Who is to blame for America’s modern obsession with race and ethnicity?
If you listen to progressive college students, you’re likely to receive a twisted miasma of confusion in response.
A UC Berkeley student provides just such an answer in a Daily Californian op-ed from late last week.
Miranda Mosley laments her mixed-race heritage (white-black … or “Black” as she writes it; “white” doesn’t get the same consideration), because from an early age she “knew that [her] mixedness was simultaneously quantified and misunderstood.” She “hated checking [her]self into two boxes,” and detested being asked “what she was” and having to choose among a “racial binary.”
Mosley claims all of that is “rooted in the era of legal slavery” with measures like the “one drop rule” to maintain the racial hierarchy.
While that is largely an accurate historical assessment, what are the political dynamics today? Who is it that wants Americans to continue considering people via the color of their skin? Hmm …
One might think someone with Mosley’s background would favor looking beyond skin hue; however, progressives can’t just come out and say “YES!” to that for myriad reasons. As such, they resort to “studies”-based postmodern academese to assert that colorblindness is some sort of … double-edged sword:
UC Berkeley, as a higher-education institution, is a part of this greater system of calculation, erasure and totalization of race. Even though — and especially because — UC Berkeley is an elite university, students can acknowledge the school’s connection to and perpetuation of racist systems. We talk about a school-to-prison pipeline and we learn about racist motives of neoliberalism. But the campus seems to not act against its anti-Blackness or its colorism.
“Erasure” and “totalization,” you see.
Colorblindness is anathema among those in the education field because the notion “allows people to ignore manifestations of persistent discrimination,” especially its “more covert yet entrenched forms.”
Take California’s Proposition 209, which forbade the state from considering race, sex, and ethnicity in (public) employment and education, approved by a majority of voters in 1996. Ms. Mosley says the measure “continues to put white students ahead while it hinders students of color [and] inherently reproduces racism and colorism in ways that harm individual identification and funnel people into reproduced slavery.”
Whatever that means.