Volume 45: Light Skin vs Dark Skin

“Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD BLACK MALE vs. THE YOUNG BLACK MALE. You must use the Dark Skin Slaves vs. the Light Skin Slaves. You must use the Female vs. the Male. You must also have your white servants and overseers Distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love and respect only us. Gentleman, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. If used intensively for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful. Thank you, gentleman.”  –Speech delivered by white slave owner Willie Lynch, on the banks of the James River in 1712

            I was talking to one of my frat brothers recently about settling down. He expressed an interest in finally relinquishing the life of a free-swinging bachelor, in exchange for a rare opportunity at a serious relationship with the right woman. Now… I’ve heard this song a thousand times before, and within days male friends have gone back on promises of monogamy-but everyone is in fact getting older and perhaps there was some sincerity to his revelation. I became intrigued by his newfound change of heart and asked him to describe his ideal women-perhaps in the naive hope that I could help him find her. He then began to describe his ideal woman as a “light-skinned dime-piece, with light eyes, long hair and a body.”

My face bore a look of disappointment as I was suddenly reminded of how big an idiot he is at times. My inner nerd recalled an Abraham Lincoln quote: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt.”
I sensed that I already knew the answer that would follow my next question, but I proceeded to ask it anyway. I asked him why he would only entertain dating a light-skinned woman. He looked at me and said, “I can’t mess with anyone darker than me.”

            My face stood twisted in discomfort, as I felt the souls of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks simultaneously turn in their graves and call him an idiot. Disappointed, however not totally shocked at his Neanderthal statement, I proceeded to inquire about his latest verbal blurting. Although he actively has sex with sistas of all shades of black, he was making an attempt to explain his preference. He explained that although he could sleep with a multiplicity of shades, the woman that he eventually settles down with must be a perfect ten…in order to keep him faithful. He felt as though sistas who are light-skinned presented the highest levels of outer beauty that he had witnessed in Philadelphia, and therefore were his choice for relationships. He wanted a girl with what he classified as “nice hair” because of the lack of real hair found on sistas in Philadelphia. Real hair is rare here, so therefore sistas with long silky hair captured his interest. His philosophies on dating made about as much sense as the insane homeless men in the park who talk to the pigeons.

            I was saddened to see that an educated man in his late twenties could still be color struck. I can’t front…I too used to chase after the light-skinned, long hair sistas…when I was about 15 years old! I came to college-and an HBCU at that, and discovered the plethora of sistas who existed outside of Philadelphia. They came in all shapes and sizes, complexions and hair types. Some cultured, some moronic. Some prudish, and some promiscuous. Hearing some of his statements made me realize much of the post-slavery brainwashing that permeates many African American minds to this very day. The infamous Willie Lynch Letter that I was shown during my college years guaranteed a full proof method for controlling black slaves for another three hundred years if used correctly. Outlined in the letter were a number of differences among the slaves for white slave owners to exploit in order to keep them distrustful and envious of each other. Differences in class (House Negro VS Field Negro), Hair (good hair VS bad hair), Sex, Age, and Skin Tone were used for control purposes. Willie Lynch believed in the controlling tactic: KEEP THE BODY…TAKE THE MIND.

            To be perfectly honest, I know lots of educated idiots. There are many people out there who are educated, however are not intelligent. Intelligence is having the capacities to reason, plan, solve problem or think abstractly- the ability to understand and profit from experience. Education merely is the end result of a series of tasks or tests, whereas there is knowledge acquired by learning and instruction. A man who passes all exams with a D has met the minimum passing requirement for education, however cannot be taken seriously as an intelligent man. And such is life. Today we still have black people, some who are fearful of attending historically black institutions of higher learning. Instead they opt to go to predominately white colleges and are brainwashed into believing that they will get the good jobs first, over their peers who attend an HBCU. It’s almost laughable, as I’ve had these debates countless times with close friends who attended nearby West Chester University and Temple University-friends who made a mockery of my HBCU education…to find themselves in the same training classes with the HBCU alum upon graduation. Could a post slavery mode of thinking be to blame for this? It’s quite possible.
            Maurice Freehill once asked, “Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark, or the man afraid of the light?”

            Someone sent me a link on facebook a few weeks ago http://afieldnegro.com/photos.html and when I opened it, I was directed to a site that was written under the moniker A Field Negro. The entry had numerous pictures of black male celebrities that were currently dating or were married to white women. Many of the interracial relationships featuring black male celebs I had already known about, but some were somewhat surprising to hear of. I had no idea that Michael Jordan after his breakup with his African American wife for years, was currently engaged to a white woman…not that I gave a shit either way! (laughs) But the writer pointed to a growing trend of African American men’s desires to do away with sistas and cling to white, Asian or European women-the theory being that men have grown tired of the ensuing drama that comes with dating women of color. Listening to the style of writing, I figured, here’s another angry black sista…expressing her displeasure with the increasing number of interracial relationships featuring successful men of color. But upon reading the About The Author section, I was surprised to find that the writer was a man. He appeared upset at the current state of black women in America and explained that successful cultured men would rather be with a white woman who could appreciate what they have to offer…minus the drama. I was shocked.

