It’s the uncomfortable subject matter many seek to avoid by any means possible.
We’re talking about race of course, and how society’s perception of certain races and the varying shades within them serve to support some, while creating a glass ceiling for others.
Now peep comments made by J.Cole to BET recently, which saw him speak openly- and pretty accurately- on race in America.
“There are some women out there that are like, “I don’t even like light skin men” and that’s fine. But Barack Obama would not be President if he were dark skin. You know what I mean? That’s just the truth. I might not be as successful as I am now if I was dark skin. I’m not saying that for sure, I’m still as talented as I am and Obama is still as smart as he is, but it’s just a sad truth.
I don’t even know if this is going to translate well into text and people not hearing what I’m saying, but it’s a sad reality. So I can only naturally assume it’s probably easier for a light skin male rapper than it might be for a dark skin male rapper. It’s all subconscious s***, nobody’s aware — I think that s*** still subconsciously affects us.”
An uncomfortable truth, but a truth none the less.
At times, it can be hard for some to argue points similar to Cole’s without sounding inflammatory, so kudos goes to him for saying what he said in the way he said it.
Fact of the matter is, the President’s skin tone did serve as one of the many catalysts for his win back in 2008, free of all the negative stereotypes that would have been assigned to him had he looked like Wesley Snipes, for example.
For, as unfortunate as this is to admit, black men akin to Wesley find themselves placed in of two categories by the mass media.
At best, they’re highly sexualised and at worst- for a number of reasons- are billed as being highly aggressive, stereotypes marketeers use to shift anything from pornography to music, but stereotypes Obama was able to avoid by way of the public’s perception of lighter skinned men.