Re: 'Colorism' is Alive and Well
Posted By: Ayinde In Response To: Re: 'Colorism' is Alive and Well (gman)
Date: Saturday, 5 November 2005, at 10:09 a.m.
In Response To: Re: 'Colorism' is Alive and Well (gman)
I said, “Privilege also occurs in relation to gender” because there are false stereotypes that give males unfair advantages as if it is a birthright. Generally speaking, males in the Western system are considered smarter and more significant than females. Generally speaking, females typically earn less than males in similar fields. Also, female opinions are often not considered important. Gender bias is the reason many male comedians joke about wanting females to 'pass the food, sex and shut up.' Gender biases can allow males some privileges in this regard. It should be noted, even with gender biases, the light-skinned males get the advantage over dark-skinned males, when females are not properly considered. In the same situation when females are considered, the light-skinned female will usually get the advantage over the dark-skinned female (except when they want to fill some quota to not appear racist and male chauvinistic).
Your comments about one out of 33 points (#32) are a fair critique of that part of the article. People have no right to be especially grateful to those who do the right thing. I did not post the article because I think the author was enlightened (most articles posted are not authored by 'enlightened' people), and the author did not make any such claim. I posted the article for its value in giving a range of ideas on what White Privilege is, and by extension some of the ideas that could be tied into Privileges associated with Colorism (of course to a lesser extent than with Whites). The use of privilege here should be consistent. If privilege is reduced to meaning simple advantages that one can lose, then we are saying that Whites can easily lose White Privilege by a shift of accent, by getting older or by earning less money. We know this is not true.
You could think/list a host of situations/examples that can be classed a Privilege using a simplistic definition of the term to mean ‘advantage’. But in doing so, you alter the nature of what we term White Privilege. If you migrate to a country and you do not speak the language, you will be at a disadvantage simply because you will have a communication problem. That is not exclusive, except that the system will still be more accommodating to people in that situation if they are nearer whiteness. Nationals who speak the language could have more of a short-term advantage, but that advantage is not a privilege. You can learn the language, and if you are light-skinned, get the job ahead of a blacker national who is more fluent in the language.
Accents are tied to the idea of White Supremacy. People who have accents closer to whites are thought of as better, and they may actually get a better job as a result of that. Is that a privilege? I have seen Blacks adopt accents to enhance their situation. Anyone can change their accent. A light-skinned Black in this situation will still get the advantage even if the dark-skinned Black does the same (Look at newscasters as one example).
People of different races will get old. If most people remain as ignorant as they are, they will experience some form of age discrimination. People from all races experience age discrimination (more so in this western system); however again, dark-skinned Blacks get the worst of it. Colorism is also a factor in age discrimination (as well as all other forms of discrimination). The office will hire the young dark-skinned Black male in front of the old White woman. How is that a privilege that the dark-skinned Black receives? What you stated there does not make the case of dark-skinned Black Privilege.
A privilege is an advantage whereas an advantage is not necessarily a privilege.
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