For all of you who do not know what I am doing in the Oklahoma City area this summer, I am interning at the YWCA of Oklahoma City. The YWCA’s mission is to empower women and eliminate racism.
One of the main components of the YWCA’s work is their shelter for the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. During my time here for the next three months I will be aiding in creating an environment to promote positive wellbeing for the children and mothers at this shelter.
This past week I have undergone training about legalities, procedures, and systems within the YWCA and how they all collaborate together toward their mission of women empowerment and eliminating racism.
One of the sessions was about diversity, how the YWCA attempts to reach out to the extremely diverse community of the OKC area. We talked about how diversity is seen by others, and what is the most appropriate way to acknowledge and honor all the differences of those all around us.
The phrase, “I don’t see color” came up.
I strongly disagree with this statement, and believe it progresses any movement toward unity and a collaboration of diverse cultures, races, and ethnicities.
1. Unless you are color blind, you see color.
2. Even if you are color blind, pigments and shades and other features of someone’s appearance clues you into the differences in race and/or ethnicity.
3. The statement takes away the appreciation of our differences as if our differences that create the diversity is negative.
The last point is the most important one. So many of us, in general, think different is weird or bad. Different is what makes everyone of us interesting in our own ways.
Do I think someone who says, “I don’t see color” is trying to be negative? No. They most likely have good intentions.
Take note for a second to realize that I am not condoning the act of treating people out of their rights, taking away respect for someone, or mistreating them because of their race, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, etc.
I AM saying that those difference in race, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation bring together a diverse, interesting, exciting, and educational atmosphere that more of us need.
Differences should be appreciated to progress. Each of us should see it as an opportunity to learn from eachother. Ignoring the differences or even feeling negative toward differences will lead us further into the racial turmoil in our nation.
Let us educate eachother. Let us appreciate the differences we all bring to the table.