In the fight for equality, an important principle is one of colorblindness. Martin Luther King jr. Famously said that he wanted his children to be judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. But today, people seem to have forgotten that.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Ronni.
Ronni: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: So, I want to talk about something called colorblindness, and I do not mean the colorblindness where people scream.
Ronni: Green is red and red is green. I think I did that right. I’m not sure that is different.
Brittany: That’s always baffled me though. Colorblind.
Ronni: Actually, my husband is colorblind, so, I’ve learned not fully colorblind. There’s all different.
Brittany: I know the different stages of it. You have kind of reddish hair, right?
Ronni: Me? Oh, I’ve been dyeing my hair in different colors for a long time. Right now it’s a little bit purply silver.
Brittany: Can he tell me what color?
Ronni: Oh, yes. So, my husband, he just has a problem with some hues. So there are some things that are maybe greenish and brownish. He can’t tell the difference. Not everything. Just some things. There’s some oranges depending on the hue of red that’s in the orange that he gets confused about what color it is so he can see most colors. It’s just he can’t see clearly on a few of them.
Brittany: It’s funny, even though we’re not talking about this topic at all, we are talking about a different kind of colorblind and a different kind of hue. Because.
Ronni: Yeah, see, you see the time. Interesting. I did that on purpose. I was bringing it in.
Brittany: It was awesome. So, this kind of colorblindness that I want to talk about today is this belief that we don’t see people in terms of their skin color. And I got to listen to this brilliant guy. His name is Coleman Hughes. So, that’s where that show came from. Talk about, he wrote a book and I can’t remember the name of it. I hope it’s not just called Colorblind, and then I forgot it. And it’s that simple. He talks about this notion of being colorblind. And I love this because I think this is something that we’ve really gotten far from today because throughout American history has been this belief in equality. And I know some people find that hard to believe because they say, okay, there was slavery, there was the civil rights movement that had to be won. And absolutely those were things that we had to overcome. But at the core of our country was absolutely the belief that all men are created equal and back then, that didn’t always include women, and that didn’t always include all skin colors, but I think, and people will say that this is an excuse, but I do think our founders and the people at that time were men of their time, is a way to put it. And that these things that they did were abhorrent. But then there’s people like John Adams who was very opposed to slavery and never owned any slaves. And his wife, Abigail Adams, who was one of the first, and to me, the best kind of feminist you can be, where she showed that women were intelligent and should be kept in this narrative of equality. So, yes, we have had to fight for it. It’s been a struggle throughout history. But at our country’s core is this belief in equality. And as time went on, we have the 14th Amendment, which promises that everybody gets equal protection under the law. And what that means is that nobody is going to be denied special privileges or given special privileges. That’s an important part of this because of their gender or their skin color or their religion, or it’s called an immutable characteristic. I mean, so something you can’t control. Right. So Ronni, let me ask you this.
Ronni: Not, my purple hair?
Brittany: Not yet. We cannot judge you on your purple hair. Do you think that today that is something that is celebrated that we shouldn’t, and I want to focus on the privilege part that we shouldn’t give anybody anything based on the color of their skin or their heritage or their gender. Do you think that’s something that most people still believe today?
Ronni: That’s a good question. I think maybe at their core, I don’t know. That’s a good question because there are a lot of people who would say yes, but it does feel as though it’s interesting in our world. Now there are some people who do think that some people based on their ginger or the color of their skin should get more as a way of making up for other things. So yeah, it’s a good question. I would say some people maybe, yes.
Brittany: Elaborate on that. Tell us more.
Ronni: Well, I think what you’re going for here, what you’re asking, or at least this is how I’m answering, is there seem to be people who are looking at these traits, looking at things, their gender or the color of their skin, and then they’re looking at the past and they’re saying, how were people like me treated in the past because ancestors of mine were treated this way for these reasons, therefore, I now am owed extra things on top of that. And when we start doing that in today’s world, it does mean that we are looking at people differently based and judging them, judging what they should have based on their color of skin or gender. So, I dunno if that’s the direction you were going with that, but it is something that I do think some people do now.
