Erin

The Truth Ain't Jealousy

Erin
The Truth Ain't Jealousy

It's 2017 and I'm really annoyed that I have to keep reiterating this; dark skinned black women pointing out light skinned privilege is not us being jealous and insecure. The fact that people continue to chalk up genuine critiques and discussions about colorism to simply a lack of confidence and projection is dismissive and counterproductive.

There's always that people that dismiss the concerns and experiences of dark skinned women with colorism and say in the most passive aggressive way, that we're being insecure with ourselves. Which is dumb because it takes 2 seconds to google colorism and find thousands of articles, books, information, and cold hard statistics regarding the issue. It's not a myth, it's not something we've made up in our minds, it's not something we use in order to hide our lack of self-love. It's a form of discrimination that's been around for centuries. No amount of derailing and decentering dark skinned voices will change the fact that it is VERY real, that light skinned people benefit from it, and that reverse colorism is not real. 

The excuses, the derailing, the deflections, it's the same discourse every time. "You call us lite brites but if I called you darkies it would be a whole other story" is literally equivalent to white people saying, "You can call me mayo but if I called you a monkey nigger I'd be wrong." Or when dark skinned women are talking about the lack of representation we have and a light skinned woman jumps in to point out how light skinned women are black too, despite the fact that no one said they weren't. Light skinned women live a different life than my NW50 ass does, so no they do not represent me just because they're black. The same way a black man will never represent me, cause that's a man. We aren't the same.

I'm well-aware that light skinned women are black too, because else would they be? The bottom line is that light skinned women cannot keep thinking all black people share the same experiences simply because we're the same race. Intersections exist. Having privilege does not necessarily make you any less black perse, because I know a LOT of Black people equate "true" blackness to struggling. So if you haven't struggled or been marginalized in some fashion, then you're not truly black. But that's where you're sorely mistaken because having privilege and being marginalized are not mutually exclusive. It's time to stop measuring blackness with struggling because I'm tired of light skinned women assuming I'm negating their blackness by pointing out how they struggle a little less. 

"You're being divisive, we're all black!" Again, when did I say you weren't black? N e v e r. Just because you're secretly insecure about your blackness does not mean you need to project that onto me the first chance you get. Yes I get it, you're probably slightly ambiguous looking and don't look like a "regular black", so people have assumed you were mixed. And you let a bunch of random people's opinions and perceptions of YOUR blackness shape your identity, which led you to being insecure with your blackness. Your blackness became contingent upon what other people view you as, and understandably so since being black is more of a social than biological thing. But you have to understand something: I don't care to hear you whine about how people have mistaken you as being mixed or nonblack. That's a privilege in itself, and I don't ever wanna hear privileged people whine about their privilege. 

Being seen as nonblack is in no way oppressive. A nuisance at most, but not oppressive. Black people are at THE bottom, especially visibly black people i.e. us darkies, so being seen as anything but is a plus in this society. You're seen as not black enough while I'm too black. There is a clear difference between oppression and being bullied on the school playground during recess in the 3rd grade because the darkies were supposedly jealous of you're beauty (or at least that's what you claim) and lightness. Being bullied for being light/"pretty", being called a house nigga, being mistaken for being mixed/nonblack, being made fun of for being stuck up, all comes from a place of privilege. Dark skinned people don't care to hear you complain about what happens when you're privileged, and you can scream Light Skint Erasure™ all you want but that doesn't make it real. 

We have a discussion of colorism in Black Twitter like 1-2 times a month and folks still can't grasp any of this with their ashy hands. Light skinned women don't EVER discuss their "struggles" until it's time to talk about how dark skinned people suffer from colorism. "We can totally point out light skin privilege without being hurtful and ignoring our experiences", but let a white person say that when it comes to racism and Black people are ready to initiate the Race War. Black people morph into caucasians when we talk about colorism because you all don't want to hear the truth so you'll always come up with a new attempt to try and silence dark skinned people. Black people absolutely hate it when white people center themselves on conversations of racism to display their white guilt, but will do the exact same thing when it comes to colorism.

I promise you from the bottom of my heart I am not jealous. Now, am I annoyed and bitter about the current state of representation of Black women in the media and how dark skinned black women are treated? Yes. I'm not afraid to admit that. I'm allowed to be mad, I have every right to be. I'm way past hiding my feelings and passion to avoid being seen as "an angry black woman". I AM an angry black woman, for a multitude of valid reasons, but never jealous.