At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, I saw two projects that centered poignantly around the theme of race. They were Crime + Punishment and Burden. During Q&A sessions with the director and the stars of each film, the sentiment of colorblindness surfaced in unexpected ways.
Each speaker recognized colorblindness as viewed as naive and overly sentimental, and “diversity” the popular solution by much of the public, but offered these thoughts in return:
Quoting his daughter as an example, the director of Burden explained it this way: Our color, height, size, and any other marker, are just descriptors. They mean to carry no more or less information than that. Whatever else we’ve associated with them is the problem. And that is something that we can work to undo.
Meanwhile two of the featured police officers from Crime + Punishment offered this, as they continue their fight with the New York City justice system. When attempting to solve an issue that is rooted around issues of race, it is more important to search for people of integrity, regardless of color, than simply advocate for diversity.
Food for thought.