Brittany: That is absolutely the direction I wanted to go in, so thank you.
Ronni: Okay, good.
Brittany: Yes, right. You passed the test. It was perfect. So, yeah, no, that’s exactly right. It’s funny because where once we went to let’s not judge people on the color of their skin, you have Martin Luther King Jr. One of the most important civil rights activists in our history, saying, I want people to be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. And now we see the opposite. Now people are calling for people to get more access to colleges and schools because of the color of their skin. And in some places, it’s so bad, Ronni, that there’s a school in Fairfax, Virginia that is trying to, or they switched their enrollment policy so that they can keep out Asian Americans and Asian American is a very broad term because there are so many different countries that are considered Asian that it’s really terrible to lump them together. But that’s the term that we have because again, you have people from India, people from China, you have people from Taiwan, there’s so many different places. But because Asian Americans tend to, a lot of them are very, they’re dedicated. They came from immigrant families and whatnot to their studies and they want to achieve. And there were certain people on the school board that said the Asian-Americans were achieving too much. And so they needed to change the rules so that they would keep out Asian-American students so that they could let in more black and Hispanic students. And so there’s a big lawsuit right now going on because it’s literally the opposite of what you’re saying. And this is a public school, so they can’t do that. So, it’s a public, it’s kind of like a charter school where they have admissions so they can keep people in or out. So, that’s just really crazy to me how much we’ve switched to saying everything should be colorblind, meaning we don’t want to see, we don’t want to even factor that in. It should be merit-based. If you apply for a college, your race should not be even looked at. Your gender should not be looked at. They should look at your merits, meaning your grades or the achievements you did. And right now, there’s a Supreme Court case with Harvard the same thing as the school I just told you about, where they changed admission policies to keep out Asian American students and to favor other students instead, which means they’re literally looking at race as the first thing they’re judging you on. It’s the exact opposite of what these civil rights movements have been all about. And so, it’s really sad to me because I don’t know about you. I don’t want to be judged for everything because I’m a girl. And there’s some issues with that. In fact, in performing, because a performer, sometimes I get booked on shows, I am very funny, but sometimes I get booked on shows because they’re like, oh, we need a girl. And that always makes me so upset because I don’t want to be booked on merit. So, yeah, this principle of colorblindness and this man, Coleman Hughes who is a black American, and he gets very offended by the switch to judging people on their race and not on anything else. And so, he wants us to go back to a time when we lived in, or we are supposed to, based on our constitution and our history, live in a colorblind society where that doesn’t matter. And now it almost seems like people are self-segregating in a way where they want to be thought of only as groups and not as individuals. And that’s very scary because what are groups? They’re just groups of individuals. The collective is such a silly concept because we are all individuals, and we all do different things. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, it’s who you are as a person. And so, yeah, this principle of colorblindness is not just about whether or not Ronni’s husband can see her hair color or not, right? It’s deeper than that. It’s making sure that we’re not judging each other based on something as silly as your skin color because you have no control over that, right? You don’t get to choose who your parents are. You don’t get to choose where you’re born. These are things that just happen, and they shouldn’t define your entire life. So, Ronni, I don’t know if you have anything to add on the rant. I just went on.
Ronni: No, I enjoyed hearing it. Thank you. But I think when you asked me earlier, and I was giving my answer, I was a little bit shy in answering sometimes because it’s hard to talk about some of these things sometimes. And so, I’m glad that we are because I think a lot of really good people, they want to make up for the wrongs of the past by somehow changing how we view people now. But it just doesn’t work that way. And I think there’s a lot of well-meaning people who are participating in this. So I’m glad we’re talking about it because,
Brittany: Yeah. No, I think it’s something that’s hopefully, I would hope gets better, but it seems to have gotten a little worse for a while, so we will leave it there. Thank you so much, guys. Don’t forget to like and subscribe and share. And until next time, we will talk to you later.
Ronni: All right, see you soon.