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Photo courtesy of Billboard.
The Holdovers Review
February 20, 2024

Racial Vision

Racial Vision  By: Uma Attreya

If only there was never a thing called blindness,

Maybe people would be able to see more than the outsides.

When I take off my glasses, 

I see a blur of colors

Not the intricate details of someone’s face,

Every speck of color in their iris,

Don’t see perfections or imperfections, 

Just a formless, imperfect world.

Can’t lie

I’ve used color to blindly identify people before, 

Color of their skin, hair, clothing, 

Whatever my eyes last latched onto before the world got blurry.

Then I find the person

Without my glasses, 

I see them

For who they are,

Quirks and flaws  

I couldn’t tell you about the twinkle in their eyes,

But I know it’s there, 

And I can see it.

Closing my eyes and hearing their voice,

I can see them for who they are

I use my vision to identify when the world isn’t vivid,

But even without that visual clarity, my morals are clear

I can see people on the inside,

Without x ray vision 

And with a power of -7.

Why is it then, 

People with 20/20 vision can’t see?

We both see the same color, 

But why can’t they see more,

Why can’t they see clear?

They can see the intricate details of someone’s face, 

Every speck of color in their iris

They don’t see a personality, 

Just a color

And a word associated with it: threat.

A threat,

A person or thing likely to cause damage or danger

A threat, 

With a twinkle in their eye that gets stomped out

A threat, 

Who couldn’t breath enough to focus on the color in the world 

Before it got blurry and dark.

I can’t see, 

But I can see the truth

They can see with clarity,

But they can’t understand someone

Why couldn’t they see the light go off, 

Feel the rage and hatred and prejudice take over?

Trained to assess, 

Why didn’t they?

A group is not indicative of the many, 

But one is all it takes to taint a reputation

A reputation of the worthy now being questioned 

Because they just couldn’t see

Because they were blind.

We need to see

We need to educate

We need to speak

And we need to listen.

We need to put our glasses on 

If only there was never a thing called blindness,

People would see the insides

Racial vision wouldn’t be a thing

In our 2020 vision. 

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