I hate to be the black person to agree with the jerk-ish white guy, but it happens. Truth has shown up in stranger places. To be clear, I support President Obama. He’s a fine man that earned the presidency on his own merit, but that doesn’t change the world we live in. America, like a good chunk of the rest of the world, is color struck. Sure, we’ve come past slavery, Jim Crow and “3/5th” clauses, but that doesn’t change the fact that color talks. Like it or not, there is a general consensus in America that lighter is better.
Of course this isn’t written down anywhere. It’s not coded in the Constitution or buried in state legislation. In some circles, you won’t even find anyone willing to admit it, but those bold enough to tell the truth will corroborate. See for yourself. Take an informal pole and see how many women’s parents would prefer they bring home a light skinned man over a darker one. Look at the TV commercials, billboards and magazines and see who gets showcased. Notice the male news anchors and see what a lot of them have in common. There’s no hiding the obvious. Fortunately for us all, not everyone thinks this way. There are those that still judge a man bases on more telling characteristics. They just seem to be outnumbered.
Let’s not over react. Reid does not need to resign. Rallies do not need to be organized. Al Sharpton does not need to be interviewed. Instead, let’s see this as the pebble that broke the protective glass on this glossed-over issue. We talk about race is such extreme terms, that the conversation– if it can even be called that–is rarely applicable to everyday life. We scream “Racism!’ when obvious acts of hatred are committed and we scream “Progress!” when we compare modern day race relations to those of the 18 and 1900′s, but we get quiet as mice when it comes to the gray matter of race talk. We skirt around the everyday seeds of oppression and privilege that are often planted and harvested without anyone knowing (not even the one planting them). We’re so comfortable in our avoidance that recognition feels awkward. We talk in vague, common and sometimes dramatic terms to keep from having the complex discussion that are absolutely necessary.
Even with this diluted cast system in place, brown skin brothers have found the success they seek; determination just has that side effect. But it is no thanks to the obstacles that this country places before them. That’s what should be addressed. The fact that Obama’s shade of brown played a role in people’s voting decision is the problem, not the fact that a white, Republican recognized it. If we have truly made as much progress as we like to claim, let’s plant our feet and face this issue head-on. Then, and only then, will we begin to see a change.