Social media can be used for both good and evil. Consider how accessible information is to the masses because of sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We have the ability to express thoughts, opinions and art openly and freely. Social Media has changed so many dynamics of our generation, but its reach is not always in our favor.
I often scroll through my feeds and timelines, mouth ajar and in disbelief of what my peers are posting. A prominent movement that I have started to see is the light skin vs. dark skin debate. As an African American and an avid social media user, I am intrigued.
Let me break down the #lightskin and #darkskin hashtags for you:
When a tweet, an Instagram post or a Facebook status refers to any facet of the “#Lightskin” category, you will see the hashtag #lightskin. Posts of this nature are referring to any and all of these common notions. An African American male that is very photogenic maybe even “pretty boyish”, if you will; knows all of Drake’s song lyrics, has all of Drake’s albums, and is basically a very committed Drake fan; and will mostly be associated with a “soft” mentality. (see: “Don’t worry babe you aren’t pregnant, we are.”)
When a tweet, an Instagram post or a Facebook status refers to any facet the “#Darkskin” category, you will see the hashtag #darkskin. Posts of this nature and emphasis are referring to any or all of these common notions: an African American male, who is not so camera-friendly, but isn’t as worried about it. If you have a specific banter with women possibly what one would describe as “thirst”; and mostly if your loud as hell too much of the time you could warrant a #darkskin.
Before you get worried about equal rights stop and settle down because women can be categorized as #lightskin #darkskin too. For women, #darkskin is accompanied with the notion that you might not have movie star looks, but you pack a famous punch. #Lightskin for females of color means you look better than another girl, but you’re as arrogant as they come.
Now I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all started by a young African American guy who had too much time on his hands and a large enough following on social media. While it can be funny and ridiculous, at the end of the day….(drum roll?) we are all BLACK. We all came from the same motherland, either in this generation or five back. Whether you’re Haitian, African, Jamaican, etc. it is of no significance here.
This is inside our community, black-on-black hashtaging and that is the biggest problem. We should not classify or distinguish, with certain characteristics, an African American’s shade of skin; we are all the same color. We, through social media, are facilitating a “war” among black people.
There are too many Youtube videos, trending hashtags on Twitter, and movements on Instagram perpetuating this “war”. As an individual using a #lightskin or #darkskin, you might underestimate the power in your use of social media. That hashtag links you to a larger campaign that just gets more powerful will each tweet. Sometimes, I cannot lie, there are jokes posted that make me laugh, and I understand they are jokes. But in a larger sense, the youth behind social media cannot see how ridiculous they appear.
I wonder: How would those who fought for our equality respond to their children separating, defining and segregating among themselves? Please #StopTheNonsense.