Just a thought I was having…
I’m about to get results from a “23/andme” DNA ancestry test in a few weeks. So I thought it would be fun to look up some videos on YouTube of other people reacting to their results, when I came across this one particular video of a black girl in the thumbnail with the title “SHOCKING AFRICAN ANCESTRY DNA RESULTS”. After watching the video, she found out that her maternal lineage didn’t have ANY African lineage in it. Noting that her skin tone is as dark as mine I was a little confused as to how that is possible too. Turns out her great-great grandmother’s mother was most likely close to 100% European and so the African Ancestry results were basically inconclusive. If you don’t know, “African Ancestry” is a DNA test that specializes in African-American ancestry who’s goal is to trace back your DNA all the way to the specific tribe in Africa that you hail from. So to sum it all up, she paid extra to find out that doesn’t have any African tribal roots on her mothers side. And she was very noticeably upset that she was basically “white as fuuuck”.
(yes I’m paraphrasing, watch the video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5u_jTzwbL0
But what had me thinking about the “colorism” and racism thing in general were the comments on the video.
These were my first impressions after seeing it and they are still fresh in my mind.
1. “Oh wow your family’s first touch of blackness must’ve been VERY dark. Cause you black as f.”
2. Why are you so upset that you have white or basically European ancestry? (Could be because you paid an extra $100 or so for African Ancestry and I can certainly empathize with this one)
3. You’re basically black to everyone in America anyway.
And with my third initial thought therein lies the point of my issue with this. The comments mostly read (as of today) something like: 40% “its okay to be white” with a few can’t say “nigga” anymore type jokes thrown in, 50% “oh where’s your victimhood now”? albeit probably trolling right wing types, and 10% “of you’re beautiful either way” cash me outside how bout dat? kinda funny lighter comments.
But my question is…
How does this black girl’s or anyone’s TRUE ancestry give them ANY victimhood status OR privilege?
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from in order to be discriminated against or gain privilege, because here in the melting pot of the world, you are either black, white, or “something else”. America doesn’t have time for all of that.
Neither does most of the world when it comes to prejudice against certain individuals or groups that have darker skin tones. Just look at discrimination of darker skinned Brazilians in Brazil or look up South Africa where most of the population is black and yet they still have a huge problem with racism related incidents.
But I’m more focused on how Americans view “colorism” and “colorist” individuals if I can coin that one. To everyone and that girl in the YouTube video, you should be proud of your heritage because it is YOUR unique heritage. You can claim this or that because of what you were told by your parents but when it comes to prejudice in America…. if your skin is dark you are black as Hakeem Olajuwon.
The problem is that America has went from all out racism against blacks and minorities to a more mutable “colorism” that can blanket over the remnants of an supremely dark and racist past that is striving to hold on and keep echoing through today. And whites are certainly not the only ones that perpetrate this. Anyone that is not aware of how the media and certain establishments promote an idea that fairer skin and even straighter hair is preferable is unknowingly supporting this toxicity.
Now if you know me, you know that I’m always playing devil’s advocate so of course I think… “Well if the media companies and such aren’t all out racist against blacks and dark skin, is it we the consumers that have told them with our attention and dollars that fairer skin is what we want to see?” and the answer to that I believe is…. YUP!
But before you stop watching Friends and switch to Living Single re-runs just look at this JUST TOO OBVIOUS FACT….
Since the birth of viewable media like television, the media was very biased against showing blacks and minorities because of just plain racism. NOW it is getting better and we see more blacks and minorities in media than ever. But outright racism is still reflected in our system such as racism against Asians getting into Harvard or the disproportionate number of minorities in the Prison Industrial Complex. So who is keeping this shit alive? It’s us. And now is the time to stop being woke and start just looking at the facts and history. We need to be aware of the past and how it affects us today. That will give us the power to choose how we would like to divide our attention and money.
It’s not outright racism, it’s “colorism”. But uniquely in America today it is homegrown colorism that branches off of the racism that built it. It is when someone says to themselves “I’d rather go with the light skinned one” or “I just like white girls, I’m not racist it’s just what I prefer” WITHOUT knowing the obvious fact that the media and American society is currently bouncing back from an extremely racist history. Just ask yourself the hard questions when those thoughts arise and you’ll be defeating colorism in my eyes.
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this if you read this far… like I said… just a thought.