Anybody who knows me well, or well enough for that matter, knows I was going to write about this at some point...smh...
Why do Dark Skinned Black people hating on Light Skinned Black people? Without Frederick Douglass, we would probably still be slaves. Without Jesse Jackson, helping out MLK jr,, White people would probably ignored him. Without Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Thomas wouldn't be Judge now. Now we got Obama as President... and you know eventually we will have a dark skinned African American President. Bush looked at Colin Powell, made him Secretary of State, then gave Condi Rice a chance. See... Dark Skinned Black people should be grateful that we Light Skinned Black people are making their life easier...Agree?” - Yahoo Answers Poster
What I still find increasingly difficult to accept however, is what I refer to among my friends and associates as “Light Skin Complex”. Like most things in life, there are multiple dimensions to this phenomenon- you have the light skin blacks who perceive light skin as a default certification of beauty, you have the light skin blacks who think that all darker skinned people are out to get them and envious, and you even have light skin blacks who believe, as the Yahoo Answers passage above illustrates, that light skin people have somehow carried the weight of Blackness on their backs. It's not all light skin Blacks, obviously...but with the advent of social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, the Light Skin Complex is not only more visible, it's openly glorified.
"#tbt" refers to "Throw Back Thursdays"; on Thursday many Instagram/Twitter Users
post old photos from childhood. How shallow must you be to remind us that you're light skin?I refuse to get preachy about this issue- anyone of any race who has studied American History knows how sad and disgusting this is. But I do think we need to be less dismissive. When people post things like “#teamlightskin” on my Twitter timeline I tend to unf-ollow them instantly but maybe I should use moments like this an opportunity for constructive debate (I use the word 'debate' very loosely) and education. Some people are going to crucify me for saying this but I didn't write history- the dark skin experience and the light skin experience for blacks, among others, are largely different. It doesn't matter if we're talking about field slaves and house slaves or the representation of color among music video vixens, light skin blacks, like white people will NEVER understand what it feels like to live day to day with dark skin. You can disagree if you want but that statement isn't just about Black people- it's about Dravidians, it's about Aborigines, it's about darker skinned people across the world and throughout history. That withstanding, it still doesn't negate the fact that light or dark- you are still Black to the world.