Many people are familiar with the term white skinned privilege and the term itself is a reminder to black, brown, red and yellow people’s here in the U.S. and Europe of the true nature of what it intel’s. The fact that it is a term still used in the 21st century is problematic enough but when there are so many unlimited examples of just how much it plays out in daily life, it can be astounding. I could put out a laundry list of examples but I know that you know what I’m talking about, and in the event that you don’t then you probably will never get it anyway.
But there is another category of privilege that we tend to overlook. Black skinned privilege, though not as outright and blatant as the white skinned aspect, still it’s something that needs to be brought out of the shadows and put front and center into the forefront of discussion. When I say black skinned privilege what immediately comes to mind? You may think coon, turncoat, bootlicker, sell out, and these terms may very well apply, but it’s even deeper than that. Black skinned privilege in many cases is what white people use to absolve themselves of the white guilt associated with the society they have set up which gives them privilege in the first place.
Black skinned privilege can be a willing participant of a white puppet master without full knowledge that there black skin is even being used as a source of absolving white guilt. For instance the black guy or woman who get’s the long sought after promotion. Not saying that it wasn’t earned or deserved but in some cases it is used as way to rationalize the white mind into saying they aren’t racist since they gave a black person a promotion. Doesn’t matter that this black person, who has worked in the company for 10 years, has been passed up for promotion on several different occasions by white men/women who have been with the company for a much shorter time. The point is now this white person is absolved of any guilt, he’s no longer a racist in his own mind, that has all been eliminated with this one act.
Where black skinned privilege comes into play is when this black person now becomes the token. See the white guy/girl can sit and talk with you, you’re different, other black people don’t get it but you do. He/she may even ask you on the sly if you would be willing to communicate his/her message to other blacks in the company. He won’t sit down with them, he won’t invite them to the luncheon, because that privilege has been granted to you. You are now the puppet and you have gained that great honor of being part of the black skinned privileged group. And for all intents and purposes you may not even be cognizant of it. You think you’re just doing your job, you’re just being a team player, yeah you’ll take one for the team every now and then, no big deal. Andre is a little ticked off today by the way he was talked to by another white staff member, you’re the one to go and calm Andre down. You’re not coonin, shuckin and jivin, you’re just trying to help a brother out and you’re working to make sure that the company recognizes the loyalty that you have to it, and for the people in it.
Some people have earned black skinned privilege status on different levels. Not only the blue collar black man that the owner has chosen to be the token for the diversity program, but what about people like Jay Z and Beyonce. Hillary went to them to try to get them to rile up the forces because her words weren’t resonating with black people. She didn’t come into the community to sit down with our community activist leaders, but Jay and Bey have amassed black skinned privilege amongst white elites therefore they were the go to people among others to play that role. Oprah has been used in this capacity as well. Some of the newest to make this group are Ravone Simone and Stacy Dash. Some have no idea they’re being played, and some are just straight coons.