Coleman Hughes is a 24-year-old phenom. He’s part of what I consider to be a vanguard of black thinkers who reject race consciousness and advocate for colorblindness — people like Kmele Foster, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, and Thomas Chatterton Williams. The five of them did what I thought at the time was possibly the best podcast I had ever heard (see here, with the equally great Part I here), talking about race and “anti-racism” from different perspectives, but from the shared (and rare) core assumption that we should all strive for a world where we don’t treat people differently based on the color of their skin. (Radical, I know!) Since listening to that podcast, I have followed each of these men more closely and have become more familiar with their different ways of thinking and expression, and I have to say I am the most impressed with the youngest. Listening to (or reading) Hughes, you get an impression similar to that you get when you read a book by Thomas Sowell: that you are in the presence of someone ten times smarter than you, but that you’re grateful for the opportunity because you know you are going to learn something. I think I would have felt the same about 24-year-old Thomas Sowell, had I encountered him at that age, but it’s more daunting to have that experience when someone is that young.
Last night as I drifted off to sleep I listened to Hughes give a talk on colorblindness. I fell asleep when the talk concluded after 30 minutes and missed the Q&A, which remains as a treat for me today, but the 30-minute basic talk at the beginning of this audio is just fantastic and is wholly worth your time.
Hughes begins by talking about what colorblindness is not; namely, a literal blindness to race where we don’t “see” color. Of course we see color, and racism will almost certainly always be with us. What we are striving for, he explains, is a world where we don’t treat people differently because of the color of their skin. We will see race, and then ignore it in our dealings with people. He goes on to discuss some common objections, offer some defenses, and discusses Critical Race Theory — making that impenetrable morass of words comprehensible to the layman. It’s a tour de force, delivered in his typical calm and rational style that appeals to me a lot.
I’m a contributor to Hughes and you can become one too, at his Web site. He is a great man and is destined for greater things.