Identity Ignored: The Illusion of a Colorblind Society

None at Living Room

Mon, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Join professor Briana Toole as we look at 'Colorblind Ideology' from a philosophical and existential viewpoint instead of just a political one.

“I don’t care if you’re black, white, red or yellow – I don’t see color!” “The only way to end racism is to stop talking about race.” “I don’t even see race!” We are in the grips of colorblind ideology, and these statements are all indicative of the wider embrace of this social phenomenon. On its face, colorblindness sounds great. After all, as we now know, race isn’t real– it is merely a social construct. In that respect, isn’t the way to achieve the equality we all hope for to ignore the superficial phenotypic differences once used to segregate us? Much like race, however, the idea of colorblindness is itself but a shallow illusion, one that does more harm than good.

In this Olio, we’ll examine not just whether it’s really possible not to see race, but what’s wrong with not seeing race. It is no accident that the statements above are often the first words out of someone’s mouth when accused of racism. And so, in this space, we’ll examine the problems posed by colorblind ideology – ranging from the personal and political to the epistemic and existential. To fail to ‘see’ race is to fail to appreciate a central part of who a person is and how they experience the world – and perhaps, even, to do them a special kind of existential injustice. Though we may each of us long to live in a post-racial world, colorblind ideology forces us to confront the question – what is it we’re really blind to?

*This Olio will take place in a living room in Ditmas Park Brooklyn*

Teacher: Briana Toole
Venue: Living Room

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Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.