Are we such a color aroused lot?
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?
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