#1 Mental Slavery: Divide and Conquer

I asked my followers on a couple of social media pages to help with my next, ‘Being Black’ video on YouTube. My next topic is Mental Slavery. In the picture below you can just about see the points I came up beforehand.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 11.33.01


Supremacy: the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.


I received quite a few suggestions after posting that picture, so many in fact that I was no way going to address them all in YouTube video. So, I decided to create a series of blog posts addressing quite a few of those points. The first and probably most important points is the act of dividing and conquering.

Now, I was going to entitle this, ‘White Supremacy’ instead of ‘Divide and Conquer’, but the fact of the matter is, that I do not see white people as superior. They are just strategic. And boy did their strategy work!

Now, the biggest problem that was born out of this scheme, is the fact that we no longer trust our own. We seem to be against each other in a world that is already against us. We currently have no chance in this losing battle. We find it so hard to buy from our own, to support our own, even work with our own. But find it so easy to buy, support and work for the white man.

I put this down to the fact that we have been conditioned to think white is right. Ever since a young age all the “positive” images that we are force fed to us, center around our white counterparts. So much so, that we have classed those of us with lighter skin as more desirable and more approachable. Why? Because the lighter the skin, the closer they are to being white.

Supposedly.

The lighter the skin. The looser the curl pattern. The slimmer the nose. The better.

Is it our fault that we think this way? No. We are continuously being divided, so we are easier to conquer. This doesn’t just happen in the Western world, oh no no no. This is a WORLDWIDE issue. How on earth did the minority manage to make us feel as though they are the majority? Well the pretty much control the images that we see on a daily basis that feeds into our subconscious.

The media.

There I said it! The cause of almost all of our problems. As much as I hate using such a generic term, it’s the truth… well not to mention the fact that “great” Britain managed to forcibly place itself in 90% of the world (yes I mean invade). Forcing its language, religion and ideas of beauty across the majority of the globe.

Not only did they invade us. They also stole us.

Not all black people where forced to leave Africa. If we look further back into history we will learn that our people traveled way before the transatlantic slave trade. But those who were stolen from the motherland, somewhat completely dismissed their African roots and claim to be Caribbean. Yes, you may have grandparents and great grandparents who were born in the Caribbean. But let’s not forget that countries such as Britain and France were importing Africans to work for them, harvesting sugar canes and tobacco in both Jamaica and Barbados during the 1600s for almost 200 years. And yet we still hear about the ‘Caribbean vs African’ debates on Twitter and even used as a theme for Raves.

Long story short, by dividing us physically they have conquered us mentally. Through invading our countries and forcing their whiteness upon us they have managed to use to power of images, words, and social constructs to make us want to always be in competition with our own. We struggle to buy black. We struggle to celebrate black success. We struggle to embrace black beauty in all its shades and sizes. We struggle to be black.

Through struggle comes strength. Be strong my black people. Be strong.

All light skin people are the same… OBVIOUSLY!!

So, I was on the bus to work the other day. Two teens sat opposite me, they looked around 15/16. One was a white male and the other was a mixed race female. First impressions told me that she didn’t really want to be with him at that moment (as soon as she sat down she started getting her iPhone ready to listen to). Here is the short conversation that followed:

Boy: “Have you see the girl in the year below who looks like you?”

Girl: *looking unimpressed* “What?”

Boy: “The girl in the year below, she looks just like you”

Girl: “You’re only saying that ‘cos she is mixed race” *screws him*

Boy: “Nah she actually looks like you”

Girl: *rolls her eyes and puts in her headphones*

I wanted to just say, “YASSS GURLL!! YOU TELL HIM!” because I really felt her annoyance right then. I’m sure we have all been through it, being told you look like someone else just because you have a similar skin shade, and possibly a similar hairstyle. The amount of “twins” I had when I was her age was unbelievable. I mean, I could understand if the girls looked somewhat like me, but the vast majority of the time they did not.

