Pam, you did a fine job of explaining. I wrote an essay last year that addresses “color-blindness” that I’d like to share with you. The essay offers an explanation as to how not seeing color and creed is/can be interpreted by People of Color. Hopefully, it also gives a little insight into a typical reaction to color-blindness.
I don’t know how long you’ve been in United States, and we’re glad to have you here, but as I’m sure you know the experience of People of Color in America is a bit different than that of People of Color in the U.K. I would be willing to guess that it’s not so much abject hatred you encounter and much as it is suspicion, distrust, or a basic assumption that — and pardon me here — you’re just like all the rest.
I’ve never met you so I’m kind of at a loss in that I have no idea what your countenance is like, your demeanor/disposition, or anything else; but my suggestion would be to maybe switch up your approach. This is not to sound condescending, but the main thing to remember is that no one can force another person into a neutral space, because in doing so it ceases to be neutral. but you can wait for them to enter the space. And that happens most often with people you’re in relationship with.
You could talk to a hundred different People of Color and get just as many reasons why they are not about bare their souls to a white person, but basically, it all comes down to one thing: trust. And that trust has to be earned.
If you want to find middle ground, keep trying. You’re off to a good start here just by being vulnerable with me and asking for help.
Does that make any sense at all? Check out that essay and let me know what you think.
FYI … color-blindness is slated to be address in the workshops.
Thanks for putting yourself out there!