The Color of Water

by James McBride

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In "The Color of Water", why didn't Richie accept Ruth's statement that "God is the color of water"?

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Ruth, as a white woman with black children needs to conceal their differences and tries to bring the brothers together as best as she can. She often changes the topic each time the issue comes up- She is particularly focused in that the children look beyond skin color and focus on being good human beings.

Richie is James's tormenting brother whom, apparently, has been the first to make notice of these differences. However, he takes it against James when he tells him that he is adopted and that his real mother is in jail, and that he will be sent to her.

The question on what color is God, and the subsequent answers are not accepted by Richie precisely b/c he has taken note of the changes with less innocence than James.

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