Posted By: Ayinde In Response To: Re: Questions (selassielive)
Date: Friday, 14 October 2005, at 9:22 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Questions (selassielive)
"I just disagree with the notions of telling someone they are not black enough because they are light skin, without knowing what they are doing for Afrikans on the continent and abroad. I am not accusing anyone in particular. I just know that I keep reading posts about "pure black" and things like that."
If you feel this is what is being implied in some posts, you could try to avoid the assumptions by asking the relevant questions. It could be you are misunderstanding what is being said. I feel we all are not grasping English/ideas the same way, so reasoning could correct different interpretations. Discussions on Colorism are not commonplace so people have not adjusted to how concerns about it are being expressed.
On the matter of who may be more black than whom, this could be a way to try to define and separate those who share Black African interest from those who do not.
In many parts of Africa like Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Mauritania there are huge groups of people who are 'mixed Blacks' and/or Muslims' who do not consider themselves Black. They do not want to be associated with common Black Africans. Their sense of identity is tied to the Middle East (Arabia). Some could be alluding to, or pointing this out when expressing who they feel is more African than whom.
In the Caribbean, there are Black Africans who do not like being called Africans. They stay with the 'negro' label and consider African history to be unimportant and a waste of time. There are Blacks worldwide who do not appreciate that Black Empowerment seeks to lift that which has been subjugated. In that regard, I would understand those who are trying to draw distinctions.
The focus should be about developing different ways to promote Black beauty, Black relationships etc. It does not mean that all will be able to tow that line; still the overall focus should be clear.
It is obvious those that are in the position of promoting Black beauty, are using the mixed race image as the ideal for Black. Look at most of the Black music videos. Where is the general appreciation for kinky hair dark-skinned Blacks? One or two are used as tokens to sell grassroots and hard core, but overall, kinky-hair and dark-skinned Black is still the unacceptable look. Because light-skin is upheld as the standard for beauty and better economic opportunities we have the issue of many Blacks bleaching their skin. The bleaching problem shows how widespread the belief that economic opportunities are more available to those with lighter shades.
"Being skeptical of whites is not enough. I guess we must be skeptical of light skinned people too. Like there are no blue-black zombies walking around here."
Being skeptical of Whites IS not enough. I suggest that people be skeptical of everyone of every race and shade who have not addressed, and demonstrated a sensitivity to Racism, Colorism and Gender Discrimination. Whites are not alone with the bad attitudes; many Blacks have also been brainwashed. Trust should never be automatic but developed over time as people reach common understanding on these major issues. So yes, I say it is quite healthy to distrust people across the board. Remember that I said distrust and not fear, resent or disrespect.
"And by the way, I am not "kinda-light skinned". I posted my picture here for all to see a while ago. I am brown skinned...closer to dark than light."
I once saw your picture and I thought that you were dark-skinned Black, later on I read you describing yourself in shades of Black (being slightly darker than Haile Selassie). People who see themselves as dark-skinned Black usually do not go into the shades (although there are shades of dark skin Black) to explain how they look. Basically I saw you as a dark-skinned Black who would not generally get privileges, except above women (for another debate).
At first glance in the U.S. and Caribbean one can tell some Blacks are mixed, light-skinned (red) and others are dark-skinned. The social attitudes in relation to being Black are not consistent. In Brazil and Venezuela Black is also tied to economic and social standing. So one can be poor and white looking with a post slavery trace of dark-skinned African, and be considered Black. Hugo Chavez is considered Black in Venezuela. I am sure others can give many examples of how the color system is not static. The only common line with all of this is that the blacker the people the worse the discrimination.
Different people will articulate these issues differently because of how these issues impact on them, so in no way would I be casually dismissive when these issues come up.
You also said:
"I doubt if any of the light skinned folks from the 9th ward in New Orleans got a break either."
This statement does not fit. That statement is akin to Whites saying, "Look how Whites suffered in New Orleans, so how can you say there is racism In New Orleans?"
Even among the people who reach out to assist across racial lines in an emergency, once the emergency is over they revert to their regular unconscious conduct. They cannot always live in a flood or other disaster to behave better.
Messages In This Thread
Rastafari Speaks Archive is maintained by Administrator with RastafariSpeaks.com 5.12.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml