I understand the challenge of overcoming colorism. It. Is. EVERYWHERE in our culture.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-07-30 17:38Z by Steven

I understand the challenge of overcoming colorism. It. Is. EVERYWHERE in our culture. From the time we are children, we are praised or tutted at simply because of our physical features. He’s light skinned, you’ll have such cute babies, or, your daughter is so pretty, but she’s so dark. I spent many a night in the shower, scrubbing myself furiously with my mother’s skin whitening soap, willing it to make me a little lighter, my eyes a little greener, my hair a little more blonde and straight.

Yesenia Padilla, “Colorism in Latinx Communities,” The Lumen Blog, July 16, 2015. http://www.lumenmag.net/blog/colorism-in-latinx-communities.

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Colorism In Latinx Communities

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-07-30 00:07Z by Steven

Colorism In Latinx Communities

The Lumen Blog

Yesenia Padilla
San Diego, California

A few weeks ago, I was absentmindedly scrolling through my Facebook feed when I noticed a meme a relative—we’ll call her Jenni—posted.  “Lol,” she wrote, “too good not to share!” The meme was in English and Spanish, and read, “When people tell me I look White [sic] not mexican [sic]” then was followed by a litany (in Spanish) of talking-out-one’s-neck insults to the hypothetical insulter:

“Listen you tacky barefoot indian from the hills, not all Mexicans are the same dark-as-a-tire skin color as you.”

I stared blankly at post as it collected likes, the “tears of laugher” emojis, and “jajaja”’s piling up in the comments. I was shocked. Jenni posted this? My relative, who goes to protests for immigrant rights and anti-gentrification rallies, who knows all of our ita’s traditional recipes, who listens almost exclusively to salsa and cumbias? Does this person who shares my blood feel this way about my brothers, and our cousins who are considerably darker than she? Does my family member feel this way about me?

In posting this meme, my milk-white, freckled pariente Jenni was reproducing colorist attitudes and ideas that were not only accepted in Latinx communities but actively encouraged and enforced. It didn’t matter that we grew up together in San Francisco, one of the more liberal cities on the West Coast (pre-tech boom, of course). Colorism, the discrimination and prejudice of light-skinned People of Color (POC) against darker-skinned POC, has deep roots in Latinx communities and must be confronted…

Read the entire article here.

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