History has taught Black America many things but the most relevant and detrimental is the impact of psychological enslavement. The idea of being oppressed without an individual laying hands on you is what keeps Black America in the state of status quo self- hate. I wrote a piece on Black on Black crime and I asked how do we end this epidemic and I received great responses. Recently, I overheard a conversation about Light Skin vs. Dark skin. This has become popular in recent times due to videos on Vine and other media outlets. The basis of the conversation is centered on people light skin being viewed as a blessing and dark skin is a basically a curse. Numerous thoughts ran through my head, like should I take out my belt? But that would probably result in me being forcefully put on the other side of my desk at my job as a federal case manager. The next two thoughts that popped into my head were: (1) when did black people become the slave masters that oppress other blacks and (2) Did the theory of the curse of Ham come back into the forefront? Black on Black crime has moved beyond the violence, which is still a crucial issue, to the psychological aspect. We are keeping an outdated ideology alive every time we hashtag our skin color. #Teamlightskin vs. #Teamdarkskin is what psychological enslavement looks like in the age of vining and self-hating.
The idea of slaves out-numbering slave masters on a plantation but refusing to over take and free themselves by any means necessary always startled me when I was learning about slavery, but it was not until I learned the psychological aspect of making a slave that things became clear. People commonly attach the making of a slave to Willy Lynch, but we now know that he was a fictional character. The means of breaking down an individual remains true. Make them hate themselves more than we ever could is the means of breaking down an individual. As I sat and listened to this conversation I was not only frustrated by the hierarchy that black people and society as a whole placed on the color of ones skin but how it has created a generation of youth that are only concerned with the look of the world and not the seeds that grew into racism. As I watch Vine videos it puts into perspective the value we place on our own history. We were enslaved because of the color of our skin and our unfamiliarity with the cultural norms the original colonies established.
The violence is not brutal but viral and spreading like wild fire. Malcolm X warned our grandparents about our inability to love ourselves more than we love the people who are perpetuating the crimes against us. This is the outcome of the second-class citizenship that we accepted. This is the outcome of allowing our history to be taught to us through the eyes of racists. This is the outcome of wanting a desegregated lunch counter and not our own diner. This is the outcome of allowing corporate to steal hip- hop and this is the outcome of not having a strong family structure. Light skin vs. Dark skin has to stop because we are continuing to preserve an ideology that said everything darker than white skin is evil. So before you watch the next Vine, Worldstarhiphop, etc. video just remember that blacks both #lightskin and #darkskin were all strung up the same tree.
About the Author:
Mr. Sharif Rasheed graduated from Wright State University with a degree in Sociology. He is the youngest person to be honored with the university program’s ‘Outstanding
Alumni Award.’ He periodically goes back to lecture to students about psychological slavery, the black male image and the effects of hip-hop on today’s society.
Mr. Rasheed has a background working with troubled youth and drug addicts. He has worked with both male and female juveniles. He uses his experiences to enhance his writing today. He has been featured on sites like ‘Urban Media Today,’ ‘Pittsburgh Urban Media,’ ‘The Soul Pitt,’ and an original piece was also published in ‘LA RAW’ Magazine.
He is also locally involved with his community in the city of Pittsburgh. In 2012, he held a ‘Black Dolls Rock’ toy drive that donated black dolls to young girls whose parents are incarcerated. He also previously held a ‘Save the Youth’ rally that attracted media attention and was seen on the local news.
Mr. Rasheed’s thinking comes from a very relatable place that reminds you of the power we all hold within ourselves. His passion extends from personal experience and his heart is all from his mother, who he gives his greatest accolades to.