人種超越: 10年のデータが示すカラーブラインドの効果


Racial inequality provokes passionate opinions and varied ideas of how to build a fair, equitable society. One topic that’s been contentiously debated for generations is color blindness: the concept that we should look beyond race when thinking about equity. In this talk, writer and podcast host Coleman Hughes makes a case in favor of the idea, sharing why he thinks the key to reducing inequality and easing racial tensions is replacing race-based policies with class-based ones.

人種的不平等は、公平で平等な社会を構築する方法についての情熱的な意見やさまざまなアイデアを引き起こします。 何世代にもわたって激しく議論されてきたトピックの 1 つは、色覚異常です。

これは、公平性について考えるときに人種を超えて目を向けるべきであるという概念です。 この講演では、作家でポッドキャストの司会者でもあるコールマン・ヒューズがこの考えに賛成の立場を主張し、不平等を減らし人種間の緊張を和らげる鍵は人種に基づく政策を階級に基づく政策に置き換えることであると考える理由を語った。

タイトル A Case for Color Blindness
スピーカー コールマン・ヒューズ
アップロード 2023/08/10

「色覚異常の事例(A Case for Color Blindness)」の文字起こし

I want to do a quick exercise. Close your eyes. I want you to picture your best friend. Think about what specifically you love about them. What trait makes them them? Now open your eyes. I don’t know what each of you came up with, but I’m pretty sure I know what you didn’t come up with. I’m pretty sure none of you thought, “What makes Jim Jim is the fact that he’s six-foot-two and a redhead.” I’m guessing you chose their inner qualities, their sense of humor, their generosity, their intelligence, qualities they would have no matter what they looked like.

There’s one more quality I’m pretty sure you didn’t choose. Their race. Of all the things you could list about somebody, their race is just about the least interesting you can name, right down there with height and hair color. Sure, race can be good source material for jokes at a comedy club, but in the real world, a person’s race doesn’t tell you whether they’re kind or selfish, whether their beliefs are right or wrong, whether they’ll become your best friend or your worst enemy.

But over the past ten years, our societies have become more and more fixated on racial identity. We’ve all been invited to reflect on our inner whiteness or inner Blackness, as if these racial essences define who we are. Meanwhile, American society has experienced the greatest crisis in race relations in a generation. Gallup has been asking Americans how they feel about race relations, and this chart is the result. So as you can see, between 2001 and 2013, most Americans felt good about race relations. Then both lines take a nosedive. It’s no exaggeration to call this one of the greatest crises of our time. And clearly we need new ways of thinking about race if we’re going to reverse this trend.

So today I’m going to offer an old idea, but it’s an idea that’s been widely misunderstood. You’ve probably heard it before, it’s called color blindness. What do I mean by color blindness? After all, we all see race. We can’t help it. And what’s more, race can influence how we’re treated and how we treat other people. So in that sense, nobody is truly colorblind. But to interpret the word colorblind so literally is to misunderstand it. Colorblind is a word like warmhearted. It uses a physical metaphor to capture an abstract idea. To call someone warmhearted isn’t to talk about the temperature of their heart but about the kindness of their soul. And similarly, to advocate for color blindness is not to pretend you don’t notice race. It’s to support a principle that we should try our best to treat people without regard to race, both in our personal lives and in our public policy.

And you might be thinking, what’s so controversial about that? Well, the fact is the philosophy of color blindness is under attack. Critics say that it’s naive or that we’re not yet ready for it as a society or even that it’s white supremacy in disguise. And many people agree with these feelings. For example, a few years ago, a young adult fantasy author came under pressure to halt the release of her new book. Why?

Because the marketing blurb for the book went like this:
“In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin color, and good and evil exist in shades of gray …” Now that one sentence clause about oppression being blind to skin color, describing a fantasy world, mind you, was enough to provoke an online backlash. Now, part of this reaction to color blindness is actually a fault of its advocates. People will say things like, “I don’t see color” as a way of expressing support for color blindness. But this phrase is guaranteed to produce confusion because you do see color, right? I think we should all get rid of this phrase and replace it with what we really mean to say, which is, “I try to treat people without regard to race.”

Now, that said, most of the pushback to color blindness comes from critics who misrepresent it as somehow a conservative idea. Now, this could not be further from the truth. The philosophy of color blindness does not come from conservatives. It actually comes from the radical wing of the antislavery movement in the 19th century. The earliest mentions of color blindness come from Wendell Phillips, who was the president of the American Anti-Slavery Society and a man whose nickname was “abolition’s golden trumpet.” He believed in immediate full equality for Black Americans. And in 1865, he called for the creation of a “government colorblind,” by which he meant the permanent end of all laws that mention race.

