Cokes and Fantas

Last week, someone retweeted some ridiculousness into my Twitter feed. No need for me to set it up, take a look at the nonsense:

Look at this f***ing foolishness


Except it is life. Depressing, still goes on, tiring, unnecessary, run-of-the-mill life. It seems natural, however wrong, that humans are programmed to seek similarities and by extension, differences. Even when they are the stupidest, headdesk-inducing, most asinine differences, like complexion.

As a child in Nigeria, I got to accompany my dad on a lot of his work outings. One such time, I was offered a refreshment and asked for a Coke. Laughing, the woman who’d offered me the drink joked, “Are you sure? Coke makes you darker!” I was a fairly confident child, and knew that my complexion was an ultimately irrelevant  aspect of who I was. Even so, I changed my order – I switched to a Fanta. It would not be the only time. I’ve written briefly about skin-lightening in the past, so I won’t go on about it again, but how depressing is it that this kind of silliness – however tongue in cheek, as I’m sure the organisers will label it – still exists?

When I was at secondary school in east London in the 90s, there were cliques of girls based on where they and their parents were from. No, I didn’t go to the high school from West Side Story, and we didn’t have ‘click and dance’ fights after class. But there were clear lines – the Caribbean girls existed in an obvious and separate group to the African girls. It wasn’t exactly spitting and Molotov cocktails across barbed wire, but I remember the worst insult you could lob at someone was “Why are you behaving like a Jamaican?” if they were African and vice versa. We were 15 – a modicum of idiocy is still allowed at that age, but I’ve seen stuff like this in my adult years too; I’ve seen a flyer for a party for which the theme was Africans vs. Caribbeans. Seriously? Seriously.

I’m tired. Seeing that poster has enfeebled me. Goodbye for a while, cruel internet.

ETA 5.22pm: The event for which the flyer was created has been cancelled. Ah, the power of internet rage!


9 responses

  1. Seriously?! That is an actual, real life flyer thingy? Jeez. And don’t get me started on the fact they both seem to be wearing lingerie seven sized too small….

    Unenfeeble yourself YGD – the interwebz needs you to make an example of idiocy like this.

  2. I give up. When’s the next racial draft? You don’t get this kind of nonsense in the Cablinasians.

    Oh, I remember it too: when I was 15 a dark-skinned African friend of mine called me a ‘white girl’ when I exposed my rather pale inner arms, being called ‘browning’ on a trip to JA with my folks – and the approving looks we got for me being light-skinned, and for my parents having a child lighter than both of them.

    This takes us back to the days of ‘paper bag’ tests. What is it about ratchetry that black people love so much?!

  3. I have two points to make. 1: the two women featured on that flyer do not differ in skin shading. At all. They both possess precisely the same balance of epidermal lightness and darkness. The only difference is that the colour of the woman on the right leans a little more rosy pink, while the colour of the woman on the left tends towards a golden yellow. They are both very, very light indeed. And, one suspects, rather chilly in their scanties. Point 2: WHAT THE FUCK?

  4. I feel you on this YGD. I suddenly felt drained after reading your post and looking at the poster.
    It just makes you wonder what goes on at these parties. I haven’t been clubbing in yonks, and I don’t remember ever going to one with such a daft theme.
    I’m curious though, what happens when folks turn up? are the light skinned people segregated to a different floor of the club to light music – i imagine RnB and soul music, and the dark skinned people subjected to Hip Hop and heavy metal. What’s the sense in this please?!
    *SIGH* I don’t even know that I want the answer to that question, it’s mentally exhausting trying to process this, almost not worth the effort.

  5. I see things like this and my heart, yes my heart, sighs.

    We don’t need white people to divide and conquer the black race, we seem to do a good job of that all by ourselves.

    Unbelievably depressing, And the joke is, instead of everyone boycotting this rave, I bet people attend. It’s a joke.

  6. You can pick up the January 2011 issue of Essence Magazine, flip to the advertisement section, and still find ads for skin lighteners (and those body shaper thingies that look really painful). I doubt these companies would continue spending money on advertising a product in a publication focused on black females if there wasn’t a demand.

  7. The event’s been cancelled – good. Victory for common sense or internet outrage. Either way, it’s a victory. Thanks for the update YG.

  8. Versatile and stylish: you’ve been tagged, missy.
    Hope you have fun doing it.
    Check out the rules on my blog.

    Happy Sunday and New Week!

  9. Lol I’m so glad they canceled it. It didn’t even occur to me it was African vs Caribbean. Either way shocking. Good riddance :)

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