We photographers CAN "see" in B&W. But NOBODY could until photography was invented. It's a bit strange, really, because we human beings were "made" and "perfected" to see in color. IN fact, the neurologist describes how our brains can see in the jungle patches of yellow among green lines, and understand that what is there is a LION hiding in there, while if we saw only in B&W, we might have a problem. Of course, dogs and other animals would have SMELLED the lion, but not see it clearly. Our main sense IS sight. It is our most powerful sense. It is so powerful that it sometimes confuses the other senses.
Yes, you can stage a color photo, but FINDING one, that's the difficult part. It seems that color activates so many other brain areas (even emotions, moods, memories) that we struggle more with it when composing a photo, painting, or whatever.
Yet, most people will tell you that B&W is more "elegant", or more "artistic", and I admit that I've felt that way too.