Former CNN journalist Kim Lute recently penned a piece on The Huffington Post about her issues with dark-skinned women. Or as she’d like the world to believe, the issues dark skin women have with her light skin. Lute starts her post out understanding how darker skinned women can be treated negatively because of their skin. Great, kudos to her for recognizing that. But the more you delve into her article, you understand Lute has issues of her own.
First there’s the issue that she brings up about darker skinned women not liking her, so now she’s only friends with white women.
Allow me to join an already uncomfortable conversation. I’m going out of my cotton-picking mind trying to convince my darker sisters that I’m not their competitor, and that loving who I am, and what I look like, isn’t a condemnation of darker women. If I’ve made great strides in my career it is because I’ve faltered, failed and tried again,ad nauseam. But is also because society finds me less threatening. I do not believe I’m prettier than any other woman, and know that my finest qualities have nothing to do with my “funny-colored eyes” or “fine hair.” I’m saddened that we have imposed a self-defeating value system based mainly on our exterior differences. And contrary to certain beliefs, I too have experienced the most blatant racists insults, perhaps more so than others because I’m a writer who targets her subjects indiscriminately. Don’t let this “light, damn near white” complexion fool you.
As a journalist, author and the designated “light girl” in my coterie, I’m frankly “Fanny Lou-Hamer tired” of the nitpicking among black women. Since moving to Atlanta in the millennia, I’ve befriended mostly white women. Why? The unvarnished truth lies somewhere between my own emotional hang-ups and the fact that most of the darker black women I’ve met are competitive, strident, pushy and critical of my decisions. As such, it’s been easier to socialize with those women who value my friendship without stipulations and constant backtalk. Thus, my friendships with white women are neat, unfettered and based solely on our likes and dislikes. And instead of forcing my friendship on black women who want nothing to do with me, I’ve allowed my other relationships to develop organically even if it meant there was a glaring absence of color that would cause my ancestral foremothers to spin in their unmarked graves.
Then there’s the fact that she states how mother treated her darker sister better than her when she was growing up.
My older sister, who is darker than me (we have different fathers) has always been my mother’s beloved daughter. To grow up in the shadow of a sister who is forever deemed smarter, more accomplished, prettier and more popular has certainly instilled prejudices that I’m ashamed to own, and have been slow to acknowledge. What I know for sure is that I don’t believe I am better than anyone else. Nor is that my goal. There’s more than enough blame to go around, and no one can escape accountability.
Instead of writing think pieces about colorism, maybe she should sort out her own issues with a therapist first. It’s these type of people who keep colorism issues alive today. And they don’t even realize it.
Clutchettes, what do you think of Lute’s piece?
Image Credit: Twitter/The Huffington Post