Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Children are Colorblind

We often hear people say that children are colorblind. That children make friends without consideration of race and ethnicity. The moment when the world fills with color must be the most depressing moment of a child's life, even though they do not know it yet. I have long since lost my colorblind lens. And sociology has made color even more pervasive in my life. Rarely can I look at an issue and not see it undeniably framed by race. But I had a moment the other day, when I lost another tiny piece of colorblind. Now, admittedly, if I had ever paid much attention or thought about it, I would have seen the colors in this story a long time ago, but I never had any reason to think about it. In my Writing for Communication class we had the producer of the Kojo Nnamdi come in as a guest speaker. She pulled up the website for the show and I realized, for the first time, that Nnamdi is black. Now, my mom and I have listened to Kojo in the car for years and I suppose I never definitively decided he was white, but I was distinctly surprised when he wasn't. I doubt I'll get that feeling again, but I wish I could. It's simultaneously glorious to realize you never noticed and depressing to realize you just lost that spark of innocence. I remember my mom telling me when I was about 12 and going to a NAACP meeting that it would be a good experience for me. I didn't really understand that at the time, but I went to a multicultural event at school last week and was one of about 10 caucasians in a room with about 200 people. It is a very strange feeling to be a minority. It feels so awkward, you don't belong. And I only had to feel like that for three hours. 

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