Are You Colorblind? Before you answer, take this quiz

newsroom@tri-statedefender.com | 4/10/2008, 7 p.m.


1) Among the circle of professionals who advise you (accountant, lawyer, doctor, dentist, financial advisor, surgeon), are women and minorities fairly represented?

If the answer is yes, give yourself 10 points.

Answer: Colorblind people would not do business solely with individuals who look like them. They travel in wide circles and develop contacts in many ethnic and cultural communities. As they don't see color, they would have a diversity of talent advising them as well as working with them. If you have minorities working for you, but none advising you, you might do a cultural audit.

2.Have you dated men or women from a variety of racial and ethnic groups?

If the answer is yes, give yourself 20 points. Answer:If you truly are colorblind, then skin color doesn't matter. Chances are, you have met someone from a different ethnic or racial cultural group who has interested you. If you did not act upon the attraction, what held you back?

3.  Do you champion causes of other cultural groups when they have merit? Do you engage in these actions on a regular basis?

If you answered yes to both questions, give yourself 10 points. Answer: If skin color does not matter, it is reasonable to assume we would champion the causes of groups of people who don't look like us. We would see them as one of us, not as someone who is as good as us. This is an important distinction.

4. When you dream at night, do people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds appear as friends, neighbors or passersby? (After I began my work with inclusion, I noticed that more Asian Americans and Hispanics started showing up in my dreams at night. My world of sleep is just as diverse as the one I live in)

If the answer is yes, give yourself 20 points.

.5. When you talk about friends or colleagues with others, do you tend to label them: My black friend;, my Jewish colleague, my gay neighbor. (If color and religion doesn't matter, why mention it?)

If the answer is no, give yourself 10 points.

6. Do you often go to the movies to see foreign language films, African American films, and films about Hispanic culture? Do you listen to music from around the world?

If you answered yes, give yourself 20 points.

7. You are in trouble and need immediate help. Two strangers walk by. Are you inclined to approach the person who looks most like you or the one who is totally different?

Answer: I would ask both of them for help. If that was your answer, award yourself 10 points. Good for you. This was a trick question. Our cultural journey offers many ambigious choices.

SCORING:

80 to 100 points:  Exceptional: You are most likely culturally self-aware and skilled at cross-cultural relationships.

50 to 80 points: Good: You are on the right track but the journey continues.  You may wish to take the time to perform a cultural audit and explore your subconscious racial and ethnic preferences.

30 to 50 points: Not Yet Ready for the Global Village: Widen your circle so you can expand your horizons.  Take more risks.  Venture outside your comfort zone.

0 to 30 points:  Back to School: Sign up for a class at the nearest university or community college. The class work will be interesting and the interactions with diverse peoples will help increase your Cultural IQ.

BONUS QUESTION: You are living on a  block of high-priced homes in a predominantly white area. Within six weeks, three families - Asian American, Latino, and African American -buy homes and move on your block. Do you:

1) Call the Realtor to ask how much you can get for your home.

2) Welcome the new neighbors by taking them house plants.

3)  Gather longtime neighbors at your house to develop a strategy for "protecting" the neighborhood.


Linda S. Wallace
Linda S. Wallace, a modern-day storyteller, is author of The Cultural Coach, an online column that provides practical tips for dealing with uncomfortable life situations such as sexual harassment, bigotry and racism.