In his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming avidly discusses how individuals should be proud of their differences and the past struggles for equality should only make them more special. However, many are not taught to view themselves this way. According the National Standards for Civics and Government, a document outlining the basic knowledge of politics and political institutions American students should have, “ [The] identity of an American citizen is defined by shared political values and principles rather than by ethnicity, race, religion, class, language, gender, or national origin.” However, Fleming responds in almost an upset manner. He describes how negating to acknowledge individual differences is essentially stripping individuals of important historical and personal characteristics that make up their personality. It almost discredits their past struggles. In addition, when people use the phrase “color blind” to describe their views of different nationalities it desensitizes important past struggles and identity. Ideally, society should be able to acknowledge individual’s past but not allow it to effect the present or future decisions.
Furthermore, in efforts to make equity have meaning, there must be a present risk of inequality. Since we are the founders, influencers, and leaders of our own state, we can control societies approach on society. To start, individuals need to be conscious of approaching equality in an appropriate way. In a way to not discredit nor discriminate. Embracing our own differences is essential, rather than ignoring differences like the National Standards for Civic and Government suggested. In order to change the whole nation, change has to start in small groups. Since we are the state, we have the control, and the power to make society change to the better.
Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. SUNY Press, 2008.
Below is a very interesting TED talk by Mellody Hobson on “Color Blindness”: