On Being Color-blah
Hold my Drink Podcast Blog, Episode 45
Being rational and reasonable on Twitter. Is it possible? Can you really “love your neighbors” on such a platform? One person does. With steely commitment he refuses to dehumanize even in the face of criticism. Who is this superman? Angel Eduardo, the King of Star-manning, and a Warrior of Compassion.
I look for him to trip up. For someone to finally get his goat. Not because I would celebrate such an occurrence (I wouldn’t) but because it just doesn’t seem possible. What is his kryptonite? While wading through the waters of the Twittersphere, I often find myself wondering, what would Angel do (WWAD)?
My philosophy is a bit different. It works for me, mostly, but it is more passive – don’t engage. That’s not entirely true. I engage all the time, but on my terms, whether in a conversation on a podcast or in a long-form correspondence or article. I’m a little ADD and so for my own mental health, getting into the short quips on social media usually sends me spiraling down the rabbit hole, bouncing off the walls on the way down. I then must claw my way back up, nursing my wounds and salving my scars.
I have found a strategy that works for me, but it isn’t active in persuading malicious social media mavens to look beyond the screen and value the humanity in the person on the other side of the Twitter chasm. And someone really needs to humanize our social media if we are going to make it out of our current cultural conundrum intact. It is, after all, a permanent feature in our landscape that we must learn to navigate.
In addition to his mission to create an open space of inquiry and good faith dialogue, Angel peppers his posts with what David and I are now calling Angel-isms. We begin this conversation with one of our favorite Angel-isms – Color-blah.
Color-blah is kinda like colorblind, but without the polarization that has hijacked Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s original intention. Of course, we see color. And we recognize the past served up numerous injustices and horrors to those with more melanin in their skin. Being colorblind is not to erase the past, but it has been invoked in some circles in such a manner. And so, in the original spirit of MLK’s colorblind dream, Angel has created his own vernacular. We see color, but we just don’t care. We are color-blah.
With the good intentions of addressing past injustices, our obsession with color has intensified. The unintended consequence has been a racial essentialism that too often overlooks character in favor of color. It is time to reclaim MLK’s vision. In re-igniting the vision in our current climate, we need to go beyond colorblindness and become color-blah.
In the Hold my Drink — navigating culture with a chaser of civility, and Counterweight podcast, Episode 45, we speak with the King of Star-manning and a Warrior of Compassion, Angel Eduardo. We discuss the problems with colorblindness and how to be color-blah. We share our different views on MLK’s dream, legacy, and the challenges to America in reference to the Dream Coalition letter and discussion. And Angel outlines a blueprint for being a warrior of compassion and his commitment to fighting bad ideas while not making monsters out of our opponents. All discussed with a chaser of civility, of course, and a spicy Ranch Water with jalapeno.
Hold my Drink welcomes all people with all kinds of beverages to join us as we explore the truths of a chaotic and beautiful world, together.
What Angel is Reading
Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life, Karen E. Fields & Barbara Fields
Racecraft Discussion, Ta’Nehisi Coates & Barbara Fields
What Jen is Reading
Woke or Still Dreaming? A Dialogue on MLK’s “Dream” Speech, Social Justice Ideology and the Future of Liberalism, the Journal of Free Black Thought
Stop Calling Me ‘White’ for Having the Wrong Opinions, Newsweek, Angel Eduardo
Angel Eduardo is a writer, musician, photographer, and designer based in New York City. He is a staff writer and content creator for idealist.org, and contributes a monthly column for the Center for Inquiry called Searching for Better Angels. Find him on twitter and his official website, angeleduardo.com.