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