Are we such a color aroused lot?

Posted by Ria, 19 May 09

According to Ronald E. Hall, co-author of the book "Racism in the 21st Century”, overt discrimination based on one’s race is declining. It is now more about colorism and the basis of prejudice is in one’s actual skin pigmentation.

The book argues that lighter-skinned minorities receive preferential treatment over their darker counterparts when it comes to looking for housing, jobs, and even educational opportunities. Such discrimination isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been there since Whites started colonizing the world. Light skin was like the symbol of wealth and status.

Those who are dark-skinned feel those with lighter tones have an easier life and some even hate them for it. On the other hand, lighter skinned minorities, especially Blacks, feel their blackness is questioned.

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In a CNN series “Black in America,” Michael Eric Dyson in an article "Commentary: Me and my brother and black America" said he feels he had it easier (he was afforded better opportunities to have a flourishing, prosperous life) than his brother who is darker than him and in jail.

The same concept of colorism is being applied in describing beauty. Women of lighter skin tones are seen as more desirable making most women ‘bleach’ themselves using skin lightening creams.

The thing is, much as on one level most of us know that light-skinned individuals are no better than the dark-skinned ones, on another level, given history, somehow people still believe that light skin is better. But if you think of it, there are very many dark-skinned individuals who have prospered – Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Jordan… you can add more to the list.

So maybe its time we stopped blaming each other for what we are or how we feel about ourselves. One probably is in jail not because he or she is darker but because of the choices he or she made. Maybe you didn’t get that job just because you are dark skinned, but because you didn’t do well in the interview. And if a dude ignored you just because you are dark-skinned, do you really think that shallow-minded person is someone who deserves your energy and effort?

I think colorism is an issue because we value so much what others think about us more than valuing our own opinion of us. If you believe you are beautiful and intelligence and worth the best, then no one should have an easy time taking whatever you have your eyes set on away from you.

With interracial dating and marriage being on the rise, Americans are becoming more diverse. Soon it’s going to be very difficult to differentiate race. Do you REALLY believe the color of the skin is what people are using as a basis of prejudice in place of race? If so, overt or covert, isn’t color arousal or colorism just a carbon copy of racism?

14 responses to "Are we such a color aroused lot?"

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  1.   Wonka says:
    Posted: 26 Feb 10

    Not in all,but,in most cases having light skin plays a factor.Just look at the statistics,It has been STATISTICALLY proven!!,nuff sed!.Note:I could have written a book on this topic,but,I decided to keep it short and to the point!!!.It's an unfortunate and sad situation though!.

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  2. Posted: 22 Aug 09

    no

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  3.   allikat says:
    Posted: 22 Jul 09

    It saddens me that people in this world still feel this way and judge ppl like this...

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  4. Posted: 30 Jun 09

    I believe that color is not an obstacle but our character and hearts as a person is .This is what defines our outcomes and our beliefs.God made every shade of the rainbow and we should respect that and our selfs.Love your self and each other.

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  5.   TJ says:
    Posted: 25 Jun 09

    OMG! Thats Not True At All. 2 Me Skin Color Has Nothing @ Do With Blacks(African Americans) & Society!! IF Someone Doesnt Like Black People Their Not Going To Dislike A Dark Skinned Individual(Black) More Than Any Other Light Skinned(Black) Person!!! And 4 Those Of You Who Think That You Obviously Arent Seein Straight......BCuz LS Blacks Arent Neccessarily More Better Looking,Successful, Or Seen At a Higher Level Than DS Blacks........So Get Over It!!!!

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  6.   honeydip says:
    Posted: 22 Jun 09

    condoleeza rice is actually pretty light..... her and jordan's skin color are nothing close...

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  7.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 07 Jun 09

    I think the premise that discrimination based on race is being replaced by colorism is faulty on a couple of points. First of all, when a group of White teens with bats chases a Black man down the street in Brooklyn, they aren't shouting, "Hey, let's get that darker skinned gentleman though of course we will leave his lighter skinned brethern alone!" People are not screaming to build a fence along the Mexican border that will scan people for pigmentation and let the lighter hued ones pass by. Hate and ignorance is blind to subtlety. Secondly, "colorism" IS just racism by another name. It comes from people wanting to be the house servant rather than the field slave. And the lighter-skinned house hands were lighter-skinned because Massa felt no compunction about raping Black women, whom he "owned" though he would never do the same to a White woman. And his offspring from those unions, whether physically forced or economically forced, were lighter. The conclusion of the article suggests that we pay too much attention to what others think of us versus how we feel about ourselves. I agree and would take it one step further. What others think of us is none of our business! Paying more attention to how we perceive ourselves and building a network of real friends (who support us, don't judge us and realize that their opinion is just butting in unless they are specifically asked) is a better use of our time. Taking care of our own business in that way and being there for our friends in the same way is a better way of combating racism under any name than sitting around complaining about it and ourselves

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  8.   Miri2008 says:
    Posted: 04 Jun 09

