pathology of racism

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EVERYTHING Has A History

Any discussion of COLORISM that leaves out the historical context of WHITE SUPREMACY lets white people off the hook for THEIR racial obsessions, results in us blaming our fellow Black victims for the crimes of our oppressors and, ultimately, will fail to lead toward the BLACK UNITY necessary for our psychic liberation from said COLORISM.

  • "Acceptable" flaws for female protagonists to have: Clumsiness, a poor singing voice, quirky humor, nonconformity in fashion choices, shyness...
  • "Acceptable" flaws for male protagonists to have: Moral ambiguity, psychopathy/pathological lying, recklessness/apathy, racism/sexism/homophobia, adultery, drug/alcohol habits, abusive behavior, cruel or violent tendencies...
10

EVERYTHING Has A History

If your discussion of BLACK MEN and their HYPERMASCULINITY problem doesn’t include an analysis of the effects of WHITE SUPREMACY and historic emasculation and degradation at the hands of WHITE MEN on their psyche, your assessments will never lead to the BLACK UNITY or BLACK LOVE necessary between Black men and women to heal our communities.

10

Y’all better quit sleeping and learn your history. The police forces in this country aren’t suddenly wilding out - they are doing WHAT THEY WERE ORIGINALLY CREATED TO DO. They are doing WHAT THEY HAVE ALWAYS DONE. And, soberly, they will continue to do WHAT WE ALLOW THEM TO DO until we fight back.

Here’s the thing… I keep seeing people pushing back against the attacks on Planned Parenthood with facts like ‘only 3 percent of the services PP provides are abortion-related, while the rest is women’s health, particularly for poor women’ and ‘government funding covers exactly zero dollars of PPs abortion funding’, and both of those things are true, but to me those feel like accommodation of the anti-PP/anti-choice arguments, when what it comes down to is this: women are people and have bodily autonomy. That’s the end. Women who want an abortion should be able to get one, because women are people and have bodily autonomy.

The reason why can’t all agree on this is not because ANY OF US deny the existence of colorism. At least, I haven’t seen any Black people on tumblr denying that colorism exists. I’ve seen plenty of people making the accusation that some of us deny the existence of colorism… but they never name the person who denies it. 

The phenomenon of some lighter skinned people being raised by their colorstruck family to feel that they are better than darker skinned Black people IS CALLED COLORISM. Black sororities electing to use the color of a paper bag as the litmus for which Black girls they would allow into their soror - aka the paper bag test - is another example of COLORISM. Black men and women who make a conscious decision to pair up romantically with a lighter-complexioned Black person or a white person, for the express purpose of producing children with a lighter complexion, is yet another example of COLORISM. Sometimes light Black people pair up this way, but just as frequently it’s dark skinned Black people making that choice, trying to escape the pain of being dark in an anti-Black society. So colorism is not simply something that lighter Black do to darker Black people. That’s why when you watch the Bill Duke documentary Dark Girls, they spend a lot of time talking about colorism, but NOT ONCE DOES ANYBODY IN THE FILM EVER UTTER THE TERM “LIGHT SKIN PRIVILEGE.”


I think the problem is that many of us are caught up in sloppy thinking and false equivalencies. Some of us are under the mistaken impression that the term “light skin privilege” is another way of saying “colorism.” If that is what you’ve been thinking, YOU ARE WRONG. Full stop.

The term “light skin privilege” is not mentioned in Dark Girls because that is a recently-coined (and highly politically invalid) term that many of y’all have begun using after being made aware of “white privilege.” Where your sloppy thinking comes in is you assuming that you can just transfer the definition of white privilege, whole-cloth, over to light skinned Black people and, lo and behold, some of us now have “light skinned privilege.” THAT’S CALLED A FALSE EQUIVALENCE. On the surface it seems like the same thing. To one who doesn’t have the historical and political background knowledge to understand that NO BLACK PERSON IN AMERICA WITH ANY DISCERNIBLE ADMIXTURE OF AFRICAN ANCESTRY CAN BE CONSIDERED PRIVILEGED. NOT IN A COUNTRY FOUNDED ON WHITE SUPREMACY. ONLY WHITE PEOPLE ARE POLITICALLY “PRIVILEGED” IN AMERICA the term light skinned privilege seems obviously legit. Wrong.

