Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Color Blind? Culture Blind?

I just had to share a quick thought…

I truly love the fact that racism seems to be on the decline in our great nation. There is not much that warms my heart more than to see people of diverse skin colors working and flourishing together absent of animosity and antipathy. It seems to be all the rage to be colorblind these days. In fact I often hear people who I greatly admire declare that they are colorblind and race simply doesn’t matter. I too believe that colorblindness is a noble ideal. The color of one’s skin has absolutely nothing to do with the content of one’s character. But stealthily hidden within attempts at colorblindness is a blind spot of culture-blindness.

While it is true that color is not an indicator of the content of character of a group of people, culture often is. There are cultures that live among us that have very distinct values and characteristics. These characteristics often define and influence behavior patterns among these groups of people. These characteristics often indicate patterns of consumption and production. There are characteristics of cultures that have been beneficial and detrimental to various socio-ethnic groups. Surely it cannot be bigoted to recognize, analyze and plan based on this knowledge?

I find culture-blindness particularly debilitating to ministry. I pause just a little bit when I hear people say, “It shouldn’t matter what color you are. You should be able to come in here (church) and worship God.” This is indeed a true statement but I find that many of those who say things like this are in an environment in which they are very comfortable and perhaps a little unaware of their culture-blindness due to their noble penchant for colorblindness. Color doesn’t make a difference but culture surely does.

No comments:

Post a Comment