Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How Four Words Can Hurt

importance, seeing color, seeing truth, current events
Four words.

You're surely questioning what they could be.

Four words?

I HATE YOU?

Nope. Only three.

You suck?

Two.

I ... wha-? ... okay, give up yet?

I don't see color.

I don't see color.

People say this constantly.

I don't see color.

I used to think that this statement made so much sense. That it sounded like the right words. It sounded like what I felt. That I was friends with people, regardless of their skin color. I was friends with people, black, white, brown, caramel colored, tan, all the shades, all of them. I didn't SEE their color. I saw my friends.

But no.

No. I have learned. No.

And to the people who are teaching their children to live on these four words? Stop. Stop it right now. You're not doing it right.

Because as often as we say things like, 'Children don't see color!' We're wrong. And yes, we're a little bit right - the sentiment behind it is right - but the actual statement? Incorrect.

Children SEE. Children see and know. They love other children as long as they're not mean to them, but they don't care what color skin they have. They won't care. Until you teach them to. Until you teach them that others are less than. You. Someone else. You may not be the teacher. But they will hear it. From relatives. Classmates who have learned from their parents. You will see your child watching and learning and listening and perhaps not questioning because you have believed their entire lives that they don't see color - when they do.

So. Take this opportunity to speak to your child(ren). To explain to them that there is hatred out there. That there ARE, indeed, people who are different than they are. SEE COLOR, my friends. See it and point it out to your children because the people who are different than you? Experience different lives. They live in different worlds.

And yes, I am mostly directing this to people who look like me. White people. Because people of color live in a whole other world than white people do. They just DO.

A world many of us find ourselves trusting does not exist. A world many of us think can't possibly still be in place - after time and growth and change. But a world that IS. It is in place. It really is.

So. Stop.

Stop and think. Stop and recognize. I'm not asking you to spend every moment of your life looking into all the things that surround you and find things wrong, find things to advocate for. You don't have to do that. But look. Listen. HEAR. When your friends of color are speaking up about being hurt or being wronged? HEAR THEM. PLEASE.

Because while you may think that not seeing color is okay, it's not. It's erasing entire groups of people - it's eliminating a need to have the difficult conversations - the ones we want to hide from, but the ones we MUST have.

I don't see color.

Stop saying it. Turn on the light. See the colors of your friends. Support them. Listen to them.

BELIEVE THEM.

SEE THEM.

See their color.

importance, seeing color, seeing truth, current events

3 comments:

signingcharity said...

True, very true. I used to think it was the right thing to think or say. Now I am just so much at a loss. Like Sunday. I have something stuck in my brain from Sunday. A guy was telling a story about a guy he works with that has a great singing voice and he said, "there's this black guy..." It just seemed like a dumb thing to say because his color does really have any bearing on his signing...or am I wrong, am I wanting to silence the wrong thing?

CandCFamily said...

Great post Andrea!

dstoutholcomb said...

yes!

denise

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