Well, we don’t. But I do think this exact thing all the time. Well, let me explain.
Let me ask you. What would you use to describe someone’s appearance? Hair colour, hair texture (e.g. curly), eye colour, skin tone, and height. And, if you’re bold, weight. We have a country brimming with diversity over here in Canada, and the skills of using subtle facial structures to tell people apart is only required for 1 in about 30 people. Maybe fewer.
When I was in Japan, I had little trouble telling this Asian from another, even years after I’d seen them only once. Now that i’m out of practice, I really have a rough time telling Asians apart. It may be a race-based comment, but I don’t believe it’s a racism-based comment. Although it’s definitely far more considerate and kind to say “I tend to rely on hair colour to tell people apart when I first meet them, so it challenges me to tell Asians apart.”
Oh, by the way, I couldn’t pick out my blonde waitress from the 4 other blonde waitresses after spending 1.5 hours there receiving amazing service from her. The restaurant was Earl’s.