Monday, February 19, 2018

The ‘dark-skin’ trap

 Both Sir Ronald Sanders and Mr Fitz­gerald Hinds are guilty of falling into the same trap set by the authors of the “too dark (too black, according to Sir Ronald) to be PM” nonsensical idea—Mr Hinds, for having publicly politicised an outlandish and outrageous concept (a concept that needs further exploration), and Sir Ronald, for adding to the regional and international circulation of this repulsive view (yesterday’s Express).

The biggest offender was however the daily newspaper that deliberately published “Too dark to be PM” as its front-page headline. 

Even though Sir Ronald attempted to distance himself from the discriminatory view expressed, he did not express objection to advertisements for skin-lightening creams (a full-page ad recently appeared in a local daily paper) that find their way into Indi­an, African and Caribbean markets from manufacturers based in the USA and Europe. These repulsive ads add to the coffers of media houses and perpetuate and encourage linkages between success and skin colour. 

Only “dark”-skinned people can attest to the discriminatory experiences they endure based on skin colour. Sir Ronald should seek answers as to why, in the 21st century, this type of thinking still exists, bearing in mind discrimination exists in many guises. 

The book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy DeGruy Leary, PhD, offers some explanations for this historically induced, skin-colour discriminatory thought process, even though examples offered are from the USA.

Interestingly enough, Sir Roland sought to assure his readers that dark-skinned people are achievers, but the world already knows this. Maybe he should aim his journalistic guns against those who perpetuate the opposite view and free himself to attack those who encourage such offensive and unintelligent headlines.

John Henry

Petit Valley