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“Colorblind” ≠ Not Racist

Posted by T. Resnikoff // May 20th 2014 // Issues and Trends // no comments

Believing in Equality Could Perpetuate Inequality for Minorities

Colorblind_not_equal_Not_RacistIn this post on Slate, Jamelle Bouie examines the divergence between belief and reality of Millennials on issues of race, finding that many of them confuse color-blindness with  an affirmative stance of racial equality and nondiscrimination. Boule warns that Millennials’ impatience with racial identifiers could make it harder for minorities to obtain equal opportunity in society because of their paradoxical attitude on race. Bouie writes, “84 percent (of Millennials’ – Ed.) say their families taught them to treat everyone the same, no matter their race, and 89 percent believe everyone should be treated as equals”,  yet because they also believe race should not be a consideration Millennials can fail to see that of the majority of Americans living in poverty, the majority of people in prison, the majority of people targeted by restrictions on voting rights and the majority of people receiving a substandard public school education… are African-American.

What the UUA Does to Promote Racial Justice and Multracial Ministry


Millennials are tolerant, diverse and committed to equality and fairness
Millennials are more racially “color-blind” than previous generations
Millennials believe too much emphasis is put on racist history
Millennials don’t object to legal challenges of affirmative-action or voting-rights laws

HISTORY | The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s not only spurred the federal government – in an attempt to remedy generations of unfair treatment of minorities, and particularly African-Americans – to enact laws ending discrimination in housing, employment and voting, and establish the practice of “reverse positive discrimination” known as  Affirmative Action. It also led to a cultural change and a finer understanding that the US Constitution was written to protect the rights of all people.

The past 50 years witnessed many advances for equality – vividly symbolized for many by the election of the first black American as President of the the United States or the advances of marriage equality sweeping the nation. However, affirmative action, voting rights and other civil rights legislation that protects the rights of all Americans continues to be challenged.

Why Do Millennials Not Understand Racism?” on Slate.com
Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey of “values and politics among college-age Millennials


About the Author

Ted Resnikoff is the Digital Communications Editor at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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