I think the notion of being culturally and/or racially color blind is not only impossible and ridiculous but also dangerous. It’s impossible because we all see what we see and to inflict shame and guilt for that is a bad idea. It’s dangerous because it’s never a good idea to reduce human beings to some sort of imposed lowest common denominator. I much prefer noticing and appreciating the beautiful hues and cultural differences that make us so interesting and spectacular.
I love it that when my 8 year old describes her good friend who has milk chocolate skin, impossibly thick curly black hair and an Arabic speaking family she mentions her skin and eyes and hair. I love that when she draws a picture of her Latino friends, she tries to pick just the right shade of caffe au lait.
It would never occur to my kids to think that those who aren’t caucasian are “less” …. anything. But they certainly aren’t color blind. And I think we all can learn something from that.
*Edited to add: My virtual friend Bruce Reyes-Chow who commented first has a great post about this topic http://www.reyes-chow.com/2010/09/three-myths-of-the-i-dont-see-race-world.html