Professors: Being “Color Blind” Fosters Racism

There is a new study by psychology researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Louisville that maintains that those people who maintain a “color-blind” racial philosophy are actually fostering racism.  There is a growing movement from elementary schools to colleges that it is not enough to be non-racist. You must be anti-racist. A collateral position is that color blindness allows white people to evade racism or racial justice questions.  The question is whether the study in the Journal of Counseling Psychology will be used to support universities requiring affirmative anti-racism statements and other direct responses from faculty and students.

Researchers Jacqueline Yi, Helen Neville, Nathan Todd and Yara Mekawi refer to “color-blindness” as either “color evasion or power evasion.”  They maintain that “colorblind racial ideology (CBRI) provide information on barriers to naming the problem of structural racism against Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) as a source of racial inequities in society.” The study is dismissive of the view that color blindness is anything other than conscious evasion, stating that it is intentional for many white people: “conceptually, color evasion or denial of race and racial categorization is an intentional strategy some White people adopt in interpersonal relationships to appear nonbiased and ultimately to promote greater racial harmony.”

In an interview, Lead researcher Jacqueline Yi asserted that

“The denial of structural racism appears to be a big barrier to racial equity because it allows for more victim-blaming explanations of systemic inequality. The more that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals are blamed for racial disparities, the less likely it is for white people and institutions to take responsibility for the continued effects of systemic racism.”

The researchers argue that color blindness ignores race to “reduce prejudice and possible tension or focusing on human similarity rather than differences linked to racial group membership,” while the latter is the “denial [or] minimization” of structural racism.

If the study is accepted, the question is how such findings translate to school policies on the training and expectations for faculty and students. The study states “[o]ur meta-analysis established that CBRI, specifically power evasion, is associated with greater prejudice against Black people, thus providing evidence against the idea that CBRI is a way to ‘get past’ racism.”

The study specifically recommends changes in light of the findings that include:

• Create opportunities for CP students and faculty to support organizations in naming the role of LIs in their policies

• Change the racial makeup of institutions and CP programs by increasing representation of Black folx

• Train CP students to challenge the racial status quo and engage in structural analysis

• Incorporate the role of structural racism and anti-Blackness in mental health diagnosis and treatment

into CP curriculum
• Use multicultural, SJ, and anti-Black frameworks

in CP supervision models
• Educate policymakers in helping professions on the role of CBRI in perpetuating anti-Blackness and systemic racism (e.g., licensing boards, funding agencies)

The expectation is that this study will receive broad application as universities address diversity and anti-racism priorities.

78 thoughts on “Professors: Being “Color Blind” Fosters Racism”

  1. Most academics remain woefully ignorant about innate perception of racial differences in infants, and the tribalistic tendencies that they trigger.

    The Wynn & Mahajan studies of 3-month-old infants’ racial awareness and biases were published in 2012, (“Us” vs. “Them”: Prelinguistic infants prefer similar others, Cognition Aug 2012).

    This seminal research strongly documents that all humans are born with tribalistic instincts, coupled with awareness of racial differences. Unlike progressive notions that racism is a 100% socially-taught construct, this research illustrates a form of inborn racism where the racial “pecking order” is quite simply “those who look like me are better than those who don’t”. Black babies favor black company; white babies favor white company, etc. This inborn component of racism comes well before the infant can be taught any “social constructs”.

    The research is not attempting to refute learned racism, but rather to demonstrate that there are inborn propensities which must be recognized if we want to make progress toward a postracial meritocracy.

    These revelations about human nature have been effectively dismissed as counternarrative by both the left and the right. The left rejects “innate self-similarity preference” because it refutes their orthodoxy that only white Americans are capable of racial bias. The right rejects it because it exposes the fallacy of becoming colorblind by mere self-exhortation.

    The first wave of post-racialism (timed with the election of Barack Obama) was naive about such research. But, a 2nd wave is gaining momentum upon more realistic ground — rejecting at the outset the concept of “colorblindness” as an impossibility (something beyond conscious control). The new framework accepts inborn racial tribalism as a legacy of mankind’s evolutionary development — not “accepted” in the sense of resignation to its biases, but rather taken up as a personal character-development challenge — to becoming who we want to be (postracials). It’s all about self-awareness learning, impulse control, and understanding “red-flag” situations when we are least able to consciously control our behavior (conflict, stress, fatigue, inebriation, illness, mental illness, and senility). Those situations call for extraordinary impulse control, which is possible to learn.

    The “I’m colorblind” illusion is so convincing because in normal, everyday situations (which involve no conflict or stress), people can exercise conscious control over their perceptions and behavior. No, they can’t help from recognizing the presence of a racial “other”, but they can calibrate their behavior as if that perception is irrelevant. But in stressful, fearful situations, the amygdala starts “doing the talking” and conscious control yields to more primitive parts of the brain. Red-flag situations are where the colorblind illusion falls apart. Postracials in the 2nd wave embrace an understanding of how their brains work as a first principle. Real progress can occur by beginning to fathom how our behavior is a blend of conscious control and automaticities (some learned and some innate).

    We can expect resistance to any social theory that undermines personal autonomy and responsibility.

    Postracials rigorously uphold that legal doctrine. Rather, the idea is for the individual to gain ever more conscious control over one’s perception’s and behavior — in the most taxing of situations — and thus gradually master a higher level of personal responsibility. This is the path to synergies and outcomes in a multiracial society operating on principles of individual meritocracy.

