Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jill's favorite quotes

I would argue that too much has been made of the virtue of ‘color-blindness.’ I don’t want Americans to be blind to my color as long as color continues to make a profound difference in determining life chances and opportunities.

‘I am not a Euro-American,’ one writer protests. ‘Why do you insist on calling yourself African American?’ objects a caller to a CNN broadcast. ‘Why can’t we all just be American?’

. . . Frankly, I think most African Americans, if given a chance, would have chosen to be ‘just Americans’ ever since the first of us was brought here to Jamestown colony in 1619, a year before the Mayflower landed. But that choice has never been left up to us.

Their real message: ‘Racial identity serves no purpose for me, and I reject whatever purpose it serves for you!’ Their will to color blindness sounds to my black ears uncomfortably like a desire to render black folks invisible.

--Clarence Page in Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity

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