EId · feminism · Hijab · Islam · Islamophobia · Muslim · patriotism · Race · Uncategorized

On Seeing Color

I’m going to challenge something here.
I saw a post recently repeating a concept I often hear espoused with pride (mostly by white mothers and fathers, though not exclusively so)
A mother was discussing how, when her children describe someone to her, they are not to mention this person’s race/color/ethnicity.
Honestly, I have an issue with this. Clearly, these characteristics should never be used with negative or reductive connotations, but to remove them entirely?
If you are describing someone to me, and that person was raised in Spain, or anywhere else for that matter, this is relevant fact and it tells me something about how their experience has differed from mine.
I truly don’t see how mentioning, along with where they grew up, what their hobbies are, their college major etc, that they are black/Brown/Asian etc is anything short of relevant.
It seems to me this falls neatly into the “I don’t see color ” box.
To ignore completely a person’s color, to take it out of the conversation, is to deliberately disregard a factor that may have developed their world view and dictated their experience more than any other.
I know it SEEMS helpful.
Just avoid the ‘race issue’ entirely right? We’ve been trying that for some time now. It’s only managed to feed the sense of disregard being felt by many non white communities among us because the truth is, ignoring the issue is yet one more expression of White privilege. You are choosing to disregard something that people of color CAN’T just pretend doesn’t exist.

All this aside, Islam does not agree with this thinking.
We are told clearly in the Quran 49:13:
O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

I guess my point is, not only do I, a white woman, have zero right to strip someone of their racial and ethnic identity in casual conversation at the behest of my own entitled sense of equality, but my Lord and your Lord has made us different with the direct intention that we use these differences to know and relate to one anoher.
Who and I to overrule that?


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