Is social media fueling the color complex? #BlackHistoryMonth

Feb 28, 2011 @ 11:27 am | By TheFeministGriote | 3 Comments

In April 2010 the Edison Research group came out with some numbers that gave us an in depth view of the landscape of Twitter. Blacks make up 12% of the population but, on Twitter Blacks makeup 25% of the online community. This 25% is affectionately known as #browntwitter, even Black celebrities tend to use twitter  more than their white counterparts according to the study. It goes without saying that Twitter and Facebook are very powerful social tools. Lest we forget it was a facebook page/campaign that got Betty White to host SNL and pretty much revived her career and Betty White has been everywhere ever since. Also, twitter was an instrumental tool used by the Egyptians while they galvanized themselves and marched to end the 30 year tyrannic rule of ex president Mubarack. The power of twitter and facebook is undeniable with that said twitter and facebook can also be used as unofficial barometer, to gauge  how we are doing as a culture/race. Some days the trending topics on twitter can make you love the skin your in or make you want to turn in your black card at the nearest help desk. Ridiculous rumors get started easily  on twitter (recently I fell for the one about Tyler Perry remaking the epic Black movie Love Jones), people defend the most outlandish arguments such as why Nicki Minaj is the greatest  femcee in the last 10-15 years (never mind Lauryn Hill), and people tend to be a little to open and transparent about their sexual proclivities thinking a locked page is a security blanket that allows one to tweet their most intimate life details and be ‘safe’. Twitter definitely has its downfall, but the biggest problem I see among blacks who use twitter is the way in which twitter is used by some to fuel the color divide.

In the last month or so I have seen questionable hash tag make its way to my timeline such as #teamlightskin and every time I see that hash tag on my timeline I cringe. I keep waiting for Kizzy to come and wake me up from this colorism nightmare, because clearly I must be stuck on a planation. I keep thinking we 21st century Blacks have overcome colorism, I guess we not off that-yet!  As a browned-skinned woman what am I suppose to think or say when I see #teamlightskin?  I am proud of my complexion and I can say with great pride that I am no longer in a place where I feel that I must over compensate for not being a lighter hue. I also expect my light-skin sisters and brothers to be equally as proud of their hue, but when a lighter-skinned brother or sister insists upon using terms such as #teamlightskin or “light-skin ain’t going out of style” I have to wonder  what is being said and inferred?

There are many lighter-skinned black folks who still think they’re inherently better simply because they’re lighter than the rest of us. When the term “Black is Beautiful,” was coined there was no an addendum that said only if your light-skinned your beautiful. When I hear/read the  words”team light skin” its simply  a newer way to say if your really Black then you need to get back! I for one am not ‘getting back’ because someone thinks I am on the wrong color team.  In order for colorism issues to be mended and eventually annexed within the Black community we need to see each other as equals and stop harboring deep seated resentment or superiority towards each other.

Its not okay for whites to lord their complexion over us, but some light-skinned blacks think it is socially acceptable if they lord their complexion over darker-skinned blacks. It’s 2011 why do we still have a brown paper bag bag mentality?  Now that we are fancy and technologically advanced we have taken the color issue on a more global scale by using twitter/facebook to promote  our insecurities and ignorance. Again pride in self is not the issue its the assertion that you are better, more desirable, or simply more en vogue because you are lighter than the rest of your timeline.  That type of thinking is dangerous. In the spirit of solidarity please understand that no I don’t expect lighter-skinned Blacks to coddle us darker-skinned Blacks or feel sorry for us, but both sides  need to recognize that there is more to each other than our complexion. It is ridiculous to assert that one color is in style over another hue we must stop buying into these divisive tactics. Lets be cognizant of how we treat each other and perpetuate slave-esque pathologies and schisms in this 21st century. Tweet Responsibly!

What do you think about twitter being the new grounds for the color war?

Categories: Mind Over Chatter

3 Responses to “ Is social media fueling the color complex? #BlackHistoryMonth ”

  1. Hello Beautiful! Of course you know I am “light skinned” but I often forget that and when in the “color” debate I believe subconsciously I am darker than what I am. Recently, I did engage in the color foolery because one of my good friends posted on his FB about “why do red girls no longer want to be red?” after reading some of the comments I was like “Oh No they aren’t serious” so I responded that “light skin will never get old” Cliche as it was to say I was in a moment. I have never understood the color thing growing up with a Black father & White mother I always had to find where my place was, &&& at 23 of age it seems like society is still trying to make me find that place. I think that people bringing up #teamlightskin or #teamdarkskin is definitely trying to fill some kind of void within themselves or boost their self esteem. It’s crazy because heated arguments will transpire because a darker skin woman feels like light skin is out that is is not “poppin” anymore. What happened to just being Beautiful and Loving who you are why is everything about color. I too often run into people that say “you red girls are a trip and think you’re better than everyone else” my Response: “No you think we are better than everyone else” How do you and why is it okay to pass judgement on someone just because I so happened to be lighter than what you think I should be? This is nothing short of racism within our own culture. I am not innocent because like I said I have engaged in the foolery but not to the point that it would actually hurt someone. I actually LOVE A darker complexion I think it is Beautiful. Great Post as always!

  2. I am black, light skinned but nevertheless, black. I actually beleive there are more dark skinned black people that seperate and bring into play the differences in skintone. Ive never seen tweets with light skinned black people bragging about their skintone or saying its superior to dark skin. Your article failed to mention #teamdarkskin or #teamdarkchocolate. Sometimes dark skinned people make us feel like we are less than black because of our color. As if we have to “Act” a certain way to prove we’re black enough to be considered black. I never see my sisters or brothers as light or dark, just black. I too am very proud of my complexion and do not feel the need to over compensate for my lightness, after all Im Black.

  3. Why are darker-skinned blacks so jealous of fair skin?

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