The Legacy Of Color Blind Essay

The Legacy Of Color Blind Essay

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After many years of slavery and cruel Jim Crow laws, the United States has made unprecedented strides towards equality. Currently, the country holds itself to a notion of color blindness, to receive equal treatment across the board, no matter what their skin color happens to be. The history behind America as a color blind society does not stretch incredibly far back in time, in fact, it is a fairly modern concept. The belief in being color blind has permeated into almost every aspect of American society, from welfare programs to college acceptance goals. On the other hand, due to the pervasiveness of color blind policies, there are a variety of myths and misconceptions regarding programs that are in place to help underprivileged minorities. Throughout the history of the United States, various ideologies have hurt African Americans, and color blindness is no different.

The era of the 1960’s was a turbulent time, full of political and social upheaval. With slavery abolished a century prior, the civil rights movement sought to end Jim Crow, the subsequent system designed to keep blacks locked away as second class citizens. During this time, many of the nation’s politicians started to recognize the civil rights movement, and what the movement was seeking. In a Presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, Kennedy was quick to point out the plight of minorities in what’s claimed to be the freest nation in the world. He said that, “If a Negro baby is born…he has about one-half as much chance to get through high school as a white baby. He has one-third as much chance to get through college as a white student. He has about a third as much chance to be a professional man, about half as much chance to own a...


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...it. It was so long ago I just don 't see how that pertains to what 's happening to the race today, so...I 'm just like "God, shut up!"" (Bonilla-Silva, Lewis, and Embrick 565) What this respondent has done, while advocating for color blindness, is completely ignored the damage of 245 years of slavery, as well as the continued mistreatment of African Americans under Jim Crow. Although people’s belief in a color blind society appears to be noble on the surface, in reality color blindness is all but noble. People exposed to arguments promoting color blindness have been shown to subsequently display a greater degree of both explicit and implicit racial bias. (Apfelbaum, Norton, and Sommers 206)
With firmly held beliefs in meritocracy and individual responsibility, it is no wonder why many proponents of color blindness are against programs such as Affirmative Action.

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