Rod and Justin discuss Atlanta Monster, Carruth podcast, Black Lightning, Iron Fist canceled, LHHH, navigating social media, listener feedback, Spice’s new video and colorism.
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10/31/2018 at 11:21 AM
Hey Rod and J Vybz Kartel
Colourism is a huge issue in Jamaica. You have white supremacy, we have light-skinned supremacy, which is a product of white supremacy so I guess we have white supremacy too. In any case the problem is so pervasive, it is structural. Your skin colour will dictate how authority treats you and cast a shadow on the extent of opportunities available to you. If you are fortunate enough to have a middle class background, the effects are mitigated somewhat. My family was on that middle class cusp (there, but for the grace of the next paycheck, go I) so I was able to skirt the more harmful effects of colourism. As a matter of fact, non-famous black people from the US used to complain that Jamaicans working at the resorts would treat white vacationers much better. That has changed for the better in the past few decades, but there are still incidents. One of the things we joke about is that wealthy brown-skin (‘brown-skin’ is what we call light skin people with hair and features approaching white-ness) kids go to college in the states and discover that they’re niggas. Sometimes it’s a hard lesson learned at a PWI while being slammed to the ground by a campus cop demanding to see ID. My black-ass didn’t have to learn that lesson during graduate school when the watch repair guy in Boston asked to see a receipt for my 10 year old watch, before he would repair it. I knew what that shit was about right away.
All that to put into context Spice’s video about bleaching. Bleaching is a big thing in Jamaica. The dancehall artist Vybze Kartel, bleached his skin. He looks like a ghost now, but he thought it was prudent. It’s not lost on people that the some of most famous perfomers from Jamaica either highly exoticised like Grace Jones or had some proximity to whiteness like Bob Marley and Sean Paul. The problem is pervasive because, even though the results are unnatural looking for the most part, some people believe it will have a positive impact. There are education campaigns etc, but some poor people, especially women, just don’t see another way out. Some businesses have an unstated preference for lighter front line/public relations staff. So skin colour becomes an economic issue.
I grew up idealizing american blackness. I would look at Malcom X and Martin Luther King, James Baldwin and think that you all were above the colourism issue because of the larger threat of white supremacy. Little did I know.
Anyway have you finished Iron Fist and Daredevil yet? Iron Fist Season 2 was great, but Daredevil Season 3 must be the best of ALL the Netflix Marvel shows, Daredevil’s Seasons 1 & 2 included. That shit was great. It’s the full 13 episodes but nothing feels unnecessary or drug out. Vincent D’ Onofrio was great. He absolutely stole that shit. Even the way it ended makes me feel that there’s got to more stories for these characters.
Sorry for the long post.
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