Colorism: Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.
Definition taken from the Oxford Dictionary.
So last week I wrote a piece about colorism and lightskinned privilege (which does not exist) and I received very visceral (coming from strong emotions and not from logic or reason) responses.
A title pissed you off so you didn’t bother to read. Fine. Stay mad.
I was called a troll, dismissive, insults were thrown at my family which included my darkskinned sister and niece (I guess alliances are for only if you are pandering), my daughter and myself. I was told that I wasn’t an “ally” nor a “sister” , I sounded like “poor white people when speaking about privilege” and that I flat out denied that colorism existed. Black men even felt the need to respond as if they had a place here in this discussion and what was even more asinine is that a couple told me what I should have said. GET THE ENTIRE FUCK ON. Please and thank you.
Even poor white folks get more respect going into Barney’s than rich black folks. But ok.
And STOP TALKING TO ME ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE LIKE I GIVE A FUCK ABOUT WHAT THEY DO.
So yeah all that was cool but what post were YOU reading?
My inbox and email were off the hook with everything from accusatory judgments to heartfelt gratitude. I, even, spoke on the phone to some of my sisters. This is what I was hoping for… a dialogue.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have ANY of that online. It seemed as if there was no reading for comprehension. Folks, totally, bypassed that they were loved, colorism existed and that it had been IMPOSED upon us for 500 years, and that we needed to create a healing space for one another. NOT for just darkskinned or lightskinned women BUT FOR BLACK WOMEN PERIOD.
Nope. That was COMPLETELY IGNORED.
This is where I am today and I am going to respond TO EVERYBODY so that we are clear on what MY agenda is for US- not darkskinned or lightskinned but for us. I am asking you to forget your feelings and read to FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING ASKED OF YOU.
So let’s look at “privilege”. This word was getting tossed around so much that I was dizzy. Let’s be clear. BLACK WOMEN HAVE NEVER HAD ANY FUCKING PRIVILEGE.
Education, access to decent housing and a liveable income are not privileges. They are basic human needs. Have lightskinned women been given an advantage by being given access to these basic requirements to live over darkskinned women? Yes. Is it a privilege?No.
Privilege comes from a ruling class and having power. When have black women EVER had that? I will wait.
Here’s the second part to that question.
Now ask yourself. Complexion be fucking damned. If you didn’t have access to your basic human needs and someone gave you the advantage of having it, would you take it? This is a yes or no question. We can all be self-righteous when our needs are being met but if you are trying to survive- what would you do? I will wait.
Surprisingly, out of the many times that I asked that question- only one sister responded with a yes and she has been directly affected by colorism. She has not gotten jobs in entertainment because of her skin color. She, also, understood her sister’s need to survive is just like her own. The institution imposing this bullshit SUCKS so right now we just need to be able to eat but as we find opportunities, the goal is to bring each other in. Right?
How many of you are putting each other on if you are in the position to do so? I will wait. How many of you support each other’s businesses? How many of you uphold what sisterhood is? I will wait.
Colorism was not created or implemented by us so why do we continue to perpetuate it?
#TeamLightskinned and #Darkskinnedrage- this narrative needs to change. I am NOT an ally to darkskinned women. WE are black women. One in the same. I will NOT allow you to separate me from you. If this is your agenda, you are counterproductive to the movement of BLACK WOMEN. Your rage does not mean be abusive or that other black women have to eat your shit because of your feelings. Naw bruh.
If lightskinned women make it a habit of isolating sisters based on being darker, you are a fucking idiot and you can kick rocks too with your self-hating ass. I have no time for this silly shit. Black women are in peril. YOU are counterproductive to the movement of BLACK WOMEN.
Food for thought: What would darkskinned women have lightskinned women do with their pain from being abused and hurt as well?
If anybody has the courage to answer, I would love to hear it.
Do you see where this is going? EVERYBODY IS HURTING. One isn’t more important than other. They are just different.
If we are going to effectively dismantle colorism on our end, we have to delete its existence, no? I know that some of us may not be open to this and that’s fine. What will you do to change the narrative? When I talk about my sisters, I don’t distinguish between complexions. I love my sisters period. When I defend black women, I defend them period. I shut bullshit down on sight. Do you?
We are embracing who wants to be embraced so that we are stronger! Don’t run off your sisters. We need each other and if you aren’t on board, you’re going to get left behind and you can catch up when you get it. We will no longer wait for you. If you are still picking teams, you get “Deuces”. POINT BLANK.
We can still acknowledge hurt and and anger without engaging in division. WE WILL NOT ENGAGE IN DIVISION.
It’s time to shit or get off the damn pot.