The worst one was a couple of years ago when I was compared to Moss from the IT Crowd… by my own aunty (yes if you are reading this, I remember!).

tv-s-top-10-flawed-geniuses_415734

Not only does the problem lie in the idea that we all “look the same” but it also means that we are all judged the same way. How many of you have heard about the “stoosh lightie”? Probably only my London readers know what I’m on about, but I am sure we all know about the long running joke that light skin girls don’t reply to text messages.

I don’t know where these preconceptions emerged from, but they are around. Even my own boyfriend had such beliefs about me when he first saw my picture. He didn’t expect us to end up in a relationship, let alone be together for almost 4 and a half years. Buy why? Why do people think that all light skin males and females are stuck up their own behinds? I can’t even lie, I had my own thoughts about mixed raced boys a few years ago, I truly believed that they were just good to look at but didn’t really have much going on personality wise. When I look back on it, it is evem worse for me to haave thought that because I come from a family full of mixed race boys and I know they all have completely different personalities.

Maybe it is simply because we are conditioned to think so. We all know that there is that idea that the lighter the skin the prettier and more desirable the person is. And in turn this often leads to lighter people being disliked by others because they supposedly think they are “better than everyone else”.

I can’t speak for every female who has a percentage of both white and black in her but I, myself went through a lot of issues when it came to knowing myself as a child. Not just because my father is half white and half black but also because I was raised as a Muslim but didn’t fully practice the religion. Everything was all too confusing for me and the kids at school did not help with that either. This is probably why I have shortened the amount of countries I’m from over the past few years, from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Holland to just Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. If I could just leave out the South African part in the list I would but that is what helps people understand why my skin may be lighter than other East Africans. And when people now ask me why I don’t eat pork I just tell them that I was raised a Muslim, unlike what I used to tell them which was that I AM a Muslim, because well, I don’t identify with those who practice the religion (blog post about religion to follow).

I went slightly off topic. All I really want to say is that unless a person has facial features that look so much like mine that you had to do a double take, don’t tell me that we look the same. Because I know for sure that the only reason you are saying that is because they have light brown skin and curly hair.

If a Person Lacks Melanin Does It Make Them Less Black?

I went to my old primary school today to vote. As I walked out, there were a group of boys kicking a football around. They must have been between the ages of 10 and 14. One of the boys was Albino. You could clearly tell he was black, with his 4c hair standing tall. He just lacked melanin. There must have been some sort of argument or something between him and another boy because as I walked passed I heard the words, “Shut up man! Where’s your skin colour?” I had to stop and just turn around. He repeated it again, “But where is your skin colour though?” I had to just double check whose mouth it was coming from. A boy who looked mixed race was the one who so strongly said those words. I had to refrain myself from just telling that boy a piece of my mind. How dare he? How dare he use the lack of pigmentation in the boys skin as an insult?

shadeism

http://www.dynamicdiversity.org/social-issues-6/

What got to me most was the fact that the Albino boy clearly had more African in him than the one insulting him. I am so used to insults based on colour between black people being something along the lines of; “you’re too black”, “you’re yellow” or “you’re not black, you’re white”. All of which relate to being different shades of black, or even being so light that you are deemed “white”. But this was different. He wasn’t being discriminated against because he was either too black or too white. He was being discriminated against because he was neither black nor white. According to this young man, he had no skin colour at all.

I wonder how that young man felt. If everything in the world has colour (so long as it reflects light), and everyone in the world has a colour, yet you have no colour, what does that make you? Not human? I continued walking, so I don’t even know if he had a comeback to that insult. I wish I had said something though. I really wish I had just educated those kids.

This reminded me of a video my boyfriend and I filmed last year (our views have grown since then) entitled “What is Black?”. In this video we discuss our different perceptions of what it takes to be black. We mention being somewhat mixed with other races, or just coming out light skinned. One thing we didn’t discuss is Albinism, which I think is a big topic to touch on.

If a person lacks melanin does it make them less black?