“For the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line."
“The problem of the twenty-first century is still the problem of the color line."
Colorism involves distinctions based on skin color (light, medium and dark) and results in the favorable or unfavorable treatment of individuals based on the lightness or darkness of their skin color. With its foundation deeply rooted in white superiority, white supremacy, white privilege, racism, prejudice and stereotypes, colorism is complex in nature and occurs interracially and intraracially.
Acts of colorism also occur consciously and/or unconsciously, can be intentional and/or unintentional and are detrimental to the psychological, emotional, physical, and social well-being of victims. Historically, people of color have experienced colorism moreso than non-people of color throughout the world.
Interracial colorism involves a member of one racial or ethnic group making a distinction based on the skin color of members belonging to different racial or ethnic groups (I. E. White vs. Black; Indian vs. Latino; African vs. Jamaican). This form of colorism also results in the preferential, prejudicial or disparate treatment of victims.
Intraracial colorism involves a member of one racial or ethnic group making a distinction based on the skin color of members belonging to the same racial or ethnic group (Black vs. Black; Asian vs. Asian; Haitian vs. Haitian). This form of colorism is more complex than interracial colorism and also results in preferential, prejudicial or disparate treatment of victims.
Intraracial colorism has played a significant role in the plethora of ills that exist among people of color. In the millennium, colorism is still an issue that continues to separate and divide people of color.
Despite the plethora of insidious discriminatory acts inflicted upon people of color, acts of discrimination occurring among members belonging to the same racial group are just as insidious.