While driving in a taxi to school today I heard a rather interesting discussion on the radio. The topic was about teaching black children to appreciate their phenotype features such as their dark, broad noses and curly hair which are unique to those with African ancestors. In the midst of the talk a caller came online with some rather interesting views and opinions on the matter.
The lady came on and announced the fact that she was a dark skin black lady who dreamt of marrying a light skinned man because she wanted her child to have life “easier” than she did. The host was caught off guard by her commanding honesty and went on to ask why she felt this way. Her response was a bit lengthy and to Jamaicans the argument may seem familiar.
She explained, ” when I was going to school the teachers would always want the brown children at the front of class or on the board…the boys, girls and adults always seemed fascinated by the children of mixed heritage and would often treat them better, not in a obvious way, but very subtle signs would indicate underlying attitudes towards ‘fairer” complexions” She went on to elaborate on her academic prowess and rigorous work ethic and how she was looked over for a position, which was given to a new light skinned female employ who she said lacked the expertise and the inspiration to interact with clients. She quoted a phrase her former boss always used, ” the face of any company is important, it gives insight on the kind of people we are”.
She believes this was her black bosses way of justifying his choice.
The most frightening part of this is the fact that these are not isolated opinions which are only unraveled when ever nook and cranny is explored. The driver of the taxi after hearing the woman shared his experience with racism in Jamaica. ” Mi go a one popula hotel and the man(probably front desk clerk) seh me can’t pass and go ina the big wide lobby because me don’t look like a guest” he went on saying ” if you black and go certain place ina Jamaica people look at you like you is some kind a alian”.
Its a lot to absorb and heart wrenching to think about but it is the truth; colour prejudice in Jamaica has crept into the deepest taverns of the psyche of Jamaicans and is ravaging who we are as a people. Worst of all skin bleaching had re-emerged in the country and is now fashion/style.
Bwoy dis ago need about 3 more blogs to do.