Distinguishing "I don't see color" from "Racism is a thing of the past": Psychological correlates of avoiding race and denying racism

Yara Mekawi, Nathan R. Todd, Jacqueline Yi, Emily J. Blevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars have proposed 2 separable dimensions of racial colorblind ideology: the first is centered on "not seeing color" (i.e., color evasion), and the second is centered on denying racism (i.e., power evasion). Yet, to date, there is no psychometric evidence for this distinction. In this article, we aim to fill this gap by establishing the presence of and characterizing differences between these 2 dimensions using both variable-centered and person-centered approaches. Study 1A (n = 707) provides exploratory factor analytic evidence supporting the separability of power and color evasion. Study 1B (n = 710) provides confirmatory evidence of this factor structure and evidence of discriminant validity. In Study 1B, 3 latent profiles based on power and color evasion were identified: acknowledgers (low color evasion, low power evasion), evaders (high color evasion, average power evasion), and deniers (average color evasion, average power evasion), which differed on relevant variables (e.g., modern racism, support for affirmative-action). In Study 2 (n = 546), these profiles were replicated and extended by examining differences in attitudes and desire to engage in campus diversity activities. Implications for racial colorblind ideology theory and practical applications are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-302
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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