Let’s Talk About Colourism

Colourism: Prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

From the time most of us can remember, we have been conditioned to think that black/dark is ugly and undesirable, that dark/black is bad. This conditioning could be as benign as “don’t go out in the Sun or you’ll get tanned”, or something as obvious as

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This conditioning has become so internalized that we forget the long-term emotional and psychological effects it has on the people around us. We often tend to normalize it and justify it by saying that we mean no harm. But what we have to realize is that a seemingly harmless comment/remark can strengthen negative connotations towards people of colour. While we ‘mean no harm’, it does cause harm. 

It causes people to think that there’s something wrong with them; that they have a defect. On a micro-level, it could lead to a person feeling inferior and on a macro-level, it could lead to racial discrimination and creates a non-inclusive society.

We must, therefore, be mindful of this conditioning and fight to curb its impact on the people around us and future generations. 

We might have played along and made offensive comments/jokes of this nature in the past. Our actions in the past do not define who we are. We can choose to listen and educate ourselves every day and do our bit to be more mindful, compassionate, and help create an inclusive world.

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