Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Colorism=Racism: Why we'd better learn to love all the shades of us
Let me begin by sharing this personal disclosure with you. I hate the practice of colorism!
To me, colorism is a form of racism that is just as devastating as an assault from any individual or group outside of our race that hates us.
This whole light skinned v. dark skinned syndrome is a form of mental illness and the true lack of mentality.
I know from experience within my family how colorism can create a wound so deep within a person's mind and heart about their skin tone. I have seen the pain of rejection and how it cuts deep into a person's psyche
The documentary film, Dark Girls made its debut on OWN this past Sunday. In all honesty, the individual women who shared their stories were not saying anything that I did not already know. I have heard some variation of their stories among the members of my own family also among my sista/friends. How you are chided depends on the how the individual thinks about your complexion tone. This is not just a "dark girl" issue.
The little girl that is featured in this documentary repeated the doll test and the results were identical to the original test. The white figure on the page represented beauty and all that is considered to be good. The black figure on the page represented all that was unattractive and bad.
While I watched this beautiful little girl state that ''she did not like to be called black", I could not help but wonder what in the hell are we going to do to change this perception?
The time for pointing fingers at outside sources and repeating the historical roots of the problem has now reached the point where we need to work on solutions instead of repeating studies and reasons.
I found myself feeling angry over the pain and bewilderment that is obvious during this film. Why are we pitting ourselves against each other in this manner? Do we really think that by holding up one complexion tone as superior over another one that we are any different than the likes of a Paula Deen?
Why is it still an acceptable practice to down grade each other over the color of our skin? Do we not receive enough of this type of ish from folks outside of our race?
I have thought about this syndrome over the years and I have also had to combat it, because being light skinned often is used as a target to negate my blackness. If I had a hundred dollar bill for every time someone uttered the phrase "you ain't black" because of my complexion tone, mama would have a nice stack in my savings account.
It seems that people have forgotten that at one time the mantra was "Black is Beautiful". No one particular hue was upheld over the other. We were a collective in that moment. A group of people who had come to look at ourselves in an entirely different manner. Our skin color represented the palate of the Earth and our African origins.
Who in the hell broke the imagery? Who should we hold responsible for allowing the mass spread of this type of mental illness? It is not solely the responsibility of white people. Their hand in the matter cannot be denied and there is a historical perspective that is connected to this problem.
It is time to be for real about this issue. I am tired of hearing excuses about why we cannot resolve this particular problem. We can and more importantly we must!
If you know someone who is into colorism, it's time to have a serious confrontation with that person. They need a serious intervention. They need to be reminded that they are acting in a racist manner and that they are also causing unnecessary pain.
If you missed viewing the film Dark Girls and want to learn more about this film, please link here.
If you need support or help in dealing with colorism, the Association of Black Psychologist and Community Healing Network is providing the help. You can link to the information here.