    This is the kind of odd question that you look at and wonder why a thing with such an obvious answer that is put in our faces on a daily basis needs asking... but here the question is... so here is what I see and experience consistently... Our society is beauty and youth crazy... Over arching popular societal values are tied to looks, money, job status, and acquired possessions. The more anyone has of any of these things the more defference and preference they are given by society in general. We just have to look at our mass media portayals to see that. So,let's just think about what is portrayed by our mass media as the mainstream standards for female beauty and male attractiveness in our society. So, those who more closely match the widely accepted standards of beauty tend to receive more preferential treatment by a larger number of people in society. I don't think people are making many conscious decisions based on shades of skin per se. I think we are way more influenced by the messages bombarded into our brains by mass media than we realize. People tend to act on these 'group think' standards without much conscious thought. Only those who have made a conscious choice to filter brain numbing mass media messages and have the courage to make individual choices, tend to do so. Anyone in this society who has the ability to be versatile with their looks can tell you, that the way you get treated when you look closer to what this society rates as a 10 is completely different from the way you get treated when you look like what this society would rate as a 4. And the shade of your skin may or may not play into that.

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  9.   ren says:
    Posted: 01 Jun 09

    Interesting topic, and I think there should be more comments here on it...especially since one of the other blog articles had some black women wondering if white men preferred lighter or darker black women (many seemed to notice white men more with darker black women, and I've seen this discussion come up other places). Probably would draw more attention with a better title. I'm light-skinned, and I really believe that, although some people do prefer ligher-skinned blacks and that will manifest itself in many ways in society...that the emphasis on coloring among blacks is fading. When you hear black men put down black women now, they don't distinguish between light and dark black women--they stereotype us all. I also have had tons of Asians indicate to me that the reason why "other" Asians--not including themselves even though they oftentimes fit, as well--are racist against blacks or at least prefer not to date blacks is because of the darker skin blacks have. Yet, there are many blacks who are lighter than some Asians, and this doesn't make a bit of different to whom Asians will date, befriend or not be as racist towards. I don't feel I've been handed very much or treated better for being lighter. Rather, I've always gotten the impression that non-blacks respond to me based on how "white" they perceive me to be in terms of personality. When I was younger, whites treated me better and treated me better than most blacks around us...but I was also more "white-washed" back then. As someone who has become a lot less worried about fitting in with whites and a lot more verbally race-conscious, whites shy away from me or give opportunities to blacks who act less race-conscious. I also don't care whether or not blacks question my blackness, and trust me--they do. Again, I feel it's more a question of how many black stereotypes do you fit. As far as "soon it's going to be difficult to differentiate race"--yes and no. It's already difficult in a lot of cases, with the # of mixed blacks and mixed Asians out there. But there are still a lot of people who will insist on sticking with their race in terms of marriage and having children, so it's not like "everyone will be mixed" someday. Also in other groups, such as Asians and Latinos, they do tend to still place a higher value on people who look more white in their groups, and this is also sometimes one of the reasons why some of these people seek interracial relationships, i.e. to have children with less Asian or Latin features. So, coloring still exists, and yes, it's a version of racism...and self-hatred. Then there are still those people who when they find out what you're mixed with racially, regardless of your skin color, they will treat you differently.

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  10.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 28 May 09

    This morning a Ladie from India wrote me a Message asking what to do as someone had used Abusive Profane language while sending her a Messase , I told her to use the Support link at the bottom of the page and report him .

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  11.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 25 May 09

    Some people are always looking for a reason to try to build themselves up by looking down on someone else. Oregonians smirk at Californians. Native born erect fences to keep out immigrants. Blondes celebrate their "more-fun-ness". Atrocities in Rwanda and Ireland in recent times and Semites killing Semites yesterday all point this out too vividly. Historically in the U.S., lighter-skinned people have been given social and economic "advantage" over darker-skinned ones. Overall the difference may be negligible but it is there. A friend of mine told me that his full-blooded Cherokee grandfather used to pass himself off as Black in Georgia at a time when Black in Georgia was not a strong choice, so imagine what it must have been like to be Cherokee. Hopefully this is changing. It certainly seems to be. There is a historic address in Washington D.C. currently leased to a man who is darker than an Italian or a Greek or many of the other ethnic groups which have never been given the keys. It may be easy to point to his "paler" hue as one of the reasons but try tell that to Hillary.

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  12.   serbbral says:
    Posted: 21 May 09

    I don't consider Condoleeza Rice a dark skinned person.

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  13.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 20 May 09

    They do not put people in Jail because of the color of their skin . People go to Prison because they Break the law . All these Authors write only what they think / Believe what you will . Judas also sat and ate with Jesus . My Bible has only Black and White pictures in it , poorly drawn if I May say . Wash your hands properly and enjoy the plate set before you . If this is hard to understand / You may be prejudice in your own ways . CNN Commentary / is just others ones employment choice . Popularity 2 % and then I write the first comment ?

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  14.   Jazie says:
    Posted: 19 May 09

    I am the mother of a darker skin child and I have had several conversations with my child about loving ones self. She mentioned to me that she wished she looked more like me and wasn't so dark. It hurt my heart that my child felt inferior because she is of darker skin. We all know that at the end of the day skin color really doesn't make one person better than the other, however society has played apart in perpetuating such a negative stereotype. My prayer is that someday that we can all get beyond skin color. Until then, I will do my part as a parent and human being. PS...my daughter is a beautiful young woman both inside and out!

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