The Recovering Attorney’s Question of the Day, or, Colorism in the Community and Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

SPOILER ALERT:  This is probably my longest post to date.  If you dropped in for a quick read — this is not the post for you!  Feel free to explore The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm) for shorter fare.  If you have a little extra time on your hands–read on.  Many thanks, The Recovering Attorney……..

The Post:

Some might accuse me of airing dirty laundry. For we are not to speak these words outside of the hair salon or the barber shop.  “Others” are not to hear mention of the secret.  The conversation, if had at all, is to remain among “us.”  The conversation:  “Let’s talk about color baby, let’s talk about you and me.  Let’s talk about all the good and bad things baby.  Let’s talk about it! (* to be read in the same sing-song manner of Salt n Peppa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex” hit of the 1990s)”  Well let’s talk about it…

Last week it was the fallacious survey conducted by a pseudo-intellect who purported to tell the world that as a group, Black women across the diaspora, are the most “scientifically” proven (how do you do that?),  physically unattractive women on this here planet Earth.  However, Black men— God’s gift to the world (but we already knew that.  Ha!), according to the same social scientist.  The first part –about Black women being unattractive—Pure.  Rubbish.  Not worth the time, energy, or effort to respond.  Done.  Enough. Said.  And yeah–all of the blogosphere and the www. aptly handled that matter.  NEXT….

This week:  “Colorism.”  Now I don’t have an American Heritage Dictionary definition of the word “colorism” because I don’t believe that the word  exist  in the English language.  Now only if we could get the “concept” to disappear…I digress.   But for the sake of expediency allow me to define the word as such:  The idea, concept and or mistaken belief that the skin tone, coloration, and or hue of a person of color–esp. a Black and or African-American is adjudged to be more physically desirable, appealing and or attractive if said skin tone/hue is lighter in hue/tone rather than darker in tone/hue.”  My definition. I made it up on the spot.  Are we all on the same page now?  Good.   And….

Yes,  it is 2011.  We have a Black man (who happens to be a White man, too) in the White House and his nuclear and extended families as well as his inner circle represent just about every shade on the “Am I Black enough for you?” palette.  And the matter of skin tone–  that’s right– skin tone  has once again invaded our consciousness and our conversation.  And I say “our” because even if you give short shrift to the whole colorisim conversation  “early and often” and you dismiss it as self-hate, plantation politics or victim theology–you gave it a thought and gotcha!  From my perspective you have offered up an opinion and you have officially taken part in the discussion.   As for me….

I fully recognize and understand that since the colonization of the World, since the introduction of African slavery to the New World, since the Birth of this Nation (pun intended, indeed)–there has been an artificial, man-made, divisive Gold Standard created to define, classify and legitimize an ideal of beauty.  And  because the Powers that Be were of the “lighter” persuasion, that spurious standard of beauty, acceptability, power, privilege, wealth and prestige became “light, bright and anyone darn near white.”    The Gold Standard.  If  history was somehow reversed and the Powers that Be were of the “darker” persuasion than the Gold Standard of beauty, acceptability, power, etcetera would be “black, dark and anyone darn near tar (again, just made that up on the spot).”  In other words:  He who has STOLEN the gold and has SELF- crowned himself  king  makes the ARBITRARY rules. 

The point is that this light skin vs. dark skin cause of action is a man-made construct.  That is all.  Nothing more.  To illuminate that point consider that historically speaking and yet still today (I lived in Greenwich, Connecticut for a number of years) in the white community, particularly among WASPs, those with the palest of skin, bluest of eyes and blondest hair–meet “their” community’s artificial construct of the Gold Standard of beauty.   So you brunettes, red heads and mousey brown-haired girls need not retain a Greenwich Realtor.  Of course I am oversimplifying.  But point made.  And yes.  I know that for generations beautiful blue-black boys and girls were and are still unfortunately today taunted, ridiculed and marginalized by their “own” because the self-made kings have convinced a vast majority of a race to artificially believe that their God-given, sun-kissed and sun-drenched, protective skin tone is unsightly, “dirty.”  And to lash out, the same beautiful blue-black boys and girls, men and women have sought to marginalize and declare unbeautiful their lighter skin peers.  Why can’t we all just get along?  

Oh, how I wish I could snap my fingers and this  brain washing and sheer foolishness would just simply disappear.  That’s it.  Gone.  How I wish that we all could  appreciate, accept and validate one another’s beauty in all of its purposely designed variations of  the same theme. 

Yesterday, Precious Child II asked me:  If you could have any wish in the world come true (I love that at the age of 13, the world is still this simple to her) what would it be?  Knowing her mom, and before I could answer, she immediately said “wait.”  “I know that you are going to say– world peace (she was right–I always say “world peace”–it’s easy.  I get in and I get out–of that conversation).”  So she amended her question and asked me if I could have any two wishes in the world what would they be?  Well, my Dear Precious Child II and my Dear Readers.  I think you already know my  answer to that amended question.

Post Script:  If you haven’t already, please ask Mr. Google to direct you to “Dark Girls” an upcoming documentary by Brandin French.

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!


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