Traumatic experiences occur when Blacks have White friends Who don’t see color

This excerpt is for white people who don’t see color and speaks to the ugly picture that this plays for your black friends. It is meant to be informative and effective. Enjoy.

There’s no secret, that racism is an ugly thing to be associated with. Because of this, it’s normal to not want to be considered a racist. After all, most people find it socially unacceptable to favor one group of people based off of the color of their skin at the expense of others.
Furthermore, most white people would argue that racism, though not as overtly expressed as much as it has been in the past, is still, very much, an issue. And that by acknowledging its presence, and advocating against it by “not seeing color,” this somehow clarifies that though racism occurs, you (as a white person) don’t condone it.
But what we often find, is that in an effort to promote a racially undivided society, many whites will naively state that “ I don’t see color” or “ I am colorblind” in order to distance themselves from the racial divide in America. While we appreciate your effort to not perpetuate the racist behavior of your ancestors, WE NEED YOU TO SEE COLOR.
You see:
  1. In the United States, 39 percent of African-American children and adolescents are living in poverty, which is more than double the 14 percent poverty rate for non-Latino, White,  children and adolescents (Kids Count Data Center, Children in Poverty 2014).
  2. At each level of income or education, African-Americans have worse outcomes than Whites (Braveman, Cubbin, Egerter, Williams, & Pamuk, 2010).
  3. African-Americans are more likely to attend high-poverty schools than Asian-Americans and Caucasians (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007).
  4. Minority racial groups are more likely to experience multidimensional poverty than their White counterparts (Reeves, Rodrigue, & Kneebone, 2016).
  5. African-Americans (53 percent) are more likely to receive high-cost mortgages than Caucasians (18 percent; Logan, 2008).
  6. African-Americans report a lower risk of having a psychiatric disorder compared with their white counterparts, but those who become ill tend to have more persistent disorders (McGuire & Miranda, 2008).
  7. Police killed 1,143 people in 2018. Black people were 23% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.
  8. Perceived discrimination has been shown to contribute to mental health disorders among African Americans (Jang, Chiriboga, Kim, & Rhew, 2010; Mezuk et al., 2010).
  9. Compared with Whites, African-Americans are more frequently diagnosed with schizophrenia, a low-prevalence but serious condition (McGuire & Miranda, 2008).
  10.  African American unemployment rates are typically double that of Caucasian Americans. African-American men working full-time earn only 72 percent of the average earnings of comparable Caucasian men and 85 percent of the earnings of Caucasian women (Rodgers, 2008).


These statistics, which most people will acknowledge reflect racism, are the very things that whites want to distance themselves from and its understandable.  But for the black community, we don’t have the option to distance ourselves.


You see, these statistics affect everything about our lives… including our mental health statuses, our physical health statuses, our financial security, our freedom, our wealth potential, our educational statuses, and our professional goals. We can’t distance ourselves the same way our white friends can.


So by not seeing color, you see the statistics on racism, but you don’t see your friends individual welfare which is affected by these statistics.


You might not see color, but WE DO.

To SEE COLOR is a choice that must be consciously made so that you can connect with your black friends and counterparts.

And not doing so… well… is racist…
And very traumatic for your friend.
Racial or race-based traumatic stress, is the cumulative effects of racism on an individual’s mental and physical health.  It has been linked to feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations, as well as other physical health issues.
Though not currently present, educators such as my previous professor Dr. Robert T Carter have advocated to have it listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual and utilized to diagnose mental health mental illnesses,  because it shows up in similar ways to individuals diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.
This chart should help clarify some things you might be saying and or thinking that contain  racist undertones that you may be unintentionally imposing on your friends.
The Reasons why these are racists statements is taken directly from Activity 6.1 Do You Have Racial Issues with African Americans? (McAuliffe & Associates, 2013, pg. 129-130).
  1. Implies that black bias and prejudices towards whites have a similar effect on whites as white racism has on blacks. Unfortunately, because of the position of power and privilege that many whiteness are afforded in U.S. society, this is not the case. Except in the case of physical harm, it is rare that black racism will harm whites as much as white racism hurts blacks. Also, this statement assumes that having racist attitudes is acceptable when the targeted group is also guilty of prejudice.
  2. Helplessness gives one an excuse not to change the status quo, whether it is one’s own behavior or that of others.
  3. Indicates a lack of knowledge about the connection between slavery and racism that still exists today. Also, denies the history of a people, which denies the people themselves.
  4. Indicates resentment toward African Americans, with a belief that they have unfair advantage. Shows ignorance of white entitlement, insistence that the playing field is level and that whites do not enjoy privilege merely by virtue of being born white.
  5. Although intended to be a statement of inclusion, it can be a statement about how much better it is to be white. The speaker might believe that being black is a handicap and that she or he has been able to ignore this deficit as far as Kathy is concerned by denying her racial identity.
  6. Indicates discomfort with African Americans and assumes that the speaker will have nothing in common with them.
  7. An expression of helplessness and an excuse not to learn or change.

Garrett McAuliffe and Associates (2013). Culturally Alert counseling: A Comprehensive Introduction: Second Edition: Sage Publications. Inc


If you have been harmed by this form of race related trauma and are in need of support,


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