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Is the Emphasis on a Color-Blind Society an Answer to Racism?

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Is the Emphasis on a Color-Blind Society an Answer to Racism?

In his "I Have a Dream"speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. emphasized his strong desire for an American where people "are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". While there have been many strides in the fight against racism, the United States of America is still rocked by the lingering bouts of racism. In 2012, many events that plague American society remind us that racism is still alive, even after the major accomplishments of the American Civil Rights Movement. There are many critics of racism that believe that the only way to rid the country of racism is the widespread emphasis on a color-blind society. Two critics, Ward Connerly and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, argue for and against the aforementioned belief. Connerly argues that in order to move past racial barriers and their stipulations, Americans must embrace color-blind ideology. Bonilla-Silva argues that color-blind ideology is merely a cover for deeply rooted racism that persists in the United States of America.

Color-blind ideology emphasizes the absence of color in judgements of individuals in every facet of life--social, political, and economic. After citing examples of the ignorance of others in dealing with race relations, Ward Connerly, discusses the major need for emphasis on color-blind ideology. As a major critic of racial classification, Connerly proceeds to argue that the continuous division of individuals based on race in America continues to keep the nation from moving into a racially egalitarian and unified society. There is much support for Connerly's argument. Should the American race wholeheartedly embrace a color-blind ideology, one could assume that the disenfranchisement of minority groups would cease. Economic competition would be fair in terms of hiring practices, salary decisions, and would possibly increase the quality of American business and American-made products. Political decisions would not be tainted or influenced by racial divides. Socially, the constant tension between the races that make up the American public would cease to exist.

Or would it? Is America actually ready to embrace a fully color blind society? Have enough strides been made by those who fought and continue to fight against racism to assure that color blind ideology would serve its true purchase in the society today. Is color-blind ideology too ideal, or can it truly be the answer to racism in America.

Certain members of society believe that color blind ideology serves as a mask to disguise the actual sentiments of racism that lies beneath the mask. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva shares in this sentiment, charging that racism and inequality continue to persist in America and that racial considerations are still a major factor in the judgement and lifestyle of an individual. Color blind ideology only serves to allow an individual to hide his or her true racist sentiments.

Bonilla-Silva criticizes the White Caucasian community for the strong presence of racism that continues to permeate American society, both white and black. According to Bonilla-Silva, major contradictions in the American society such as the profession of color blind ideology followed by acts of racism. He maintains that the racial divide continues to persist, particularly



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