Light vs. Dark: The Dividing of a People

*Originally written for Women's Elevation Magazine.*

The spike in the ignorance that is uploaded, posted, and shared on social media is unsettling.  Especially the hatred and disdain for Blacks that is often perpetuated not only online, but in our own communities.  Recently I saw a meme on my Instagram timeline that sparked an unruly fire within me, because I’m just plain tired of this foolishness.

As you can see in the picture above, six beautiful babies portrayed in the image with an unfortunate and hateful message written across it.  Now, I do not know who started this meme, and where I saw it on my timeline, no one was defending it or in favor of it.  All I can say is, this has to stop.  The blatant colorism that is living and breathing on the inside of some people is more than saddening.  It’s frightening that it will continue to be fed to future generations.  That future little boys and girls will be taunted because they were born with more melanin in their skin than others.  It honestly makes my skin crawl and my blood boil when someone says that someone is acting “light/dark skinned”.  What does that even mean?  The same hatred that has been placed on people of color for hundreds of years is still here, and it is being kept alive and well with this, and other offensive and ignorant memes, tweets, and hateful tactics.

There is nothing wrong with the babies on the bottom row.  What this picture says to me is that the presumably Black children in the top row are more beautiful, more valuable, and potentially more loved than the ones in the bottom row.  In actuality, that is not true.  It does not make it better that this senselessness is a learned behavior, because all that says is that somewhere in this world, this and other levels of colorism are being taught.  It’s alarming that these innocent images were used to project this hatred for people with darker complexions.  It is time for us to wake up, teach this generation and future generations to love themselves and their cultures, and to respect others and theirs.  Maybe this is my hopeful, yet naïve attempt to resolve colorism, and while this may not be the solution, it is a start.

Love yourself, ladies (and teach the little ones to do the same),