One of the problems that have dogged the Black community since the beginning of the relationship between Black people and white people in America is that of colorism.
Colorism is a heightened attention to skin color, wherein darker skin is not valued as much as white skin, partly due to the influences of white supremacy. Let’s face it, white people are considered to be more valuable, and therefore, more important, than Black people. This is because they tend to technologically dominate society wherever they are on the planet.
The truth of the matter, however, is that there is no logic in the worship of white skin. It is no more durable than Black skin, and in fact, there is evidence that due to the protective presence of melanin, darker skin is more durable than white skin. This is usually acknowledged when people say “Black don’t crack.”
Actually, the white skin/black skin dynamic is an artificial psychological construct. Experiences have left a cultural taste on the palates of Black and white people and as a result, people are on automatic pilot.
A demonstration of the illogic of the skin tone dilemma can be seen in a hierarchy of values assigned to differing aspects of Black/white physiology.
Skin tone, for example, is first; it has the most weight given to it when comparing Black and white people, and hence, Black and white value. After skin, and arguably second tier, is “good hair.” Hair that is naturally straight or has a texture that resembles “Caucasian” hair is valued, but it is not as important as light skin. Next in this psycho-biological hierarchy is light eyes, i.e., gray, green, light brown, or even blue eyes. These all tend to enhance a Black person’s social value among Blacks, but it is questionable as to whether or not they bear any weight among white people.
And finally, one of the traits that seems to be gaining in importance is that of voice and diction that emulates white speech. It is known as “talking white.” Though this last trait is not strictly related to colorism, per se, it does allow a person to assume important positions in the white world, especially in the media where “white talk” is the norm.
But going back to the assignment of value to these traits – the longer the sojourn of Blacks in the Western world, the greater the probability that they will discover the absolute superficiality of traits that confer a kind of pseudo white privilege.
Colorism is not based on good logic. For example, Roseann Barr, who recently insulted former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, now claims that she didn’t know that Jarrett was not white. A lot of people take this notion with a grain of salt, but the truth is that Jarrett is as white as, if not MORE white, than a lot of white people. She may even be slightly whiter than Roseann Barr! So we see the insanity of judgment based on skin color. Adding to this is the fact that there are other more important differences between whites and Blacks, and skin color is just one of these traits.
The ultimate problem with colorism in the Black community, however, is that dark skinned Blacks, especially dark skinned women, tend to be devalued. A great number of Black male celebrities tend to choose white or light-skinned women as their mates. Some have even come right out and said that they don’t want to date or marry dark skinned women. Among this ilk is the rapper known as Lil’ Wayne.
The colorism problem in the Black community has its roots in self-hate. Period. Human beings are, however, very resilient and adaptable. The more interaction people have with each other, the more the cultures blend. People all over the world are aping Black styles in music and fashion. And Blacks are mastering white culture, including the development of innovative technology.
So, we can see that the organized insanity of latching onto a superficial trait like skin color drives artificial wedges between people. Moreover, this self-hating behavior among Blacks is ultimately counterproductive. It is a chimera, a ghost, a psychological idea that just doesn’t make sense, and should be excised from Black consciousness. A Luta Continua.