The Colorism and Colorist Treatment of African Americans

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Colorsim is discrimination against darker-tone individuals. Where the light-skinned individuals are praised for being lighter and the darker-toned individuals are criticized.

Colorism is an issue in today’s society people need to be more educated on it. The people of the society need to know what colorism is and how to stop colorist. Colorism is a very dark topic to talk about. When talking about this topic it can be a lot of controversy. There are a lot of people that don’t point out colorism or better yet people in general don’t like to talk about the topic.

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Colorism is hidden from the world but yet so tossed around and used a lot. Colorism is a very touchy topic to talk about, and when it comes to actually talking about this situation it can be hard because people can be bias on this topic. There can be a lot of anger just even bringing up colorism. Because some people think that it’s not important or because it is they don’t want to admit that it is a very big issue in today’s society. There can be a lot of animosity thrown towards this topic from darker-tone people.

Discrimination in the workplace is mainly focused on how being a certain skin tone is favored over being another skin tone. Most people couldn’t recognize how darker-tone individuals are treated differently in the workplace. Believe it or not your skin tone will determine a lot for a person. Like for example, if a person is looking for a job people look at skin tone first. Why? Because in many ways people think that lighter-tone people look better and that they have a better appearance. Being treated differently in the work place can be very uncomfortable especially when it is because of your skin. Being an African American is tough enough, because of how African Americans were treated. Thelma says “colorism has been present since the days of slavery where lighter skin slaves were offered more privileges.” (Sardin, 2012) Colorism has been going on for years it’s just been set aside and not talked about. Society today has painted a picture to the younger generation that is your skin is lighter whether it be Caucasian or black it meant, that person is beautiful. No one has ever pointed out colorsim or has ever tried to stop it.

Being discriminated against can be a terrible and hurtful feeling. Darker tone African Americans have heard a lot about their skin tone and also not being good enough in today’s society. It is very hard for the dark skin community to be accepted in a world full of colorist. It’s truly hard to fit in when certain people don’t accept the way a person looks. Some think that if a person’s skin is a lighter complexion then that means that they look better.

Thelma Sardin says “for example, Coleman said women with light skin often face persecution for being “pretty” and women with dark skin face discrimination for being “ugly”.”(Sardin, 2012) It is not only the today’s society that isolates the darker tone individuals but it is specifically the African American Community, who treat the light skinned individuals like they are more than others. While light-skinned minority easily accepted into friendship groups. It is the dark-skinned people who have a harder time being accepted. It is very hard for today’s society to get over how everyone is different, and that everyone is not the same at all. The society is very brain washed. It is the younger generation of today who has the mind set of slavery days.

This type of situation is not only taught by society but it is also taught at home. Why teach your kid or kids that if their skin is brighter then that means that their better than the other half of society? People are so brain washed today that, it is making the dark skinned African Americans marry or date some one that is a brighter complexion, So that their kids would come into the world with good hair and bright skin. They need to know that every skin color is beautiful, and there is no need to think otherwise. James Bramwell said “self hatred” comes in many forms; when he was in high school a black girl told him that she only wanted to marry a white man so that her children would have light skin.” It is very sad that there were and are still young women and men that figure that if they marry someone that has a bright complexion or is skinny etc they make it seem like their kids are going to be absolutely perfect. Now it’s like they don’t accept themselves for who they are. It’s terrible that people aren’t being taught to love themselves for who they are.

James then goes on to say “our society has taught us not to accept differences.” (Bramwell, 34) Kids and adults are being taught by television that skin tone matters. Skin tone has to be a certain shade for it to be accepted. It can be discouraging to hear from others that individuals don’t belong. Terrible things have been said about dark skinned individuals. People say a lot about them whether if it’s at school work or at home. James Bramwell also added “Our culture is still being led to believe that having lighter skin somehow makes you a “better person”.”(Bramwell, 34) It seems like this will never end because colorism can affect ones mental health in several ways like for example it can cause depression, low self esteem, and risk behaviors.

These factors can start from a young age and can affect that person in the long run. Since colorism is taught and seen everywhere it would be very difficult to get those particular people colonist to stop being colorist. Some of these people don’t worry about how it can affect the person that they are calling out. This is very unjust and immoral of just how dark skin people are being treated something needs to think and readjust to how they talk to people and what they say.

