Oh, I like that skin better!

Carolyn Parks
Decatur, GA

I think most Americans do not realize we are socialized to be racist. To not like black or brown skin……

While working as a defense contractor in Afghanistan, I had an allergic reaction to something I touched. My skin became severely irritated, which caused the skin on my hands to peel. Imagine, getting a bad sunburn.
I am African American and the color of my skin is honey brown. As my skin began to peel, the old (top) layer of skin was much darker than the new layer of skin. Probably because the old top layer of skin was dead.

One of my co-workers, who is Caucasian was inquiring about what happened. After I explained, he stated, “Oh, I like that skin much better”! Referring to the new skin emerging on my hands, which was “lighter” than the old skin. I asked why? He replied, it just looks better. He went on to say, he didn’t like “dark skin”. He had no idea how offensive his comments were.

 

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