The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Color-Blind Racial Ideology and Lack of Empathy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, I present competing and complementary definitions of empathy from psychology and neuroscience. I demonstrate through theoretical, empirical, and public commentary how groups or individuals lack empathy and adopt a preferential color-blind racial ideology (CBRI) and empathy bias. Preferential CBRI is when an individual chooses to engage in racially color-blind behaviors in particular circumstances but not in others. It is similar to strategic CBRI, which I define later in the chapter. I also discuss empathy and an empathic disposition’s connection to race in societies. I argue how empathy in everyday life presents different challenges for different groups. Finally, the chapter concludes, using a CBRI framework, with an examination of empathy or the lack of empathy and its effect on perceptions of race in a color-blind society. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Myth of Racial Color Blindness
Subtitle of host publicationManifestations, Dynamics, and Impact
EditorsHelen A. Neville, Miguel E. Gallardo, Derald Wing Sue
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
ISBN (Print)978-1-4338-2073-1, 978-1-4338-2074-8
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Color-Blind Racial Ideology and Lack of Empathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this