Friday, January 15, 2010
Colourism is a term that is used to show prejudice in terms of the person's skin colour. The term is quite new and it has not been define by anyone yet (I believe so). If we were to search in the open based Encyclopedia (Wikipedia), the term Colorism is still under discussion and most of the articles were not correctly cited (not to mention it falls under "extremely poor article").
Discrimination among human beings in accordance with their skin colour can be seen in America when they are on their way to accept the African as American. During that period the Americans who are fair/pale skinned (Anglo) stands as the majority and the ruling power of America. The Africans who are dark skinned were of course treated differently for being a different race, classes, etc.
In addition to the discrimination of race, dark-skinned people were discriminated with the tone colour of their skin. Meaning to say that the darker you are the more discrimination you will get. They point this as the "Brown Paper Bag Test", where they will use the colour of the brown paper bag as an indication of your skin colour complexion. Those who are darker than the paper bag will not able to attend the party or any other social events that uses this kind of test during that period. Previously in Wikipedia, it also mentions about the test being done to enter the Harvard University, but that part of the article have been removed.
Even in other countries, as a result of the colonization of the Anglo white-skinned people, fair/pale/white-skinned people are being look upon and were seen as more beautiful than those who are darker. This can be seen in my own country Malaysia, India, etc. As a result, beauty product that will make your skin fairer were created and sold to make our skin fairer and "beautiful".
(my opinion) I think Colourism does not only applies to dark-skinned people because of the Black Albino cases in Africa. Albinos in Africa were hunted and killed as they said that their body parts are very valuable in witchcraft. They were also seen as bringers of bad luck in their community.
I hope that the there will be more research in the study of Colourism. I am looking into the possibility about the view of the "colour" itself in relation with the colour of the skin; does the view that light/fair/white imagery is positive and dark/black imagery is negative (for example we have a hero that dresses in white and a villain in black) can reflect to the colour of the skin.
I will also try to look upon this matter in the Islamic point of view. Findings will be posted in the next post.