Drawing on contemporary epistemologies of ignorance, I analyze the American ideology of color blindness as a recalcitrant form of active ignorance that operates at a meta-level. I contend that the meta-ignorance involved in color blindness operates through distorting second-order attitudes about one's cognitive and affective attitudes, resulting in cognitive and affective numbness with respect to racial matters: ignorance of one's racial ignorance and insensitivity to one's racial insensitivity. I contend that the black/white binary that has dominated the American racial imagination has contributed tremendously to establish and maintain meta-blindness about racial differences. I suggest that overcoming the black/white binary demands that we expand current conceptions of racial lucidity and that we go beyond the notions of double consciousness that critical race theorists have defended since Du Bois and Fanon. According to a more expansive social pluralism, lucidity with respect to racial differences requires a kaleidoscopic consciousness that does not reinscribe the black/white binary in one's racial imagination.

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