            My eyes surveyed the long list of pictures of black celebrities, photographed next to their white wife’s, and girlfriends: Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Eric Lasalle, Tim Duncas, Taye Diggs, Tiger Woods, Dennis Rodman, Wesley Snipes and many others. I never saw anything wrong with interracial relationships-the issue in my eyes not worth creating a site to vent one’s anger and frustration. Me personally…I date the sistas. I love the sistas…drama and all. (laughs) It takes a special type of person to deal with any person of color, but there’s nothing greater than the love between two people who share a genuine interest in each other. The only issue I have is when you have a person who has a ridiculous reason for refusing to date a particular race…specifically their own. I remember being a huge fan of Dennis Rodman, one of the NBA’s greatest rebounders in the history of the sport. Dennis Rodman lived an extremely controversial life-he said what he wanted to say…he did what he wanted to do. In the 90’s, he published a book called Bad As I Wanna Be. As a huge Basketball fan, I purchased the book, hoping to take a peek inside the mind of the NBA’s biggest enigma. Beyond the crazy hairdos, tattoos and piercings, Dennis Rodman was someone who grew up a very awkward child. He was fatherless and lacked direction. I recall him explaining why he chose not to date black women as a multi-millionaire celebrity. He stated that black women called him ugly as a child and made fun of him. He discussed losing his virginity at 22 years old to a prostitute in the Oklahoma projects where he was raised because no one wanted him. Awwww…(pulling out my violin to play him a tune) Black celebs really need to get over that shit. To refuse to date black women because a few made fun of you as a child is in fact childish! Who wasn’t teased as a child?!? It’s one of the worst cop-outs a man can ever use to justify foolish, infantile actions.

            Wesley Snipes is another color struck African American male celebrity, who refused to date black women because he said that they made fun of his dark complexion as a youth. He currently is married to an Asian woman and they have several children. If a man or woman happens to find love from another race…great. It’s never easy finding your soul mate and one’s soul mate doesn’t have to be of the same race. Love is love and love is a beautiful thing. But I personally can’t stand when people discredit their own race (or any other for that matter) and run to the arms of another, simply because they have the right complexion to get the connection.
            I laugh every day at Tiger Wood’s stupid ass. Woods is one hell of a golfer, but in my eyes, he epitomizes the modern day Uncle Tom. I watched an old CNN interview of Tiger Woods when he was about 21 or 22 years old. The interviewer marveled at his accolades in golf and asked him how it felt to be an African American golfer fighting for respect in a sport dominated by older white men. He spoke on his hard work and mental preparation, but even in his early twenties, something seemed strange about Woods. He appeared highly intelligent, but seemed hesitant to speak on his African American and Asian ancestry. He still seemed to have no problems with being referred to as “African American” or a “minority.”

Once Woods won the prestigious Master’s tournament, his popularity was sky high. African Americans began to watch intently when he played. It was shortly after that he requested not to be called African-American. He referred to himself as Cablasian. I was done with that fool. We all know the story from there- torrid affairs with various white women. To his credit, I will say that his Swedish model wife is beautiful! (laughs) Fuck Tiger Woods. Another example of someone who refused to accept what he is-someone who looks in the mirror and sees something different that we do. I just find it very ironic that the very same people who he wanted to assimilate with…the people he choose to identify with…are taking away his money and destroying his reputation. Perhaps now he is beginning to realize that no one is above reproach, and at the end of the day, millions of dollars and a posh, lavish life will not buy you respect among your race or the races of those who choose to oppose, embrace or expose you.
            To the women of the world (specifically the sistas) who feel pressured to fit a certain stigma that television force feeds down our throats, understand that no matter the shade of your skin, the length of your hair, or the proportion of your bodies…African American women are beautiful and to be celebrated. I love a sista with locks just as much as the sistas who may choose to get a perm. Unfortunately, the brainwashing is not just in the hands of MTV and BET. If you ever stop and watch the news, every news anchor is an attractive woman with light or white skin and long hair. What the hell is that about?!?
Sistas…we love y’all and I apologize for the idiotic ramblings of some of us brothas out here and our warped perceptions and expectations. Hopefully in this world where many are still color struck, you can still continue to mesmerize and turn the heads of those who can appreciate you for who you are, and the Queens can find their Kings…no matter the age, race, or class.

“We reversed nature by burning and pulling a civilized nigger apart and bull whipping the other to the point of death, all in her presence. By her being left alone, unprotected, with the MALE IMAGE DESTROYED, the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependent state to a frozen independent state. In this frozen psychological state of independence, she will raise her MALE and female offspring in reversed roles. For FEAR of the young males life she will psychologically train him to be MENTALLY WEAK and DEPENDENT, but PHYSICALLY STRONG. Because she has become psychologically independent, she will train her FEMALE off springs to be psychological independent. What have you got? You've got the Nigger WOMAN OUT FRONT AND THE Nigger MAN BEHIND AND SCARED.”  –The Willie Lynch Letter and The Making Of A Slave: The Breaking Process Of The African Woman

“Take all the fools out of this world and there wouldn't be any fun living in it, or profit. “ –Josh Billings

…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray