Black, White And Jewish By Rebecca Walker Essay

Black, White And Jewish By Rebecca Walker Essay

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Today many people believe we live in a post-race society and the concept of colorblindness stems from this notion. Colorblindness refers to this idea that race doesn’t matter; that we shouldn’t see it or distinguish it and we are all equal. This ideology of colorblindness is harmful to individuals, their experiences and society as a whole. The concept of colorblindness denies people the power to define themselves while also classifying important aspect of their identity irrelevant or non-existent; race being one them. In the novel Black, White and Jewish, Rebecca Walker struggles with her racial identity and the impossibility of colorblindness in society.
Inevitably race is impossible to ignore and this ideology of colorblindness is proven wrong in the novel Black, White and Jewish. Walker is biracial and society sees this. They use her race as a way of exclusion towards her. Walker tells her story while proving why this notion of colorblindness is flawed. Her experience as a mixed race individual contradicts this ideology of colorblindness. Patricia Williams, author of “Seeing a Color-Blind Future-The Paradox of Race, “focuses on how the ideal of color-blindness in confounded. If we lived in a society that was equal then I would agree with Willams, “Colorblindness is a legitimate hope for the future.”(Williams). However, today’s society is shaped by race. For example, we see this in Black, White and Jewish when Walker’s parents thought that everyone would look past her color and see her as this symbol of unity and harmony, but in reality society couldn’t get past her color. Thus, this idea of colorblindness, which is another word for race-blindness is flawed.

Colorblindness limits people’s experiences. Race is an ide...

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...seem any less racist, which may be the intention of some people who make such statements. Colorblindness cannot eliminate race or racism, it simply just casts a shadow over it. Denying people based in their identities is not racial progress. Walker makes it know that “[she is] not tragic” (24). Walker was told that she could be and do whatever she set her mind to. Not realizing society has different plans for her. Society should not feel threaten or intimidated by people of a different race. Race itself is an uncomfortable topic. When mentioned one can feel the tension and awkwardness, but this doesn’t mean that race should go unacknowledged. I don’t believe it’s our differences that separate us. I think it’s our lack of ability to acknowledge and embrace those differences. Instead of accepting this ideology of colorblindness we should be celebrating our differences.

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