Colorism on Twitter: Not Just an Interpersonal Matter
ColorLines' Akiba Solomon is hopping mad about the flippancy with which people are using hashtags to identify skin color on Twitter. The hashtags #TeamLightskin, #Teamdarkskinned and #Teambrownskinned are referenced in Solomon's takedown of those who use these hashtags to perpetuate #structural racism.
Solomon admonishes those who say that these hashtags are an interpersonal matter about "complexion pride," suggesting instead that its an online community reveling in their internalized oppression. We tend to agree with Solomon. Check out these excerpts from Solomon's piece on ColorLines and let us know what you think. Is this a function of internalized oppression or just folks being silly?
The quickest way to get on my last good nerve is to cast colorism -- a systemic problem -- as simply an interpersonal matter. So you can imagine how irritable I’ve been since I discovered the #teamlightskin, #teamdarkskinned and #teambrownskin memes on Twitter. For the uninitiated, since about January a couple thousand tweeps have been using these hashtags to express their complexion-based pride, alliances, sexual desires and anxieties in 140 words or less ...
In a vacuum, online randoms reveling in their internalized oppression would have about as much impact as those "Dark Skin vs. Light Skin" club nights that pop up every so often. They'd simply confirm what most of us already know from our everyday lives: There’s a color caste system in place that serves to divide, conquer and make asses out of people of color, especially those who consciously and proudly perpetuate it.
But colorism-as-personal-preference isn't limited to Twitter or da club ...
In other news: Pharrell Williams to Open Youth Center.