Looking out and seeing the beautiful colors that surround me, I always used to feel bad for those not able to experience the power of the colors of the world. See, I was born without sight. No ability to distinguish red from white. For the longest time I thought I had missed out on something and I was mad at my creator for not giving me such a blessing.
As I walk around my medical school campus, I embrace the blessing that was given to me to be able to see. I never knew that one day I would get to see the color that was associated with the touch. Black was no longer the only color I knew. There were so many shades of color and they all mattered.
But in that ability to see, came more than what I had bargained for.
My name is Jessica. No nicknames. It was the name that I had identified myself with all my life. I was smart; well, at least that is what people told me. I made good grades and I tried to be a leader in everything I did. I felt like I worked for everything I had received, and I was going to be a doctor.
Affirmative action. Diversity. A destined amount of black people per class.
“How did you get in? Are you the nurse? You want to be a doctor? Why?”
I had never in my life felt that I was less than the expectation. These people did not know me, but their opinion about me was permanent. I had no say as to what they were going to think of me and it did not matter what I did because I lived in a body that had a prejudged color. The feeling grew in me that people thought I had made it this far because I was African-American. Because they needed a certain amount of blacks per class to meet some type of quota. I no longer earned it. I did not work hard to get into medical school; it was given to me.
Maybe everyone should experience not being able to see. That feeling of appreciating the world with four senses. Recognizing that color is supposed to be beautiful. It shouldn’t tailor your heart in a way that alters the mindset of people walking in a different shadow than yourself.
I’ve learned to accept the fact that it is hard to change the opinions of others. I have accepted the fact that people are going to think less of me even after I prove otherwise. I have accepted the fact that this is the world I live in. But I have not accepted that this is permanent.
I wish the world were colorblind.