quote of the day: colorism

The best thing I’ve done recently is subscribe to the Anti-Racism Daily newsletter. IT’S SO GOOD. Dooooo it!!!! I’m learning so much about racism. Like this stat about colorism from yesterday’s email:

Directly. Proportional. WTF.

Daphni’s piece also links to an article in Quartz that breaks it down:

Again. WTF. Very dark-skinned Black people have a TWO OUT OF THREE likelihood of being arrested. THAT IS FUCKED UP.

The piece calls out Netflix for the colorism in Indian Matchmaking and how many of the single people want a partner who’s “fair.” (Fair as in light-skinned, not fair as in just.) I’m guilty of thinking “fair” is just another word for “lovely,” and that’s the problem–beauty shouldn’t be equated with whiteness. Light skin should NOT be considered more beautiful or desirable than dark skin.

And that’s not being “too PC” or “too easily offended.” Colorism clearly has very tangible effects, costing Black people (and particularly very dark-skinned Black people) their futures.

I hope in the future I pay more attention when I see Black people represented at work, on magazine covers, in positions of power–how dark is their skin? (None of this Zoe Saldana wearing darker makeup to play Nina Simone bullshit.)

Colorism and racism aren’t amorphous, indefinable abstractions. Their existence is not up for debate, nor are they political issues. They steal years and decades of people’s lives (NPR: Black People Are Wrongly Convicted Of Murder More Often, Data Show) and all too often people’s lives entirely.

More on race-based wrongful convictions from the University of Michigan (click to enlarge):

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