Jonathan Fleming hugs his mom for the first time in 25 years.
NEW YORK – From the day of his 1989 arrest in a deadly New York City shooting, Jonathan Flemingsaid he had been more than 1,000 miles away, on a vacation at Disney World. Despite having documents to back him up, he was convicted of murder. Prosecutors now agree with him, and Fleming left a Brooklyn court as a free man…
Original People and The Lines That Divide Us: Colorism
In the past 500 years, Western Europeans colonized most of the surface of the planet in a self-righteous, greed-driven campaign of terror and domination. White Supremacism is an ever evolving paradigm which includes not only the most effective methods of domination, but it also offers “white people” a simple dogma to explain their apparent superiority. The slave trade systematically scrambled the consciousness of the dominated peoples to internalize the notions of colorism using tactics like giving less intensive labor to fairer skinned slaves. Even the selection of the term “fair” in reference to skin tone was a tactical decision to devalue darkness in complexion.
White supremacism defines “whiteness” as an absolute value based on European phenotype, and pale or translucent complexion. This idea is accompanied by a Scale of Otherness that values humans based on similarity to European phenotype as one value, and darkness of complexion as the other. Most people who suffer from some degree of internalized white supremacism seek to emulate the lightness of skin tone through oftentimes dangerous cosmetic products, or the lamentable practice of sun avoidance. Others seek to emulate European phenotype through destructive surgeries that literally rebuild the structure of the face into something more aquiline in appearance. There is a third attribute of whiteness which is the overt acceptance and practice of white supremacism as an ideal which I will touch upon later.
These phenomena are not the result of a superior beauty that the European possesses as the mass media takes incredible pains to have you believe. The human species comes in many breathtakingly beautiful combinations of features, most of which are devalued or not represented at all. The project to define a narrow field of human attractiveness fits in as a key piece to the white supremacist schema. If the dominated populations idolize their captor’s image, the captor can exert less effort to control them. Indeed, the captive people even go to great lengths to mix with and assimilate into the dominator’s culture in order to afford less hardship to their progeny.
The white supremacist program called “Colorism”, is an extremely destructive and divisive agent that acts upon the minds of the afflicted in one of two ways. The most commonly recognized variant is a colorist person rejecting and devaluing dark skin tones. No matter how dark skinned they are, this person feels a sense of pride at being lighter than the next individual; they emulate the European phenotype to whatever extent possible. In extreme cases they may even reject their own family members or apply harmful products to children to counteract darkening.
The other manifestation of colorism which is just as divisive, yet less commonly acknowledged is the tendency of darker skinned persons to reject lighter skinned people of the same “race”, based on a perceived arrogance they possess; or the automatic assumption that a lighter skinned person identifies with white supremacist values. These people, though not necessarily afrocentric, profess to be able to define where “blackness” begins and ends based on complexion. They attribute white supremacism’s nuanced relationship to light skinned people as a less oppressive benefit they do not have access to.
Colorism in any manifestation should be rejected out of hand for solidarity to be a possibility. It is an agent of the “divide and conquer” methodology, and has been a vain, childish, progress hindering nuisance. Furthermore, the inclination to define a person of ambiguous ethnic identity should be resisted. “Ethnic identity”, especially since the era of European colonialism is highly suspect. White supremacism calls people who are indigenous to the Western Hemisphere “Indians”. It calls people from the Indian subcontinent, “Indians”. White Supremacism calls people indigenous to the Antilles “West Indians”, whether they lived or sailed there before Columbus, whether slave or indentured servant, black or white. There is much mischief and intent to mislead in the White Supremacist schema. It is unreasonable to define a person according to their supposed characteristics especially when they are ambiguous. It is however not unreasonable to request that a person take a stand for or against White Supremacism.
The inclination for us to divide ourselves into the categories that White Supremacism affords us may be rooted in the tendency for us as “blacks” to be all too ready to form political coalitions with other non-black “People of Color” to effect a mutually beneficial change. White Supremacism automatically singles out the “non-black” element within this coalition and offers concessions to this component thus neutralizing any momentum the “black” portion of the coalition may have. The non-black People of Color can then walk away with a small victory, the black People of Color become more disillusioned, and White Supremacism reigns supreme. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that for the phenotypically African person with dark skin and wooly hair texture, there is no conventional way out of this conundrum. However, a solution exists nonetheless.
Colorism depends heavily on the appearance of the human. Melanin content in the skin, eyes, and hair is an easy, albeit elementary measure to erroneously categorize ethnicity. Typology based on these factors is subsequently used to explain racial types, behavior patterns, and idiosyncrasies. Stereotypes are then constructed so as to jump to an easy conclusion. Even though these stereotypes are frequently disrupted by the “articulate dark skinned person”, or “Afrocentric light skinned person”, it is dismissed as a fluke. Without uprooting the counterfeit value of colorism, it is not possible to construct a new paradigm based on authenticity, and merit. The key out of the box that White Supremacism constructs around us lies in the center of our skulls; The Pineal Gland.