I saw a car the other day with a bumper sticker that read “celebrate every color.” On the one hand, this is a fine message since it attempts to treat all people equally. However, I find the concept of “celebrating color” to be troubling. Why should we celebrate the color of our skin? Why don’t we celebrate every eye color? What about every hair color? Why just skin?

There are all sorts of external differences between humans, but we don’t tend to form identity groups based on those. We come in a variety of hair colors and eye colors but we don’t group people by such things. We don’t identify with others because they have the same eye color as us. We don’t have government reports that distinguish the crime statistics of blondes versus brunettes.

I would suggest that instead of celebrating skin color, we just ignore it completely. Skin color is absolutely irrelevant. It’s an external. What should matter and be celebrated is what we do.

Focusing on skin color is what fueled our nation’s racist and discriminatory past. The problem was that we considered skin color to be an important feature of human beings. Skin color connoted one’s value and worth. If you had dark skin, you were considered inferior and could be enslaved by those with light skin. That was our big mistake. Martin Luther King Jr. rightly said that we needed to get past skin color. We needed to develop a color-blind society that didn’t see people in terms of their color, but in terms of their character. Unfortunately, Critical Race Theory is repudiating the vision of MLK. They want us to ignore people’s character and focus on their skin color once again. They are reverting to the fundamental flaw that fueled our racist past. This time, however, it’s light skin that is being devalued.

I hope that we’ll get to the place where we can treat skin color like we do hair color or eye color. If we notice it at all, we deem it as an interesting but irrelevant feature of human beings – not something that defines us.