There is a group of Africans who do not think they are as good as the Whites. This self-demeaning and self-denigrating attitude shows in how they relate to the White man. You see, most Africans are usually beside themselves around the White man. No matter how highly placed some Africans are, they bow and fret at all times. They do their best to please. They curry favor and approval, and go out of their way to demonstrate their loyalty and gratitude. Africans are at all times at the service of the Whites; as a result, whatever the White man wants, the White man gets. You rarely can find Africans on equal footing with Whites.
And even when the White man is of a lower economic, educational, and social status, the Black man would, in most cases, still revere and honor the White man. The next time you are the Murtala Mohammed Airport, observe how lowly expatriates are treated and observe also how Nigerian professionals are approached and talked to: one gets deference; the other is harassed. Or you could just watch how the Americans, Germans, British and French nationals are treated at numerous checkpoints: there is fawning and flattery for the Whites; while the Blacks, their fellow Nigerians, are berated and hassled and hurried.
In Lagos, Kinshasa, Malabo and Accra for instance, a White man could walk into a police station or any government establishment and be done with his errands in less than 30-minutes, while the same errand –assuming it is done at all — would take the African almost 2 hours to accomplish. In Lagos and cities across Africa, have you noticed how traders, bankers, students, government officials and virtually everyone else relate to the Whites? The Whites are worshipped; the relationship is that of a servant-master relationship.
The Lebanese, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshi, Pilipino, Chinese and others are also now in the superiority game. In fact, the Lebanese and the Indians have been in the game a very long time. They run their own socio-economic and political empires in Africa — oppressing Africans. And indeed, it is sad, very sad and heart breaking to observe the way the Indians and the Lebanese treat Nigerians in Nigeria. People who are generally a “nobody” in their own countries acts like kings and queens in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. You have nobody but the Africans themselves to blame since Africans will bow to anybody with yellow, white, green or pink skin. Anything but black skin is God sent!
And if you think the White man is lording it over Africans, well, the situation is even more telling when it comes to White women. The Black man will obey if asked to pee in his pants before a White woman. They will bow, prostrate and go the extra miles just to satisfy the whims and wishes of White women. If a White woman wants to make a government official go nuts, all she need do is expose the top or the corner of her breast or wink and smile. The promise or possibility of intimacy will make such official divulge government secrets or agree to detrimental contract terms. The African may stammer and offer vain resistance before Oga, but not before madam. Madam has money, power, and much more.
Here is another dimension to the skin-game: even amongst Africans themselves, they go gaga over and around a light-skinned person — especially a light skin woman. There are African men and women who will not give a dark-skinned suitor a romantic chance. You see, the lighter the skin, the more intense the desire and lust and obedience on the part of some.How many men do you suppose have lost their limbs and paycheck and dignity over a light-skin African? Knowing the Black man have it for light skin women, some dark-skin women have resorted to bleaching their skins.
In a way, skin bleaching is a catch-up game, a game that allows bleachers to play on an equal footing with the light-skinned women. Light and lighter skin, in the worldview of some, is a passport to better living. It gives access and thorough fare.
Considering all that ills Africa, the desire for light skin is so superficial and absurd that it is absurd contemplating it; but that is the reality of life in a continent where the majority of the people are uneducated or poorly educated, and where the vast majority of the people suffer from inferiority complex. As sad as this may sound, the debate is not limited to Africa. In fact, the desire for light and lighter skin permeates the Black community the world over.
For instance, in cities like New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington DC, the debate and preference for light skin African-Americans are alive and going strong. Some have argued that the mixed-race is at the top of the pecking order, followed by the light skin. The brownbag test was in vogue for decades, and it continues to be a yardstick in some African-American communities.
It is not a secret that some employers and bosses favor light skin applicants and employees over the dark-skinned. The same is true of the music and movie industry where light-skin African-Americans are favored (most of the time) over their dark-skin counterparts.
The majority of African-American TV and Cable personalities are also light skinned. The lighter you are the more beautiful and intelligent people perceive you to be. The next time you are at it, take note of the ratio of dark versus light skin dancers and actors in the MTV music videos. And by the way, how many successful African-American actors, musicians, artists, professional sports men and academicians are dating or married to dark-skin African-American women? To be Black and black is, in some instances, a severe disadvantage.
Going one step further, how many times have one heard Black men say “White women are better in bed…they are easier to work with…have the least drama…are obedient and cooperative…” More often than not, their preference is a White woman; absent that, a mixed-race or light skin woman. Most would not veer far from the white skin. And how many times have one heard White men say Black men “are brutes and savages…needs to be tamed and trained…needs constant support and direction…” They think of black and Blacks as belonging to the same camp. All the while, or at least most of the times, they think of the mixed-race or the light skinned as “better” — close to their own image or their idealized version of good and beautiful.
From the African continent to North America through Europe, the desire for, and rejection of black and Blacks is ongoing.
Why would a self-loving and self-respecting people be less desiring of their kind? Why would a man or woman who is as black as the darkest berry — in prospecting for a partner — willfully exclude a dark-skin person? Why? Nevertheless, it happens every time. And in fact, it is not uncommon to hear some Africans say ungodly things about very dark Africans.
If we look down on others because they are darker than we are, we look down on ourselves. If we reject others because their skin tone is different from ours, we reject our own essence. If we bleach ones skin just because we want to meet other people’s idealized and fancy version of us, then we make ourselves less Africans and less human. If you reject your own, if you reject your type, why should the outsiders accept and respect you? To be respected, you must respect yourself. Black is black whether you are light, brown or as black as the darkest berry.