After this article, I know I probably will receive a bunch of hate mail, but my point is supported by research. I really hate to disappoint everyone, but I don’t think we are as accepting as we think we are. Everyone is feeling this rush of pride because we have elected our first black president. An article I read yesterday brings home a point I have been making for awhile. Obama is mixed. Did people miss that fact? He is not a dark, African American by any means. I really could care less what race he is, but we need to step back a second as a nation and quit patting ourselves on the back. Research has shown that, Americans are more accepting of people who have lighter skin tones. African Americans in industries are generally more successful when they have lighter skin tones. So why shouldn’t that extend to politics? If Barack Obama was a very dark African American with no white ancestor would we really have voted for him? What does research say? I wish we were to the point where race didn’t matter anymore, but I’m not sure we are there yet. We are progressing, but when we can elect someone to office that is as black as Barack Obama’s Father is, I would say we are there.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, agrees with the ascertain that lighter skinned blacks have an advantage in life. He stated that his entire family is lighter skinned, or ” yellow” skinned. Keith Adkins stated that growing up, he noticed how his Mother was treated with more respect in his community, just because of her skin color. He also stated she received positive glances often when he was out shopping with her. Mr Adkins also stated that he has a cousin who’s brother was light skinned. His cousin stated that his brother seemed to have an eaiser time, to be more popular and that he did not face the discrimination.http://blogs.theroot.com/blogs/diggingdeep/archive/2008/07/24/light-skinned-privilege-black-in-america.aspx)
I once read an article for a Social Psychology class entitled “Colorism [Light-Skinned and Dark-Skinned],” by Armstrong Williams who talked about the fact that “light-skinned” blacks seem to have an easier time in society. It often appears that they are given more chances to succeed. Williams pointed out three important CEO’s of companies that had recently been on the cover of Newsweek. There names are Franklin Raines, Barry Rand, and Lloyd Ward. He stated that all of then were very light skinned and could have passed for white people. (“Colorism: Light-Skinned and Dark-Skinned,” by Armstrong Williams )
The University of Georgia even recently conducted a survey to see if skin colors of African Americans made a difference in the hiring process. They compiled pictures of dark skinned people and light skinned people and attached a picture to their resume. The researchers then asked college students to judge , on a scale of 1 to 7 whether or not they would hire the individual basked on their resume. Everything was equal between the applicants, except for the darkness of their skin tone.The study was called The study, “Colorism in the Job Selection Process: Are There Preferential Differences Within the Black Race?” The results were amazing. The lighter skinned blacks with a bachelors degree received an average rating of 5.35, whereas the darker skinned blacks with an MBA or six year degree received a rating of 4.5. One could argue whether the study was looking at skin color or education, but when you realize that those with a higher education also were darker skinned, the results seem obvious. According to the study, tone of skin does matter.(http://www.diverseeducation.com/artman/publish/article_6306.shtml )
Should all of this matter? Not one bit. But does it? Just ask the dark skinned black people who have had a more difficult time being accepted. Yes, they eventually make it, but the road up is harder. Also, ask Tiger Woods, Mariah Carey, Derek Jeter and Barack Obama. The question for myself is, did skin color make a difference for me? It did not. It is sad to say, I would have voted for anyone on the democratic ticket this year, whether black, white or mixed. None of us can honestly say how we would have voted if Obama had been very dark skinned. But I hope we have grown past ignorance enough to say that we would have voted for him no matter what he looked like.The bottom line is, I think what we have done as a nation is still amazing. We are truly a melting pot now. Who better to represent our country than someone who is part white, part black, younger, familiar with Muslim culture and now a Christian, with relatives from one of our newest states and relatives from a die hard farming area, Kansas. Who better to lead our country than someone who represents who we are, different races, different religions, and different cultures. Obama himself has said that when his family gets together, they look like a meeting of the United Nation. I am hoping for positive things over the next four years, both from our President, and from our nation. We can only hope that gradually, we are becoming the country we should be – one that is truly color blind where all men and women are created and treated equal.Did Obama’s lighter skin make a difference?http://blogs.theroot.com/blogs/diggingdeep/archive/2008/07/24/light-skinned-privilege-black-in-america.aspx