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“Wonderful White” and “Bad Black”

Over the weekend I viewed an episode of Law & Order in which a wife was killed and the husband was accused of her murder…sounds familiar doesn’t it. I am sure it does, but as usual there was a wonderful twist in the plot that takes this storyline from the generic husband kills wife over (insert motif here),  to wow that was a surprising twist to that story. In this particular episode the wife had actually been killed by the husband’s ex-wife because she did not want the current wife to change her mind about giving her child up for adoption. Did I lose you? Well to make a very long, interesting story, short and sweet, the husband was African-American but had been passing for white for the majority of his life and the baby he and his wife had recently given up for adoption had been black; and I don’t mean pale, Colin Powell black, I mean Hershey’s Kiss, James Brown black. When the uppity, white,  ex-wife found out about this chocolate baby, she was enraged when she found out that her ex-husband and his wife had decided to cancel the adoption plans and regain custody of their brown baby. This would ruin the ex-wife’s whitewashed world and now all of her uppity friends would know that she had once been married to a black man and that oops she also had a black child (yes, she too had a child with the “passer” but their son looked Caucasian) To stop the secret from being revealed, the ex-wife gave the current wife a swift push over the balcony resulting in her death.

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Light Skin -vs- Dark Skin STILL an issue

The year is 2010 and even though I shouldn’t be surprised I am still quite baffled at how racial issues amongst the black community are still such an issue. You would think that we would be at a point now that we wouldn’t still be walking around with hatred in our hearts for each other because of skin color; especially as we consistently acknowledge ourselves as “the black community.”

However we all know that is not the case. We all know that more of us than we would like to admit have passed judgment or cast stereotypes on other African-Americans because of their “shade of brown.”  

Who hasn’t heard that most light skinned people are stuck up, think they are better than darker skinned people, use your lightness as an advantage (and are allowed to)  and just have overall cocky attitudes? Who hasn’t heard that darker skinned African-Americans are meaner, have bad attitudes and generally don’t like light skinned African-Americans?

Honestly, before I began this paragraph I had to stop and allow myself to write this post without bias because I have had my own personal experiences with light skinned people who would have probably swayed my writing had I wrote solely from my heart and personal experiences.  I have fought my own battle with trying not to stereotype all light skinned people because of the immense number of arrogant, immature  light skinned people I have had to deal with who meet and greet you with the words “I’m light skinned, I’m a redbone, I’m red….

Yesterday I read a Facebook status that stated:

Y do pple automatically assume all light skinned chicks r stuck up?? Im judged on my skin complexion everyday. MAN I LOVE TO PROVE THM WRNG! :-D

I am not light skinned, so I can in no way imagine how it feels to be judged all of the time because of my skin color. I guess I am a safe brown? I don’t know. It sounds crazy even saying that because I guess medium brown is the only shade of the African-American rainbow that doesn’t catch the flack of being too dark or too light. If you are too light some people (ignorant people) immediately think that you are stuck on yourself, you are siddity and cocky and  you will use your skin color to your advantage and you will be allowed to get away with it. People will accuse you of getting more privileges because of your skin color and many will dislike you from the moment you walk through the door. If you are too dark some people (ignorant people) immediately think that your attitude will reach the room before you do. They will think that you are mean and spiteful and that regardless of the situation you won’t agree, because you are confrontational and always hard to get along with.

Where do these ideas come from? Some will say slavery (I agree) some will say personal experiences (I agree) some will say ignorance (I agree)

I found this video on World Star Hip Hop and my first response was WOW. Not only was this so up close and personal, but it is exactly what I have heard all of my life from many light skinned and dark skinned people.  Not only did it show a lot of the ignorance surrounding this issue, but it also showed why some of the judgments take place…take a look

Lightskin -vs- Darkskin Documentary trailer

 

Don’t those things sound very familiar to you? I have heard each of those things countless times and even though its pure ignorance I won’t lie and say that I haven’t said some of the exact same things. I have come across some of the cockiest light skinned people you would ever want to meet and I have come across some of the meanest, most jealous dark skinned people you could meet and I have come across some of the meanest light skinned, most jealous light skinned, cockiest dark skinned, rudest light skinned, confrontational brown skinned, ignorant light skinned, ignorant dark skinned, arrogant brown skinned…..

you get the point

I say this to say, whatever shade of brown you may be love the skin you are in. Ignorance comes in every shade of color from powder white to black blue. Ignorance knows no color. We really need to stop with the stereotypes and hatred towards one another. Enough people of other races hate African Americans , we need to pull together and love each other as much as possible.  We call ourselves the black community which relays a message of unity and togetherness, however within this community we are at odds with each other over skin color.

BGT said it best here —> The Beauty of Black

Black is beautiful let that be the end of the sentence. There should be no conforming or need to conform to what certain people have concluded to be the beauty of blackness….

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As I was searching the net while writing this post I came across some very interesting blog posts, videos etc. concerning light skin vs dark skin.  Here are a few links I found very interesting.

Excuse Me House Nigga

Malcolm X Field Negro vs House Negro

Womanist Musings-Light Skin Vs Dark Skin

How Colorism Colors Our Daily Lives