Anti-Blackness in the Black Community

By: Isabella Rhodes

On social media, you see the importance of black unity portrayed. Black unity is a powerful force to be reckoned with. African Americans have created a culture built on perseverance, coming together and finding our way to not only make society better but to make it better for the generation after us. It is black unity that helped us get to where we are now. However, even though black unity is found when our entire community is threatened, it is hard to find when an individual needs help.

Now, if you don’t like someone – you don’t like them. It’s just that simple. But now thanks to social media, things are projected and said to express opinions and emotions and examples of the blatant anti-blackness within the black community can now easily be found.

Anti-blackness is not liking someone who happens to be black. Anti-blackness is hating anything and everything that has to do with black culture and the community. It’s toxic and when found within the black community it is internal discrimination. Anti-blackness shows its face in many ways and when anti-blackness is a trait a black person holds it can range from a person only having white friends to them being downright degrading and racist.

When it comes to being friends with only non-black or all white people being a part of anti-blackness, it can be hard to differentiate from being socially compatible with non-black or all white people. It does pose as a problem, though. When being isolated from the black community not only do you lack the culture that it brings but you are naively placed into a mindset that the oppression we face doesn’t apply to you. Hate to burst your bubble but… it does. You are not saved from the unnecessary security pat-downs or racial slurs just because of your lack of community involvement, so adding the right security for your home could be essential, and you can go online to read more about this here.

The next issue with black people being anti-black is the degrading and racist comments that are made. If you look on social media, you will see that anti-blackness is displayed mostly by black men who, often, put down black women. It is absolutely incredible how black men will annihilate black women and all that they stand for when it was black women who helped them get to where they are now. So, the real question is why they have the mindset they do in the first place?

Eurocentrism and Colorism.

Throughout decades, “beautiful” people  have been expected to fit white beauty standards. Eurocentric beauty standards have been placed on people of color, causing non-euro beauty to be denied and/or looked down upon. It enables people to have opinions that are actually forms of micro aggressive racism. There is a difference between having an interest in characteristics that you can either gear towards one general race and having interest in people only because of eurocentric features.

This is where colorism comes in. Colorism is the discrimination against people with darker skin tones. It is found within, generally, all races. It has been and continues to be a long lasting issue in the black community. The ‘light-skin vs. dark skin’ war is something that has been going on for centuries.

It creates negative stereotypes for both end of the spectrum but ultimately creates hatred for darker skinned women all around the world. The concept that darker skinned women are angrier and uncivilized is ruining lives and causing anti-blackness in and outside of the black community. Years and years have passed and colorism has just modified itself. It’s a problem we are still fighting but we will never overcome it until we unite.

Unity is something that the black community uses as a gilded shield. In cases things like homophobia and sexism are the thing that keep unity from happening, it is another factor of anti-blackness. Homophobia is a huge hill that we have yet to conquer. You cannot be #BlackLivesMatter if you are not for the lives of you gay brothers and sisters. Being gay does not take away from being black. Being black does not take away from being gay.

Sexism.

It is found in almost every society throughout the centuries. A problem within black society that needs to be fixed. In order to have a well-functioning society, our black sisters need to prosper just as much as our black brothers. Anti-blackness towards our sisters is such a big issue that is covered up and not corrected. With that being said, you cannot be #BlackLivesMatter if you’re not #SayHerName.

There are many reasons and many factors that go into anti-blackness. Anti-blackness that is in our community, however, is the most destructive. Despite being worldwide, our community is suffering greatly from our anti-blackness. Caused from negative connotations and internal racism, large sums of people will abandon our community and look at it as something that is falling apart instead of something that can rise up.

Anti-blackness is global. Before we can stop it from happening externally, we need to stop it internally. We need to recognize the gilded unity and turn it into authentic care for one another despite differences that we may have. Despite skin color or sexuality, we should fight for the freedom and justice we deserve as a whole. It starts with us.

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