Light Skin vs. Dark Skin

When you see the title “Light Skin vs. Dark Skin”, you may have assumed that this was about White people vs. Black people. Well it’s not. What if I told you it was about Black people vs. Black people? What if i told you it was about an online war between Black people?

When the issue of online racism was introduced in class, I was very quick to argue that it did not exist. Racism, however, takes a number of different forms that I failed to acknowledge. One of these forms is called “colorism”. Colorism is the idea that people are not only racist against other races, but against different pigmentations within their own race as well. For example, in 2011, a Twitter war sparked between “light-skin” and “dark-skin” Black people. Roots trace this disagreement back to the days of slavery when the dark skin slaves were supposedly given harder labor; but this disagreement has recently gone viral as a result of the rapid changes in web technology.

Twitter hashtags, such as #TeamDarkSkin and #TeamLightSkin, have provided online spaces for these “teams” to congregate and bash each other. Their arguments tend to focus on the stereotypes that surround the two different pigmentations. While dark-skin supposedly suggests ugly girls, unfaithful men, and “ghetto”; light skin supposedly suggests better hair, better looking, and overall more appealing.

Here are some examples of tweets found from the dark-skin vs. light-skin “war”:

1.) The lightskin vs. darkskin hate goes way back to slavery times when the lightskins was in the house and darkskins was outside in the field.

2.) Light skin girls >>>>>

3.)dark skin girls are the prettiest to me. their skin is always poppin & they have this glow about them.

4.) dark skin boys >>>> Light skin boys *shrugs*

5.) Dark Skin hoes only good for directions & lighting cigarettes

6.) “@steezyshatto: Dark skin girls shoplift hair at least 5 times a weak. Broke bald headed bitches ” lol

7.) Honestly To Me Dark Skin Girls Are More Beautiful Than Light Skin Girls. ♥


Celebrities, such as Beyonce, have even played into this #TeamDarkSkin vs. #TeamLightSkin in a more indirect way. The stereotype is that light-skinned black girls are more beautiful because they more closely resemble the European standard of beauty. In fact, studies have shown that people with light skin are placed on a social scale just below white people and significantly ahead of people with dark skin. So why wouldn’t all girls want to represent the more socially acceptable idea of beauty? That’s just what Beyonce did. In 2008, Beyonce was in a L’Oreal ad that depicted her with much lighter skin and lighter hair than normal. The photo seems to be digitally edited, but Beyonce denies it. Here is the evidence:

What do you think? Should technology be used to digitally enhance women? Should black women feel the need to lighten their skin to be more beautiful? Has this light-skin vs. dark-skin war gotten out of control? Should Twitter have some sort of control over this war?

Is That Text Worth Death?

What has changed in your world in the past ten years? Likely, everything about your life has completely changed. Similarly, the technology world has changed immensely in the past ten years. TV’s have grown about 20 inches, computers have shrunk about 10 inches, and cell phones have evolved from cordless bricks to handheld lifelines that control our every move. Further, today’s cell phones give us the ability to send instant messages, send emails, update Facebook statuses, take pictures, use GPS, and a whole plethora of other applications. Many of these phones are more complex than your basic desktop computer! And while it may seem remarkable that we have limitless access at our fingertips, the extended capabilities of cell phones may be more detrimental than useful. One issue that may arise from this limitless access is texting and driving.

Since 2010, texting and driving has increased almost 50% (AT&T It Can Wait Campaign). The specific reason for this increase in texting and driving is unknown, but it has been found that texting and driving is even more dangerous than it once was (if that’s at all possible). Prior to touch screen phones, people were able to text without looking at their phones because they could feel the buttons. Today’s phones, however, require that we look at them because there are no buttons. Each time we look at our phones, we spend almost five seconds with our eyes off of the road (AT&T It Can Wait Campaign). Five seconds is enough time to travel across the length of a soccer field! And obviously, five seconds is also more than enough time to get into an accident. One report says that “texting and driving results in longer response times than even drunk driving!” A drunk driver only needs an additional four feet to start braking, while a driver who’s texting needs an additional 70 feet to begin braking (Cell Phone and Texting Accident Statistics).

So why do we continue to text and drive? Further, why are we still allowed to text and drive? Only fourteen states and the District of Colombia have banned texting and driving. Even more surprising is that only six states and the District of Colombia have prohibited driving and talking on the phone (Cell Phone and Texting Accident Statistics). With approximately 3,092 distraction-related deaths in 2010, you’d think lawmakers would crack down on this issue. Some argue, though, that it’s not the government’s responsibility. Do you think the government should put restrictions on what we’re allowed to do while driving? Or should we take it upon ourselves and just stop driving distracted?

For those who think we should take it upon ourselves to stop distracted driving: there’s an app for that. Recently, AT&T developed an app called “Drive Mode”.  Drive Mode is an app that once activated, disables incoming calls and text while you are driving. All calls go straight to voicemail and all texts and emails get autoreplies (if you choose).  Drive Mode also has an “allow list” of people that you’re allowed to receive calls from and make calls to while the app is running. Further, 911 is always accessible whether the app is running or not. If you choose to download this app, you are choosing to take the pledge to stop texting and driving. I already took the pledge. Will you?

If you are interested, take the pledge now! Do not text and drive. Someone needs you.