    1. Let’s start with tranquility. It speaks to the purpose built emphasis in the Constitution on the individual. Life, Liberty, pursuit of happiness. Disturb the tranquility with group think wakes up Atlas who shrugs. What does the work product of this model look like? Is it Marx and Engles, Adam Smith, or something else? Where is discussion of the science that we all have the same DNA, and that superficial differences in ethnic appearance are dictated by where on the planet a given people developed. Vitamin D from sunlight. Closer to the equator darker skin gets sun and vitamin D right. In Oslo Norway light skin gets it right there. It’s not an accident that Justice Clarence Thomas in his confirmation hearing referred to racial matters in terms of dark skinned and light skinned people. That’s it Fort Pitt to borrow a Pittsburgh expression. Until there is a credible blueprint description of what the federal republic looks like post assault on tranquility, I say again they came at us in the same old way, and we sent them along in the same old way.

  2. “Researchers Jacqueline Yi, Helen Neville, Nathan Todd and Yara Mekawi refer to ‘color-blindness’ as either ‘color evasion or power evasion.’”

    Maybe we do need a Disinformation Governance Board.

  3. “There is a new study by psychology researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Louisville that maintains that those people who maintain a “color-blind” racial philosophy are actually fostering racism.”

    It’s not a “study,” and they’re not “researchers”. It’s a baseless opinion rant.

  4. The “Anti-racists” have never been able the describe the end-game they seek. Marxists at least taught that class struggle would magically end when the proletariat triumphed, but when will “structural racism” be eliminated how can we tell? It appears that majority rule by any society with a majority white population may result in “structural racism.” Is giving total power to an oppressed minority then the only way to avoid structural racism?

    1. “[W]hen will ‘structural racism’ be eliminated how can we tell?”

      Just like with “climate change,” the Authorities will tell you.

      Now stop asking questions. Just accept and obey.

    2. ‘The “Anti-racists” have never been able the describe the end-game they seek.’

      My brother in christ, you are so close. Just read the sentence again.

  5. The Supreme Court acted retroactively by 50 years on abortion, returning it to States.

    The Supreme Court must act retroactively by 150 years on immigration law, enforcing the Naturalization Act of 1802, which was in full force and effect in 1863.

  6. “You can’t handle the truth!”

    – Colonel Jessup

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats and RINOs) can’t handle the truth.

    They attempt, in vain, to obfuscate and suppress by way of vacuous, infinite filibustering and exponential caterwauling.

    “Just the facts, ma’am.”

    – Sergeant Joe Friday

  7. “Dr. Watson was correct on all accounts: (1) Intelligence tests do reveal large differences between European and sub-Saharan African nations, (2) the evidence does link these differences to universally valued outcomes, both within and between nations, and (3) there is data to suggest these differences are influenced by genetic factors.”

    – Jason Malloy

    James Watson tells the inconvenient truth: faces the consequences

    – Jason Malloy


    Recent comments by the eminent biologist James Watson concerning intelligence test data from sub-Saharan Africa resulted in professional sanctions as well as numerous public condemnations from the media and the scientific community. They justified these sanctions to the public through an abuse of trust, by suggesting that intelligence testing is a meaningless and discredited science, that there is no data to support Dr. Watson’s comments, that genetic causes of group differences in intelligence are falsified logically and empirically, and that such differences are already accounted for by known environment factors. None of these arguments are correct, much less beyond legitimate scientific debate. Dr. Watson was correct on all accounts: (1) Intelligence tests do reveal large differences between European and sub-Saharan African nations, (2) the evidence does link these differences to universally valued outcomes, both within and between nations, and (3) there is data to suggest these differences are influenced by genetic factors. The media and the larger scientific community punished Dr. Watson for violating a social and political taboo, but fashioned their case to the public in terms of scientific ethics. This necessitated lying to the public about numerous scientific issues to make Watson appear negligent in his statements; a gross abuse of valuable and fragile public trust in scientific authority. Lies and a threatening, coercive atmosphere to free inquiry and exchange are damaging to science as an institution and to scientists as individuals, while voicing unfashionable hypotheses is not damaging to science. The ability to openly voice and argue ideas in good faith that are strange and frightening to some is, in fact, integral to science. Those that have participated in undermining this openness and fairness have therefore damaged science, even while claiming to protect it with the same behavior.

  8. Oil and water do not mix.

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) unconstitutionally impose the political emulsifiers of welfare, public assistance, affirmative action, forced busing, unfair fair housing, discriminatory non-discrimination, etc., to unconstitutionally, forcibly mix political oil and water in America.

    That they prefer the “dictatorship of the proletariat” over the freedom of the Constitution is not a surprise.

    That the Supreme Court does not strike down the unconstitutional political emulsifiers is impeachable and convictable.

    The Constitution references undifferentiated people, citizens, officials, candidates, etc.

    Congress has no power to favor any individual or group of individuals.

    Americans enjoy the freedom of speech, thought, opinion, assembly and segregation, understanding that property damage and bodily injury are illegal, and cannot be maliciously and insidiously conflated with personal notions and ideations.

    People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom.

    Freedom does not adapt to people…

    Dictatorship does.

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