Can a Blind Person be a Racist?

Picture of James E. Croley III, M.D.

James E. Croley III, M.D.

Author and Ophthalmologist

How can a person who cannot see have a visual understanding of race? Can a person with no vision be able to see race? The short answer is yes, they can be racist. If you have been raised in a family that is racist, there is a good chance that you will have the same views even though you are blind. Vision is the most precious sense humans possess. More than ninety percent of communication is visual. A blind person will not have a visual context on which to base their opinions in life, but they can be taught to have racist opinions without visual evidence. That should give a hint that the origin of racism is not vision or the color of someone’s skin!

Racism is a social construction of opinions. It is something that is taught to people. Blind people will describe race like everyone else. If you ask them what racism is, they will give you visual clues such as skin color, facial features, and other visual characteristics. They have no idea what those visual characteristics look like. It is just something they were told. A blind person will take longer to come to a conclusion and will need to do a lot more evaluation of another person before deciding if they like the person or have animosity towards them. They cannot go by just the person’s appearance. They will listen to the tone of the person’s voice. Is there an accent that suggests who the person is? The person’s language may give clues about their identity.

Since racism is strongly connected to visual clues, race will have a diminished significance in blind people’s daily lives. They don’t know the race of someone walking down the street. Choosing to dislike someone based solely on their skin color cannot be done by a blind person. Skin color is just a label or tag people apply to another person. A blind person does not really know anything about the label other than the information given to them.

Some people make race central to their human relationships. Racism is based on cultural differences in people. If someone is of a particular skin color, people assign a variety of personal characteristics, attitudes, languages, food, ancestry, geographic origins, personalities, intelligence, and other cultural attributes to the person. People who characterize another group of people are biased, as they have been taught these attributes which are baseless, altered by emotions, and over time have changed without any facts or truths. Many people don’t know why they don’t like another group, they only know what they have been told to believe. Unfortunately, some people base their attitude toward another person solely based on their skin color or looks. They have no idea about who the person is or whether they might actually like the person.

What if God did not give human beings the beautiful gift of sight? What if He gave us sonar instead? We would live our lives and move around by using sonar. We would only be able to observe forms and objects. There would be no skin color or body characteristics. Everyone would be the same except for size. Would humans develop racist attitudes under those circumstances? If everyone lost their vision and were blind, would they lose their racist opinions over time? I believe that in one or two generations they would lose their racist attitudes.

It would take time to get rid of the biases people have developed over time. Everyone would eventually forget about physical appearance because there would be no physical appearance on which to base their opinions. If you watch a group of three-year-old kids of various ethnicities playing with each other, they have no idea about not liking someone based on skin color. We teach our kids about what they believe about race and skin color. They don’t develop any racist attitudes until they are older. Without vision, relationships would eventually be based on kindness, whether someone has an interesting personality, and how they treat others with respect. You would not be able to group people into tribes or collectives or label them based on physical characteristics.

As soon as you put someone in a group, collective, or tribe, you will have problems. Tribes have been fighting each other since the beginning of time. American Indian tribes fought each other over territory and power. For centuries, people in Europe fought many wars over the same thing. We are still doing it today, as Russia invaded Ukraine. If you divide people into two groups, with one group’s favorite color being red and the other blue, there will still be animosity and rancor over just two colors. When I was on the city’s soccer board, the board and people before the board would argue about the color of uniforms in a small, smoke-filled room until two o’clock in the morning. Unfortunately, it is humans’ sinful nature that causes unrest and disagreements.

People crossing the pedestrian lane
Photo by Brian Merrill on Pixabay

We have to treat each other as individuals. As long as everyone is name-calling and telling others who they are and what they believe in, there is no way forward. These opinions are believed without even knowing the person.

If you tell a person, based on their skin color, that they are this type of person—a white supremacist, a bigot, or a white Christian supremacist—you are the racist. You just made race the basis of your interaction with another person. If you are going to call people names or insult them right up front without knowing the person, how are you going to have to calm discussion about the problem? How are you going to resolve the problem of racism when each side is insulting the other? As long as that is the scenario, everyone will keep arguing back and forth, and nothing will be accomplished.

