I am a white guy. There is no denying it.
I was raised in an era that didn’t want to produce “white guys.” As I was growing up we were living toward the myth of a colorblind society.
I believed that myth for a long time. When someone told me that he didn’t see someone’s skin color, that what he was saying was that he didn’t judge the other person based on skin color. Then I realized some people had actually convinced themselves they didn’t see color.
Oddly, everyone I knew who claimed not to see color was white.
About a decade ago, I learned a valuable lesson. White folk in the United States can, and often do, think of ourselves simply as “folk;” no adjective of skin tone needed. Black folk in this country do not have the same perspective. In our society, black people are black. They realize this daily and are routinely reminded of it.
Apparently, we aren’t really all just “folk.” Or maybe we are. Dr. King said, in the midst of one of the greatest speeches in our nation’s history, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I submit to you this week, in honor and memory of Dr. King and his efforts, that we have a far better chance of realizing his dream if all of us realize, claim, and accept our skin tone rather than pretending we don’t notice it.
I’m a white guy. There is no denying it.