What about the other critiques of color blindness? Wouldn’t color blindness render us unable to fight racism? Wouldn’t it mean getting rid of policies like affirmative action that benefit people of color? I believe that eliminating race-based policies does not equal eliminating policies meant to reduce inequality. It simply means that those policies should be executed on the basis of class instead of race. Why class over race? I’ll give two reasons.

First because class is almost always a better proxy for true disadvantage than race. Imagine we picked ten Americans at random. And our task is to sort them from least privileged on one end to most privileged on the other. Now, there’s no direct measure of privilege, so we have to choose a proxy measure. My claim here is that lining them up by income or wealth would get us closer to achieving that task than simply lining people up by race. That’s what I mean when I say that class is usually a better proxy for disadvantage than race.

And the second reason is that class-based policies tend to be more popular and less controversial because they don’t penalize anyone for immutable biological traits. Think of policies like need-based financial aid or the earned-income tax credit. These are policies that address inequality without anyone having to feel the sting of racial discrimination.

I want to give you an example of a disastrous race-based policy. It was called the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Over 70,000 restaurants closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, and this fund allocated 29 billion dollars to help these restaurants. But for the first three weeks of the program, only people of color, women and veterans could apply. So soon after it began, white male restaurant owners sued, alleging discrimination. A judge ruled in their favor, and the program was stopped. But by that time, two thirds of the money was already gone. And it wasn’t just white men that got discriminated against in this policy.

Let’s format this text for better readability:

Around 3,000 women and people of color were promised money before the judge stopped the program and then unpromised that money just after. And the remaining 10 billion then went to white men who had initially been put at the back of the line. So the net result of this policy was a double dose of discrimination. Initially, thousands of white men were discriminated against and then thousands of women and people of color were discriminated against. And it’s a virtual guarantee that there are people out there who lost their restaurant in both of those camps because they were the wrong skin color. Can anyone really argue that a colorblind program wouldn’t have produced better results for everybody?

So I just gave an example of a disastrous race-based policy. Now, I want to give you an example of a colorblind policy that has worked quite well. America has been struggling with the issue of racial bias in policing for a very long time. And a solution to one aspect of this problem is to issue tickets using traffic cameras instead of human beings. Cops can be racially biased, consciously or not, but traffic cameras, red light cameras and speeding cameras can’t. So you would think anyone interested in reducing racial bias in policing would support these traffic cameras. But you’d be wrong. Some have opposed them on the grounds that they don’t yield statistically equal ticketing rates by race, and they remain illegal in many US states. So here’s an example where the philosophy of color blindness cuts through confusion like a knife. If we’re guided by color blindness, our goal should be to eliminate bias from systems that affect people’s lives wherever possible, not to manufacture statistically equal outcomes by any means necessary.

So my talk has been focused on America, but my message is really for any key decision maker at any institution anywhere in the world. If you care about fighting racism, embrace color blindness. Support class-based policies. Create colorblind processes in your own world. If you’re a professor, grade your students’ papers blind to their names. Think creatively about how to apply color blindness to your life. Color blindness is the best principle by which to govern a multiracial, multiethnic democracy. It’s the best way to lower the temperature of tribal conflict in the long run. And if we wait for the moment when society is ready for it, we’ll be waiting forever. Thank you.

Chris Anderson: Coleman, thank you for this. You know, Mellody Hobson came to TED a few years ago, and she had a very different message for us. She said, be color brave, not colorblind. Her argument was that being colorblind is dangerous because it’s effectively ignoring the problem. What would you want to say to her?

Coleman Hughes: Yeah. One thing I would say is, like I said, color blindness as a philosophy, that is the goal. That’s an idea that comes from the anti-slavery movement, right? That’s not an example of ignoring the problem. That’s an example of having the best philosophy with which to address the problem, in my view.

CA: But could you argue that that dealt with one part of the problem but in today’s world, there are still many situations where it’s not enough. Take this story of an orchestra, right, an orchestra, and it’s largely white. And that doesn’t feel right. So they institute a policy of color blindness where, you know, there can’t be any racial discrimination because new musicians are auditioned behind a screen. That’s colorblind. So, so far, so good. And maybe that helps. But maybe the actual situation is that the minority kids in that area just don’t have access to instruments, it’s just harder for them ever to get the kind of training and stuff they need. And the orchestra needs to be taking a lead to bring people through so that there are people in that orchestra who can inspire the kids and so forth.