Going back to slavery days where blacks divided into their own groups. African Americans were made to believe that the dark skin people weren’t good enough but the light skinned people were. This was truly a horrible situation to understand, why blacks decided that dark skinned people weren’t good enough. Matthew from “The Often Un-discussed “-ism” in America’s Workforce” says, “ Blacks created “blue vein” societies where other blacks were admitted only if their skin tone was light enough that their veins were visible.” (Harrison, 68) African Americans should be the last people to disagree with their skin tone. It is insane that African Americans don’t like their skin. But it all started from the slavery days when blacks were brain washed. As slaves lighter skinned people were told that they could only work in the house and not in the sun, and the dark skinned people were told to work outside in the sun. The lighter toned people felt they were better than the others. That is where slavery began. People never said to stop doing this or stop being colorist to your own skin tone.

Now the situation worsens because the cops are killing African Americans which is mainly the darker tone individuals. Carol says, “That racism/colorism is a mental issue.” (Taylor, 2000) There is some sort of truth to this. Why? Because colorism is implanted in the brain for instance, starting from home people is taught that they need to be able to see color and not look past it. Colorist hates dark skin people. This is in fact a unhealthy mental issue. Nobody has ever asked colorist why they dislike dark skinned people. People should want to know why. Why are they saying this horrible stuff about African Americans? There shouldn’t be any questions on how people should change the way that they look. But there should be questions on what did dark skinned people ever do to those that are colorist. There also shouldn’t be any one killing people just because they don’t like how they looked. This topic should be brought up among the people of the world.

Marybeth wrote, “ That fair-skinned individuals had a better chance at getting better schooling opportunities in college” (Gasman, 41) To know that the fair-skinned people had a better opportunity at getting scholarships and internships, is truly just discouraging, heartbreaking, and disappointing. To know that people weren’t able to get what they worked so hard for is crazy. People should be ashamed of their selves. Discrimination should not be a part of school or work. People should leave the way that they feel at home.

Gregory said,” That there was a something called the “Paper bag test” the lighter skinned blacks have used to socially exclude darker-skinned blacks.” (Smithers, 222) Dark–skinned individuals were not welcomed to be social with the lighter complexion African Americans. This is very disappointing that people would disassociate their culture, just so that they can feel better about themselves. This is the reason why people today get bullied in school and also get looked at differently in the work place. There are adolescents’ that are being bullied to their deaths. Because colorism isn’t being taught to them instead they are taught to be colorist and they don’t even know the meaning of being a “colorist”.

Adolescents are taught to be against things at a young age. Catherine mentioned, “Media is such a powerful tool of spreading information and knowledge.” (Steele, 2016) Anyone can be taught by the internet. The internet can be someone’s worst enemy. The internet releases a lot of negative information and images and by looking at the internet and seeing these images and information people learn a lot of false information and a lot of negative posts. This is why there needs to be a way to stop the negative post and the negative images. How can people stop colorism? What would be a great way to get the world more involved, in learning how to stop colorism?

How people stop colorism and colorist? Well, one way to stop colorism is to stop splitting African American light skin and African American dark skin up. People need to know that no matter how dark or how light-complexioned a person is in the African American community, they are still the same race. People need to take into consideration that it hurts when you single individuals out of a community or a circle of friends it all hurts. People look at others differently because of false information that is being said about individuals. People need to stop believing things that they see on social media and television. If there are adolescents involved try to teach them that being different isn’t a bad thing. Being different is what makes this world whole. People need to be taught that, well yes everyone is different but that doesn’t give them the right to judge them. Because if it was vice versa they would feel isolated and left out. People just need to understand how darker complexion people feel. Learn their feelings and understand them.

How can people stop colorist? This is going to be a hard thing to stop. People have their own opinions on what they like. They should not be blamed but, they should understand what that what they are doing isn’t right. Saying that certain individuals aren’t naturally beautiful just because of their appearance and skin tone is not right. Darker-toned individuals should point the colorist out and stop them right in their tracks and tell them that they are wrong for what they are doing. Tell them that they have no right judging people just because they don’t like that person’s skin color. Let the colorist know how one is feeling tell, them that what they’re doing is wrong, and tell them that everyone is beautiful and that they just need to stop it and grow up.                                 

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