By Hasan Kwame Jeffries,
Every year, on the day we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we hear a lot about his dream of a colorblind society, one in which his children “would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Sadly, this sound bite from the 1963 March on Washington is usually the only thing we hear. Rarely do we hear anything about the steps that Dr. King believed the nation had to take to achieve a colorblind society. Fortunately, his speeches and sermons, together with his actions and activities, provide a clear picture of what he believed the nation had to do to realize his dream.
Foremost, Dr. King believed that we could not ignore race if we hoped to achieve a colorblind society. Race was the central factor in creating racial inequality, so race had to be the central factor in solving it. Dr. King did not equivocate on this point. He was certain that race had to figure prominently in any action, legislative or otherwise, designed to remedy past racial discrimination and address present racial inequality. To create a colorblind society, we had to be color conscious.