I saw a show about racism & colorism the other day & my mind dove into a labyrinth trying to find out the basis of them & whatnot right after. Everything’s theoretical but I think it must have a lot to do with our endogenous need for belonging, which probably arose as a survival tactic. Same is safe, odd is not.
I started reflecting on times when I was a child because I thought if this racism & need for belonging is primitive, then it should exist in us as children as well. What we do as children, we do spontaneously. We don’t know the cause behind our likes & dislikes for example, nor do we look for a cause for them.
So I traced back to a clear memory from my childhood, which is the cartoon characters I liked the most. I remembered how out of all the Disney princesses & characters, Esmeralda & Pocahontas were my favorites. I had PJs with their pictures & I even dressed as Esmeralda for Halloween. Not Cinderella, the sleeping beauty or Bella, but Esmeralda, who wasn’t even the lead character in the movie . There was no clear reason behind it, or at least not one that I was consciously aware of at that time. I started thinking what’s common between the two? Skin tone. Both had closer skin tones to mine. My mother’s skin is fair, my dad’s dark & I never saw them as their skin tones so it’s not something I learned from them, yet when I chose favorites, I chose those who resembled me the most. We do this everyday with characters, fictional or real, who we think resemble us most. We connect better with them, we pay them extra attention & if we can or had to, we’d defend them. When we allow ourselves to think of why, that’s when we consciously try to suppress that need. We empower our rationale & allow it to take over. What’s primitive should be left for primitives. We need to aspire beyond that.