People on the radical left believe that we must see color. They believe that not seeing color is a form of racial denial. If someone says they do not see color, they call them racist. These people do not like Reverend Martin Luther King’s statement, “That individuals would one day not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” People on the left want to keep racism at the front of society. They have made it into a business. They believe that the failure of African Americans to achieve parity with white people in wealth, jobs, education, and other successes in society is somehow related to racism. Racism prevents them from succeeding.

Unfortunately, that is not true. They should read the book titled An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on American Asian Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy written by Kenny Xu. In the middle of national bias and discrimination against Asian Americans, they have become experts in the nation’s technology and have risen to the top of intellectuals in America. Asian Americans have shown that in America you can succeed. They believe in self-discipline, strong family connections, and a belief in education. They make their education a priority. Race-hustling radicals on the left are now calling Asian Americans white-privileged, which is completely absurd considering their history of discrimination. The left wants to promote and exploit white guilt to form a racial caste system in America. The social advancement of Asian Americans in the face of the discrimination they faced speaks directly against the narrative of minority victimhood.

The amount of racism in America today is actually fairly small. America has elected a black president for two terms. It is a small minority of people on the left and right who are obsessed with race.

The radical left wants to keep racial turmoil in place following the teaching of Saul Alinsky. Keep everything in chaos so that people will not notice the cultural changes taking place. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made millions of dollars by keeping the pot stirred. They never try to solve a problem. If they did, their income would go away. Instead of teaching the same principles that raised Asian Americans from poverty, they taught everyone the government and other people owe you. Let the government take care of you. The family unit in the African American community was very strong several decades earlier. It has since fallen apart. Seventy-five percent of young African American girls have a baby before marriage. Crime and gangs in the black community are out of control. Black-on-black crimes and shootings are outrageously high.

America needs to change its focus. Strong families, religion, and education are the keys to changing America. Once you take God out of society, the culture will begin to crumble. The famous poet T.S. Eliot wrote a book about this, titled Christianity and Culture. God is being removed from America. The left is following a Marxist agenda. The Marxists want to abolish five things in society:

  1. Family
  2. Individuality
  3. Religion
  4. National pride
  5. History or the past

If you look at this list, you can see this happening in America today. America is now a bad country, and American patriotism needs to be banished. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln were nasty people. The United States of America is the most prosperous country in the history of humankind. Americans give more money voluntarily to charity than any other country. We have stepped in to protect the disadvantaged or have gone to war to protect other nations. Is America perfect? Absolutely not. The history of slavery and racism in America is horrible. The internment of Asians during World War II in concentration camps was a sad day in America’s history. We should learn and know about our past so that type of horrific activity will never be repeated. The United States has taken many steps to correct the problems of the past and we still have a long way to go yet.

Friends running together
Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

We need to start teaching our children that racism is wrong. Contrary to the left, we should teach that skin color is just a variation in the amount of melanin in the skin and nothing else. We do not see color as a way of judging a person.

Everyone needs to look at race through a new paradigm. We all need to start with a zero paradigm. Start over with no prior knowledge or history about one another. Everyone starts from scratch. You learn about a person from the beginning. God must be back in American life. You begin this process by coming together with a Christian heart and with the attitude of Christ.

People need to abide by the two commandments Jesus gave us.

Mark 12:30-31 NLT

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment greater than these.

C.S. Lewis stated, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

Every person is precious to God. We should treat everyone as a special person created by God. People need to overcome their sinful nature or tendency. We should make the effort to live life according to God’s direction so that the fruits of the Spirit, which are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and, most importantly, love, will fill our lives.

Dr. James E. Croley III is a respected eye surgeon and a Christian. He is the author of two books, Believing is Seeing and The Blinding of America. Order copies for your family and friends today.

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