Why be Colorblind?


I hear a lot of people say they desire a colorblind society or they may say they don’t see color when they look at a person. But if we’re honest, can we really say that?

I know when I look at people I notice the color of their hair, clothes, skin, shoes, (sometimes the color of their teeth if they’re smokers).

I’m from the San Francisco/Bay Area and people don’t seem to want to blend in. They seem to beg to be seen for who they are by the way they dress, the way they dye their hair different colors, the way they color their tattoos, what jewelry they wear and how they choose to load their junk around on their shoulders–messenger bags, backpacks, Louis Vuitton totes, whatever.

When I worked in corporations as a graphic designer, I was constantly asked to put in or take out people of color. Either there were too many or not enough. If I did get the right amount, I was told to find better pictures so that they looked “more” whatever color they were. My awareness that this was definitely not a colorblind society was drilled into me on a daily basis and I dreaded having to put together a layout of a “diverse” group of people.

But the same people who I worked with on the project would say to me at a later date, “I don’t see color.” Well, I sure wish they hadn’t seen it yesterday, it would have saved us a lot of time.

A long time ago I saw the movie “1984” about a totalitarian society where everyone had to conform or be shot to make a very long story short. Everyone was wearing a drab, grey garb and of course everyone was absolutely miserable and probably would prefer to be shot given the chance.

Hopefully, we do want a society that treats everyone equitably, but the richness in this melting pot of ours comes as much from our differences as our similarities and to see it in all it’s technicolor beauty allows us to see it more clearly.

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