When I advocated “a race-blind community” in my previous letter (Aug. 31), I thought my meaning was clear; but Professor Self (Letters, Sept. 6) seems to have misunderstood me.
I meant a community in which everyone gave little or no importance to race, in which people were judged by their individual qualities instead of by racial stereotypes.
In other words, I meant to endorse the sentiments of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech.
But Professor Self complains that “racial blindness significantly contributes to the social invisibility of minorities,” and that only a white man would endorse it. He’s barking up the wrong tree.
Professor Self’s letter is hard to understand in places—it is extremely vague and abstract—but I suspect he has fallen into stereotypical thinking.
He seems to assume that one’s racial and ethnic group membership (as well as sex) determines one’s culture. This is to refuse to look at people as individuals—to treat them merely as representatives of certain large groups.
I urged, and still urge, that we reject such thinking, together with the racial, ethnic and social quotas that grow out of it.
James L. Hudson
Associate Professor and member of the Faculty Senate