It’s common for allies to tell people of color, “I don’t see race.” Despite possibly good intentions, this denies the unique experiences of people with racial differences and important aspects of their identities. ***
Instead of ignoring race completely, you can say something like, “I wish race didn’t have an impact on the way people are treated.” This acknowledges that racial differences do exist and affect how people navigate the world, while still expressing your belief that everyone should be treated the same.
It’s one thing to admit that the color line has not vanished from society. It is another thing to insist that it never can; in fact, that it cannot be allowed to. It is yet another thing to deny the extent to which it has vanished, for some people.
The late Brian Williard quizzed me several times as to the racial makeup of my congregation. I couldn’t give him an answer. I honestly can’t answer the same question now.
If you were to ask me to name several white members of my congregation, or several black members, I wouldn’t be able to answer right away. I’d have to sit down and think about it.
If race is the first thing you notice about a person, that’s on you, not me.
And I feel sorry for you.