Color-Struck Around The Globe

Sammy Sosa’s new vampire complexion is a jarring reminder that, from the Dominican Republic to Dakar to New Delhi, white is still right, yellow is still mellow and if you’re black, get back.

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I remember the excitement I felt the first time I saw somebody who looked like me on TV. (I’m pretty sure he was playing a taxi cab driver, but it was still pretty thrilling.) Like it or not, Sammy’s a role model—and his decisions affect others in ways he might never imagine.

That doesn’t mean the man can’t lighten his skin if he wants. But I wish that, before his makeover, he would’ve considered this: As a baseball player of international renown, he had the power to hawk something a lot more powerful than a tube of hydroquinone cream—that is, the message to love thy brown self.

Shiwani Srivastava is a Seattle-based freelance writer covering South Asian American community issues and cultural trends.