supremacist society by Whites on such a basis?
Niebhur, a wonderful American theologian of the 20th century was a critic of the idea of national innocence, which I contend is part of the root of idea of color blindness. This delusion (national innocence), he writes, is based on a history where whites came to America reared in a Calvinist doctrine of sinful humanity, whites killed red men, enslaved black men, and later imported yellow men for peon labor – not much of a background for national innocence. I take a deep breath.
But some experts say the notion of a generation that ignores race paints too rosy a picture.
They worry that decades devoted to ending racial segregation and creating a colorblind society may have created a new problem: a generation so unconcerned about race that it ignores disparities that still exist.
"People think this sort of colorblindness is a kind of progress, but I see it as more pernicious than that," says Tyrone Forman, an associate professor of African-American studies and sociology at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
His research, based on data from the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, suggests a troublesome side to racial colorblindness.
Even though young people report having friends of other races, Forman says, those friendships don’t necessarily lead to a reduction in negative attitudes toward a racial group, because people view their own friends as an exception to whatever stereotype may exist.