Silence on colourism makes us susceptible to prejudice

DJ Zinhle was trolled on social media for her intervention on behalf of Pearl Thusi over colourism debate. /Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape
DJ Zinhle was trolled on social media for her intervention on behalf of Pearl Thusi over colourism debate. /Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

When being faced with many phobias and isms of the world, it is always hard to understand when you are a victim of it, the kind that is blissful to a point of becoming subliminal perpetuators.

Take poor little DJ Zinhle who found herself trampled by the stampede on social media to educate Pearl Thusi about colourism last week.

In the bubble that she once lived in, Zinhle could not understand how a light-skinned black person could take away opportunities from another of a darker hue. This bubble was popped when she realised this issue might possibly affect her child.

We are colonised people, we carry the burdens of unsettled oppressions of the past like they were our shadows; omnipresent and tethered.

To jump back just 30 years from now and tell the parent of a fair-skinned child that black is beautiful would probably be bizarre when they are about to be subjected to a racial classification test.

How fair is your skin and how smooth are those kinks?

To some, this issue is not serious and not that deep. So, you are dark-skinned and everyone is not treating you well, boo hoo!

There are so many melanin popping, black girl magic trends, how can you possibly complain when it is trending to look like you?

Parents like Zinhle are some of our own, we even become them. Our prejudices and lack of black idols who speak out on these problems of colourism makes us susceptible to the continued prejudice we often face.

Melanin is not truly popping if it's a macro trend that gets attention when it matters. Representation is counterproductive if it continues to sell stereotypes. We become too lax in dealing with the atrocities our parents were conditioned into believing when they were growing up that we embody the oppressor.

The fetishism of yellow bone children has resulted in a demented breeding ritual.

A mating game of catching a light-skinned partner in hopes of bearing their café latte heir.

History has pushed for the praise of light-skinned lives so much that black is beautiful is not a fact, but a fun fad you can throw out with last season's trending gear.

Ignoring colourism and not accepting it for what it is forms part of the dominoes we play every day since 1652.

Our culture tumbled, our humanity slipped and we have been tripping so many times over capitalism that we have fallen in love with becoming cultureless gobdaw.

If we can barely acknowledge discrimination from within our own racial group, how are we going to notice the total inhalation of our cultures and watered down languages?

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