The proof of the above statement is the fact that many of you keep saying ‘Lighter Black people want to deny their privilege, just like white people.’ 

I could go on, but I’ve been down this road with many of y’all before and y’all are so wedded to insisting that the term LSP is valid that I’ll let y’all marinate on these ACTUAL FACTS for minute, and calm yourselves. In the meantime, just some factoids to think about:

  • a light(er) complexioned Black person NOT receiving harsh insults about their dark skin tone IS NOT AN EXAMPLE OF A “PRIVILEGE” any more than a tall person who isn’t on the receiving end of short jokes. tall people get insulted, depending on the wittiness of the one dishing out the insults, based their unique physical characteristic (tallness). Likewise, light skinned Black folks would be on the receiving end of insults about them being pale, ghostly, light bright and damned-near-white, etc. They would sound ridiculous accusing darker Black folks of having “dark skinned” privilege just because dark skinned people don’t get insulted based on how pale they are. 90% of those of you who go defcon level 4 when any of us try to tell you that we don’t get any privileges (go back up top and read the definition again) FROM WHITE SOCIETY for being light skinned offer the types of insults dark girls are subjected to as your “proof” that some of us have “privilege.” Sloppy thinking.
  • Every one of us who are Black are either lighter or darker than others of us, so unless and until we all officially vote you as the Blackest Nigga In America… you might be dark(er) than some of us, but you are also light(er) than others of us. Care to tell us about your “lighter skinned privilege?” You see how ridiculous this could get if we all held to such sloppy thinking, right? Thanks, white folks, for all of these wonderful complexions y’all gave us to argue over.
  • If you’re ultimate point, dark skinned Black person, is to point out to your fellow lighter brothers and sisters how wrong and hurtful and divisive it was for you to be insulted, when growing up, by your own Black friends and family members… then what that suggests is that you wish we all understood and felt and acted like Black is Black. and treated you like the member of the tribe that you are. So what you want is called BLACK UNITY. And you don’t get Black unity by accusing other Black people of being like or acting like racist white people. Then, when those of us who don’t buy into colorism say “we’re all Black,” then y’all say “that’s just like when white people say all lives matter.” WTF!?!? That’s another false equivalency. And sloppy thinking. And insulting. AND divisive. Please stop.

In fact, the solution to COLORISM is for brainwashed Black folks who were raised, by white supremacist anti-Blackness embedded in all aspects of American culture as well as by their colorstruck Black parents, to realize that in white people’s eyes, a nigger is a nigger is a nigger. Regardless of complexion. Do whites prefer lighter Blacks over darker Blacks? That depends. In the workplace? Yes. For sexual fun? Sometimes yes sometimes no.

IS SOME SICK RACIST WHITE PERSON’S PREFERENCE FOR A PARTICULAR COMPLEXION OF BLACK PERSON THAT PERSON’S “PRIVILEGE?” HELL TO THE NAWL. THAT’S CALLED A WHITE PERSON’S FETISH - NOT A LIGHT SKINNED BLACK PERSON’S “PRIVILEGE.” THAT’S CALLED A WHITE PERSON’S EGO, AT SEEING THEMSELVES REFLECTED PHYSICALLY IN ANOTHER, NOT A LIGHT SKINNED BLACK PERSONS “PRIVILEGE.” THAT’S CALLED A DIVIDE-AND-CONQUER TACTIC, TURNING US AGAINST ONE ANOTHER AND KEEPING BLACK PEOPLE DISUNITED, THUS GUARANTEEING THE EXTENSION OF THEIR HOLD OVER US, AND THAT’S NOT A PRIVILEGE TO ANY OF US.

If some of y’all could just get out of your feelings long enough to consider the politics of this all you would understand why others of us object to you insisting that some of have “privilege” in this fucking white supremacist country!!!

Now - let us get back to discussing COLORISM and COLOR STRUCK NIGGAS - which are both VERY REAL and very harmful to our unity and advancement as a people. Please don’t give white folks one more tool to use, nor give recalcitrant Black folks one more excuse for resisting Black unity, by introducing yet another divisive term into our culture. We have enough to be divided by, thank you. 

LET’S STOP TALKING ABOUT TALKING ABOUT COLORISM… AND TALK ABOUT IT FOR REAL!!!