CH: Yeah, so I would propose a different — So if I were leading that orchestra, what I would do is I’d say, let’s continue to audition everyone behind the veil, be colorblind in that sense, and then let’s separately invest in the community so that we can get kids instruments when they’re young and then judge them by a colorblind standard when they come to audition. See, if you rig it at this level, then you’re just changing the bar by which you would measure progress to begin with, right? So I think that is a kind of an artificial solution, whereas we want to maintain colorblind standards, but actually address the root causes of the problem.

CA: Coleman, you’re an incredibly powerful voice on this issue, and I really thank you for the courage to come here, make this case. Good luck with the book.

CH: Thank you, TED.

「色覚異常の事例(A Case for Color Blindness)」の和訳

ちょっとしたエクササイズをやってみましょう。目を閉じてください。あなたの親友を思い浮かべてください。具体的に彼らが好きな理由を考えてみてください。彼らを彼らたらしめる特性は何ですか? そして、目を開いてください。私はあなたが考えたことを知りませんが、ほとんどの場合、どのような答えが出るかは想像できます。おそらく、誰もが「ジムがジムである理由は、彼が身長6フィート2インチで赤毛だから」とは思わなかったでしょう。おそらく、内面的な特性、彼らのユーモア、寛容さ、知性などを選んだと思います。彼らがどのように見えていても持っているであろう特性です。





「プリンセスが怪物である世界で、抑圧は肌の色を無視しており、善と悪はグレーの色合いで存在します…」。 この一文の「抑圧が肌の色を無視している」という記述、注意してください、ファンタジーの世界を表していますが、オンラインでのバックラッシュを引き起こすのに十分でした。色盲に対するこの反応の一部は、実際にはその提唱者の過失です。人々は、「私は色を見ない」と言って、色盲を支持する方法として言うことがあります。しかし、あなたは色を見る、ですよね?私たちはこのフレーズをすべて取り除き、本当に言いたいことに置き換えるべきだと思います。それは、「私は人種を問わず人々を扱おうと努力しています」ということです。










クリス・アンダーソン: コールマン、この話を聞かせてくれてありがとう。数年前にメロディ・ホブソンがTEDに来て、彼女は私たちに非常に異なるメッセージを伝えました。彼女は、「色盲ではなく、色勇敢であれ」と言いました。彼女の主張は、色盲は問題を無視する危険があるというものでした。彼女に何か言いたいことはありますか?

Coleman Hughes: そうですね。私が言いたいことの一つは、私が言ったように、哲学としての色盲主義、それが目標です。それは反奴隷制度運動から来ているアイデアですね?それは問題を無視する例ではありません。私の見解では、問題に対処するための最良の哲学の例です。

Chris Anderson: でも、それは問題の一部に対処したと主張できますか?しかし、今日の世界では、まだ多くの状況でそれだけでは不十分な場合があります。オーケストラの話を取ってみましょう。それは主に白人です。それは正しくないように感じられます。そこで彼らは、オーディションがスクリーンの後ろで行われるので、人種差別ができないという政策を導入します。それが色盲です。これまで良いですね。そして、それが役立つかもしれません。しかし、実際の状況は、その地域の少数派の子供たちが楽器にアクセスできない、彼らが必要な種類のトレーニングを得るのが難しい、ということかもしれません。そして、オーケストラは、そのオーケストラにインスピレーションを与えるような人々がいることで、子供たちを導入する先導を取る必要があります。

Coleman Hughes: そうですね、だから私は異なる提案をします。もし私がそのオーケストラを率いていたら、私がすることは、すべての人をベールの後ろに隠してオーディションを続け、その意味で色盲的にすることです。そして、それから別途、そのコミュニティに投資して、子供たちに楽器を手に入れることができるようにし、そして彼らがオーディションに来たときに色盲の基準で判断します。ですから、このレベルでそれを工作すると、始めから進捗を測定する基準を変えるだけですよね?だから、それはある種の人工的な解決策であり、我々は色盲の基準を維持したいが、実際に問題の根本的な原因に対処したいと思います。

Chris Anderson: Coleman、あなたはこの問題に関して非常に力強い声です。そして、この場でこのような主張をする勇気を持ってくれて、本当にありがとう。本の成功を祈っています。

Coleman Hughes: TEDさん、ありがとうございます。