I started this post in reply to Umm Zaid's comments in the Validation post below. ~TwennyTwo
Too often it's a guilt game, as well as an either/or game here in this country, and that's bothersome in and of itself. Now, most people who come out with the "Don't see your race" comment are either responding defensively when accused of racism or trying to justify a move made in some part based on race. When I'm not straight reacting to the comment in the moment, I can admit that a very few people mean, as you put it, "I can get past the fact that you are not part of the dominant racial paradigm". Most were not raised in a diverse environment, actually. Hmm. And the rest were raised in Europe (Scandinavia and the UK, in case someone was wondering).
But in examining my own reaction, I know that its as you said, erasing or ignoring something that's a very big part of me. So I sense dishonesty in that comment. My otherness shapes so much of perception about me that it is just ridiculous to claim its ignored when the very opposite is true... on a subconscious level. It's more truthful to say you see it and accept it as it is. Which all of my friends, Black and otherwise, have done, or I couldn't call them friends at all.
The craziness of race- ok, COLOR- and acknowledging, or not, the way everyone in this country acts upon it, comes from the US heritage, because in this country your race DOES mean something. For a long long time it meant your station in life, the possibilities, who you associated with, when and how and where you were educated... color told EVERYTHING about the outward status in your life.
I will belie my southern roots by saying it still does, in fact- that's why all the brouhaha over the racial disparities in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. Even when we don't want to acknowledge it, color is in the back of our minds, and we act on it, and notice it, and any American who denies this is, imho, lying.
But it's okay to want more. To fight and see color as JUST color- can you imagine what a life that would be? As a Black woman, I know I would be a different person. That's a sad, poignant part of reality that we should all fight to change so our daughters can BE that person.