Color Blind

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By MARK LEE
Literary Co-Editor
Published: January 28, 2015

A hush falls over the classroom. Noticing, the girl falls silent and glances around at her peers. Whispers abound. 

“What did she just call herself?” 

“Can she say that?” 

In the front row, Lexi nearly faints into her Pumpkin Spice Latte, her pink Fitbit™ tracking the spike and then stutter of her pulse. Brad flips his blonde locks knowingly, planting the tip of his lacrosse stick authoritatively on the ground next to his desk. He resembles European royalty, his staff nobly grasped in his strong, masculine yet gentle grip (Brad is actually a fascinating mix of English, Welsh, German, Latvian, Prussian, Czech, Polish, French, and 1/64th Native American). He raises his hand, beginning to speak as he does. 

“I think what she means is, ‘As an African American person.’”

The girl looks confused. “No, actually I meant what I said because I think the problem encompasses a greater range of non-white experiences. As a person of color—”

Amanda calmly cuts her off. “What we’re talking about is actually drug policy, sweetie. So, totally weird and kind of offensive terminology aside, we probably don’t need to make it about race and ‘non-white experiences.’ I think we can just call them ‘human experiences,’ right?” 

Several heads throughout the room nod in placid agreement. 

A bit louder, the girl begins again. “Wait, it’s impossible to talk about this without acknowledging that—”

“I don’t think it’s really appropriate to raise your voice like that right now. You’re getting a little aggressive, and I just don’t think that’s productive really.” Brad’s soothing baritone naturally carries above the girl’s coarse alto tones. 

Feeling oddly desperate, the girl swivels in her seat to catch any supporter’s eye. What she finds is a range of righteous pity and indignation. Lexi actually looks a little hostile. The girl gives up, allowing Brad to begin a lengthy and enlightening sports analogy. She silently crosses her arms across her chest in a way that seems, Amanda will note to her roommate in a later account, “super pouty and totally unjustified.”