How Can Color Blindness be Interpreted in Schools and Society for the Future?

Conference: The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH2022)
Title: How Can Color Blindness be Interpreted in Schools and Society for the Future?
Stream: Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Minako McCarthy, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, United States


Brutal racial violence and crime have occurred repeatedly; many hate crimes against minorities, such as Asians and African Americans, have escalated nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. When discussing people’s race and ethnicity, the conceptual word, color, describe minorities universally. The term color blindness generally opposes multiculturalism because the concept cannot acknowledge students in diversity (McDermott, 2015). Other scholars interpreted that color blindness indicates that race does not matter; people focus more on individual characteristics (Lewis, 2001; Perry, 1993). Okamura (1981) pointed out, "ethnicity is not always of such decisive significance for social relations in all societies nor in all social situations" (p. 454). Therefore, to apply the color concept to other cultures, some may feel hesitant to describe people's skin color in different cultural contexts. This literature review guides my critical investigation by addressing the following question: Does color blindness affect overlooking racial inequality or maintaining equal protection of diverse people? Either positive or negative interpretation, distinguishing people by skin color inclines to create conflicts and feed into implicit racial biases. As a result, racial violence has continued and never ceased. When people epistemologically understand their implicit racial and ethnic biases, they might recognize their racial injustice. However, the hardest part is that they may not want to admit their biases. When color blindness does not contain negative implications, implicit racial bias may decrease, which could lead to lessening racial inequality and violence.

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