An interesting study from Northwestern University made the news this week. Here's the link -- http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/10/05/being-colorblind-hinders-racial-equality/19114.html
The researchers found that 8 - 11 year old kids who were primed to be colorblind (told that we shouldn't focus on race) through a multimedia storybook were less likely to recognize obvious racial discrimination in a subsequent story than kids who were told that "racial differences make us special." In other words, trying to be colorblind makes it harder to recognize real discrimination when it occurs. This is not new news to people who study race; field researchers have found that the same happens in schools who adopt a colorblind philosophy among their student and adult populations.
The folks at Northwestern note that although the colorblind approach is well intended (coming from a desire to promote equality), it can actually have the opposite effect. I agree that most people who argue for colorblindness do have good intentions -- in my experience, when teachers say "I'm colorblind" they mean they try their best to be fair and unprejudiced. However, I have heard the word used in another way, too. "Why should those scholarships go to minority students? That's racist! Aren't we supposed to be colorblind?!" This argument strikes me as ironic -- ah, now, after centuries of oppression, we want to be colorblind. Seems a bit self-serving to me.