Editor, Daily Nexus:

Continually, we see articles and commentary that support the racist construction of “color blindness,” such as the one by Luke Heyerman in the Nexus on May 22 (“Revoking SP-1: Choosing Color Before Capability“). “Color blindness” as used by Luke presupposes that all people in America start out with the same life chances. It is a code word for a subtle racism. It joins such other code words as “tough on crime” and “welfare mothers in Cadillacs” in the “racism lite” hall of fame.

Luke seems intent on denying the institutional nature of racism. It has been built into the laws of this nation until only recently. If he had been paying attention in school he might have noticed that.

What Luke is really bleating about is the possibility that some unnamed white person may lose an opportunity due to the sins of whites in the past in oppressing, enslaving and killing people of color for four centuries. We whites all owe big time for what we have done. We all stand on the backs of those who have been denied opportunity in this country, regardless of where we were born or what our parents did. Conservatives who deny the institutional nature of racism refuse to acknowledge this reality. White guilt is not necessary, but whites must actively fight continued repression by passing laws that institutionalize opportunity for those we have wronged over the centuries. I am a white woman who aims to use her white-skin privilege to promote the redress of evil to my sisters and brothers of color instead of promoting “racism lite.”

Luke’s choice of words when describing the reaction of the students at a local school only reinforces the idea that he views people of color through a prejudiced eye. Racism is a far more than a “dumb idea,” and it is NOT judging people by the color of their skin. Racism is the systematic denial of rights, work and opportunity to people of color and other historically disadvantaged groups such as religious and ethnic minorities.