Melanin-based Racism within the Black Community

As I understand it, back in the Ancient world, racism was not based on skin color (a good example of this can be found here). It’s good that as a species, humans are beyond such attitudes. Now we tend to discriminate on more concrete characteristics like skin color.

It remains inexplicable (at least to me) how people can dehumanize others based on things beyond their control, including the amount of melanin their bodies express.

Even within a mixed-color nationality dark-skinned (or darker) folks will be looked down upon by society, and treated differently than their lighter-skinned countrymen. I know this to be fact in my native México, and based on conversations with Indian friends, also true of India. A glimpse at celebrities in each country will reveal that what is considered beautiful is what looks most European (light-skinned) and less indigenous (generally darker-skinned).

A little known secret to those of us here in the United States which are not of African descent (others will argue we are all of African descent, this is another argument for another post) is that even within the black community there exists a bias favoring lighter-skinned individuals over darker-skinned individuals, as the following story seems to suggest,

“Color Divide on Display in Party Invite”

This phenomenon more than likely has its roots in the fact that Western European culture as dominated most of our perceptions of what the standard of beauty is. Yet the fact that it occurs within a community which isn’t hesitant to cry “racism” whether the facts have bore it out or not, is surprising.

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