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Blindfolded justice

Racism, ‘Color Blindness,’ and Tribalism

In this episode of New Ideal Live, on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate discuss the ideal of “color blindness” and its relation to the struggle against racism.

Among the topics covered:

  • The meaning of the ideal of “color blindness”;
  • Whether this ideal promotes blindness to injustice;
  • How emphasizing awareness of color differences aggravates tribalism;
  • Why inherited skin color and culture should not be packaged together or regarded as objects of shame or pride;
  • Whether the concept of “race” is valid;
  • Why cultural achievements are caused by chosen values, not “race”;
  • Why racism is empowered by determinism;
  • How to combat racism in one’s own thinking;
  • How today’s intellectual culture encourages racist thinking;
  • Whether there is such a thing as “systemic racism”;
  • Whether there is such a thing as “cultural appropriation”;
  • How our culture can deal honestly with questions about racism.

The discussion analyzed two articles critical of the idea of “color blindness,” “Colorblind Ideology Is a Form of Racism” by Monnica T. Williams in Psychology Today and  “Color-Blindness Is Counterproductive” by Adia Harvey Wingfield in The Atlantic. Also referenced were contrasting perspectives in “The Left’s Attack on Color-Blindness Goes Too Far” by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic and Ayn Rand’s essay “Racism” from her book The Virtue of Selfishness.

This podcast was recorded on January 18, 2021. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ben Bayer

Ben Bayer, PhD in philosophy, is a fellow and director of content at the Ayn Rand Institute and the author of Why the Right to Abortion Is Sacrosanct (2022). Ben is a managing editor of New Ideal and a member of the Ayn Rand University faculty.

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