I Don’t Get To Be Colorblind

Jenn-profile2Jenn M. Jackson,
Chicago, IL.

Every single day I am accused of “making things about race.” I’m told that I’m “looking for racism” in everything. I’m told I must lead a sad, angsty life since I can’t stop pulling the “race card.” I often get this feedback from Whites who feel uncomfortable when I note their privilege or that institutional racism creates a self-perpetuating system of “haves” and “have nots.” But, those folks overlook the fact that asking me to ignore race isn’t the same as asking a White person who likely doesn’t face systemic bias each day. Me ignoring race is me shutting out, avoiding, and silencing a central part of my lived experience in the United States. It’s unnatural. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not me. I just don’t get to be colorblind. I’m not sure I would if I could. But, most importantly, it’s my responsibility not to ignore race especially in this day and time. I’m okay with that.

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