Colourism , the act of prejudice and discrimination against individuals of darker skin tones. Not to be confused with its cousin racism. There is a clear line between the two , the former is the cause of the latter. And , yes I have experienced it first hand.
I am of fair complexion which makes me excel in the paperbag test (look it up). More than once I have gotten favours, winks, pats, smiles, go aheads from total strangers. I have been called prettier, sexier compared to my darker skinned companions. I have walked into rooms and caught people's attention without saying a word. I have been told that my complexion gives me an upperhand in my line of study. I have been told , it is okay to have a flat ass as long as you have the face and the skin tone to compensate with. Incase you are wondering , yes I loved every bit of it. It feels good, but is it right??
I have also had my fair share of 'size me up' looks , and if eyes could speak they could utter my level of stupidity just by studying my skin . I have been labelled a 'slayqueen' and this one time in class , I had to go to the lengths of explaining the origin of the portmantaeu and that it has nothing to do with my skin.
I have seen a 'light skinned' girl give her opinion and somehow it finds its way back to her skin colour . I have seen people's hardwork and achievements narrowed down to their skin colour . I have Probably heard the phrase 'rangi ya thao' a thousand times over.
My best friend tells me that men hit on her with the aim of looking trendy and more civilised . 'It is annoying' she says. Laureen has been asked, more times than she could recall if she ever wanted to be lighter. She has been told 'You are pretty for a darkskin' by darkskinned men birthed by darkskinned women. This one time a woman called her 'ugly' to stop her from interacting with her darksinned son. Disgusting!!!
Novet , a close friend and a boss lady sees it every single time she is job hunting. The adverts are customized with lighter skin as a requirement in bold. She has been denied jobs because she is dark , because fair skinned girls make more sales, yet here she is winning. It is clearly just a notion we keep feeding our girls.
Before you think me a biased being , I am including men in the equation. The double standard here is of infinite proportions , it actually is the opposite when it comes to men. I have been frowned upon for dating lighter men. I have seen memes , had talks about how darker skin men are more manly. I am friends with females who fall under this category but will never date a lightskin man. I am sick and tired of lightskin men being considered weak with complete regards to their skin.
So , before you hold that banner saying 'we are all equal' or 'All lives matter', before you title a song melanin yet all we see is rangi ya thao , make sure you are not enabling white supremacy. Deal with it on the ground before posting about it on twitter. The moment you consider me better than my darker skinned associate , that is where you go wrong. You are chanting to their songs , you are enabling them. You are saying the lighter the shade , the more important the person. By the time we get to the white shade we have already made them gods.
AFFIRMATION: I might be 'lightskinned' , I might get sun burns and all , but honey make no mistake. I am not an ounce better or worse than my darker skinned companion. I am black , always havebeen , always will be.