If you’re plugged in on social media then you witnessed Jamaican dancehall artist, Spice set the internet ablaze with her skin bleaching stunt recently. The artist/reality TV star released a photo on Instagram with white appearing skin, light colored contacts, long blonde hair and a caption that read; "Nothing wrong with a fresh start".
Skin bleaching accusations flooded the singers comment section, tons of videos flew up on YouTube, the fans shocked, disappointed and outraged by her ghostly transformation. Others however, questioned if Spice's new look was photoshopped, but to keep up her suspenseful, and rather brilliant marketing ploy, she released a live video preparing her eager audience for the new song release that was to come.
The song and video, 'Black Hypocrisy' dropped soon after and told a story that many dark skinned women and girls of the African diaspora know all too well - the experience of bearing the brunt of colorism in the black community. With no holds barred, Spice not only promotes the image of dark skinned women exclusively, but points to the blatant black people hypocrisy singing:
"'Cause the same black people dem say I'm too black, and if you bleach out yuh skin dem same one come a chat".
This statement was prophetically showcased by the online reaction Spice received from her skin bleaching act - in one breath black people will mock and ridicule dark skinned women and girls skin tone, and in the next, shame them for bleaching their skin or desire to be lighter.
While being sure to acknowledge racism, Spice's song highlights a painful reality that often goes unsaid in our prideful group; regardless of discrimination from whites, black people willingly perpetuate and practice colorism. So frequently do we blame the white man/racism white supremacy for all of our shortcomings, but will simultaneously and self-righteously continue the loop on our own turf.
Black men unapologetically disparage dark skinned women, announce their "preference" for light and white skin with "good hair" and will dare you to challenge them about it. Then when dark skinned women attempt to mimic their desired pheonotype with Brazilian wigs, baby hair and skin bleach, we are punished again for having low self esteem. Or when a black mother passes down colorist beliefs to her children, it's considered to be her fault and her fault alone.
This "community" is infamous for allowing its darkest blossoms to go unwatered all to later berate them for being withered and lifeless. We are expected to repel the forces that be, "just know better" with very little guidance, while black men get to perpetually claim victim status to the "system" or of course, victim to their "horrible mothers" that raised them.
Dark skinned women and girls are often left to apprehensively defend themselves from this ongoing colorism epidemic, mouths covered and hands tied by their own sisters and brothers. The only time they allow us to speak without objection is when we are blaming every other system, every other thing, every-other-body... but them.
Obviously this disease started somewhere so by no means am I, nor Spice, blaming the existing black people of today, for the creation of colorism. However, it's time for black people, worldwide, to take some accountability for continuing this vicious and poisonous cycle in our community.
In the words of Maya Angelou - "When you know better, you do better" and it's well documented that our people have been knowing about the presence and impact of colorism for quite some time. After decades of solely blaming whites for all of our black, in house issues, I must say that in 2018 - we don't believe you. When will we do better?
Dark skinned women are tired of the colorist abuse and are no longer willing to be the doormats of the black race. Thankfully, women like Spice and others had the courage to put their image first and fight back. Do you?
Check out the 'Black Hypocrisy' music video below: