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Amanda Valdes Garcia
Professor Erica Chu
31 August 2018
What it Means to be Colorblind
America is said to be the home of the brave and free. The question for the equality
treatment between races still stands today though. In the documentary ?Colorblind: Rethinking
Race? directed by Barbara E. Allen, society’s effects on racism are looked at, and are then
presented in today’s world. The film’s name is ?Colorblind?, but what does that entail? Colorblind
does not mean to pretend as if color does not exist. The definition is that colorblindness is to not
be influenced by racial prejudice.
During 1862, the Homestead Act was passed. While this benefited whites, it excluded
people of color setting them back on the wealth status. After several years of struggling, in 1865
a bank was made for those of black decent where deposits were received only by or on behalf of
persons heretofore held in slavery in the United States, or their descendants. Levittown, a
suburban town, did not allow owners to sell property to blacks, systematically declining their
push for a better life. All these events gave blacks no opportunities to reach or increase wealth.
According to Thomas Shapiro, to this day, African Americans are still behind on the wealth side.
This not only results in worse living situations, but worse nutrition.
The environment one lives in shapes people to be who they are. The film makes the
argument that food scarcity among those of color is extremely high. Due to this poor nutrition,
more people become sick and lean toward stealing food for the basic need of survival. This then
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leads to kids, mostly black, going to jail because, according to a probation officer, “It is easier to
lock up black kids than white kids.” Those who struggle with criminal records are in that
position because they see no way out. When released into the real world, people of color receive
differential and inferior treatment. This makes it difficult for them to find jobs. A program called
U-Turn is used to help felons find a job. After four weeks in the program, people are given jobs
that in the short and long run benefit them. New Beginnings is a company where many convicted
felons can work if they show the right skills. According to research done for this film, 2 out of 3
business owners would not hire a convicted felon. This sets African Americans back once again.
Now that modern society is more aware of the problems that race encounters, people are
stepping up and taking control. This source did well in using outside institutions by showing a
school where students learn financial lessons that include teachings of stocks, bonds,
investments, savings, etc. A food truck is also going around underdeveloped neighborhoods
selling fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price to consumers. This film could have included
more research on both sides. While it provided an inquiry into the race inequality, it seemed to
persuade on one side rather than to inform an audience on different parts of the story. Racism
occurred in history, and while society is trying to become more colorblind, this in a way does not
resolve any problems. The facts viewed in the film help to provide a clearer understanding so
that humans can to take a side in politics. The topic I am thinking of choosing is that white
millennials are just as racist as their grandparents. This source sheds light on how differential and
inferior treatment to blacks goes unnoticed, and the way “whites” are coping with it are by, in a
way, being ignorant to color. The film’s speakers said multiple times that blacks receive an
overreaction to their minor infractions. Humans are working to be colorblind. A quote from the
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film that tied up the story was, “To be blind to color is to be blind to the consequences of being
of the wrong color”.
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Colorblind: Rethinking Race?. Directed by Barbara E. Allen. Middle Passage Productions,
2012. Vimeo. Retrieved from:
https://vimeo.com/58354274?. Accessed 29 Aug. 2018.