While everyone is reflecting on race in America and actually, around the world, Tammy Rivera decided to weigh in on the issue of colorism and the result probably wasn’t what she was expecting. The discussion is similar to that of racism. You can’t tell people to get over or past something without acknowledging the issue and that is where Rivera missed the mark here.
“I’ve been seeing this on the blogs lately..
Please during this time don’t ALLOW this to separate us,, Especially at this time! Let’s teach our babies better and continue to stand together as BLACK WOMAN PERIOD!”
Now when it comes to sticking together as black women or black people in general, she is 100% correct. Throughout history, there have been continued efforts to tear black people apart.
She continued saying, “We all have been subjected to being bullied whether it’s from light-skinned, dark-skinned, or whatever the case may be. I too have been, I guess what you would call a victim of colorism or someone saying like ‘oh she thinks she’s cute because she’s light-skinned.’ I’ve had people tell me all my life like ‘oh you like a dark-skinned girl. You don’t act like a red girl.’ And I really never could understand what that was because I just act like who I am but I think instead of us bickering about it as grown women and making it worse by saying ‘oh you light-skinned b**ches have been bullying us’ or ‘ you dark-skinned b**ches have been bullying us,’ how ’bout you teach your children different so that this cycle can stop?”
Colorism absolutely should stop but it’s long ingrained where there have been tensions among colors since slavery. She went on to say, “This is the whole agenda of what they were trying to do in the beginning when they created the paper bag rule to have us go against each other. And hate each other when we all got the same d**n struggle. Can’t nobody tell me that because I’m light my struggle ain’t as hard as yours. That’s a got d**n lie.”
That last part about her struggle as a lighter skin woman being the same struggle as others didn’t go over that well with fans.
“If we neglect it and say ‘but we all go through this’ ‘that’s not the issue rn’ it’s the irony of it all. Look at the industry you represent and tell me where the disparities lie boo. I love you and your work but this wasn’t it,” one fan wrote.
“How about we acknowledge the colorism dark skin girls face. How about We acknowledge the colorism the media and especially our beloved black shows have displayed. How about we don’t all lives matter and ignore this situation. Cause “you think you cute” or being called yellow” while being the standard of beauty does not equate to what darkskin girls have been through,” another pointed out.
While blacks have experienced various forms of discrimination based on their complexion with even Mariah Carey being tormented growing up for being mixed, the preference in mainstream media of light skin women cannot be ignored. And if this weren’t true, there would not be skin bleaching being such a popular thing in Jamaica, we wouldn’t have commercials in China with black people placed in washing machines for them to come out white and I could go on and on. This also isn’t historically accurate regarding colorism in America.
Just look at Madame CJ Walker and Annie Malone, the top two black haircare entrepreneurs during reconstruction. one catered to light skin women while the other catered to women of all complexions in her marketing. Darker skin women have always had a harder time in Hollywood, something Zendaya has attested to by pointing out her light complexion has been an advantage in her career. Just look at Nina Simone being portrayed by a fair skinned Halle Berry who wore a prosthetic nose for the part. So while it is nice that Tammy Rivera wants us to all just come together, you can’t solve a problem without acknowledging what that problem is and the privilege that lighter skinned women (and men) tend to experience cannot be left out of this debate.