For other light-skinned people not getting the concept of light-skinned privilege:
1. No one is denying that we are POC.
–> I’ve seen a lot of posts where light-skinned people retort with some irrelevant comment about how light skin =/= white. That isn’t the point. They know we’re not white, but we DO still benefit from having lighter skin, even if it isn’t white.
2. No one is denying that we have struggles.
–> Pointing out our privilege is not a means of eradicating/negating our struggles. However, this privilege does mean that our struggles are not to scale with those of a darker complexion, and that we still have benefits that darker skinned people do not.
3. Talking about colorism is not ‘dividing’ the black community.
–> If anything, ignoring it is making it worse. Often times we sound** just like whites in trying to justify why we should ignore our privilege, saying things like ‘we are all black’ (they say ‘we are all human’). **Emphasis on the word SOUND, as I’m not saying we ARE like whites, but we do SOUND an awful lot like them when complaining that bringing up our privileges is a divisive thing. It’s not. As a matter of fact, the more we discuss it, the more we encourage solidarity with our darker skinned brothers and sisters and understand their struggles so we can better know how to uplift them and combat the stereotypes/negativity pushed on them.
•Just a personal thing I want to share, I had my first breakthrough when doing my hair one day and thinking about my mom’s. I remember thinking how in the past, I was scared of my curls and always straightened my hair, but that if my hair were healthier (as it is becoming now) I would wear it curly all the time (as I do). My next thought was of my mom, who always wears her hair straightened. I thought ‘man, she should wear hers natural too!’ And ‘if I had her hair I would-’
And then it hit me, what WOULD I do if I had her hair? If I didn’t have looser curls that, with a bit of love, can be bouncy and springy? If instead, I had a more cottony texture and much smaller curls? The realization I came to, being honest with myself, was that I would NOT wear it naturally. I wouldn’t have the confidence to. And in thinking that, I realized to a more real extent the necessity of the natural hair movement - and why those with looser curls are discouraged from taking part in it as anything other than support. And now I’m learning to really see the beauty in it, and as I’ve helped her slowly learn to love her hair, I’m learning to love it as well, and help some of my friends with similar kinky/afro textures love theirs as well. And I feel that this can also be applied to colorism as well. I wonder how many of us with light skin could handle having darker skin and facing racism in a completely different way? Yeah we still face some racism, because (speaking mostly for America), black is black for most racists, but skin tone still matters to them too even minutely, and they’d much rather be around a lighter-skinned person than a darker-skinned person. They see us as 'prettier’, 'more intelligent’, etc., which is part of our privilege in being lighter-skinned. When darker-skinned people bring these things up, it isn’t just to 'oppress us’ (not even possible) or hurt our feelings, but to make us aware of them.
• I think a big reason a lot of us get so offended also is because we’ve become comfortable with our privileges, and don’t want to acknowledge them (as we constantly see white people do). It’s a bit easier for us. Who wouldn’t want to be seen as prettier just for a feature that comes naturally to them? To be seen as more intelligent, to be liked even slightly better? These are our privileges (and likely just a few of many), and we have to be aware of them and remember that we have it easier, and to always be there for those with darker skin who have to fight daily for these things because of the same thing: skin tone.
But yeah. Just some thoughts and transparency.