DISCRIMINATION. It's all around us and chances are, you or someone that you know have experienced it at least once in your lifetime. I personally have experienced discrimination, not only once, but many times throughout my lifetime. But the focus of this will not be one huge sob story over discrimination, rather it will be on something far more interesting and baffling --the idea of interracial discrimination.
Every two years or so, my family and I will visit our family in India for months on end. Though I love the country, there is one thing in particular that always makes my blood curdle--the belief by the majority of the Indian public that lighter skin is far more superior than darker skin. This particular belief is clearly seen in the mainstream Indian media through commercials for a skin-lightening cream called Fair and Lovely. In these particular commercials, the darker Indian women are seen as being at a disadvantage because of their darker complexion. For example, in the Fair and Lovely ad below, since they the woman is too "dark", she initially isn't given her desired job. However, once she discovers Fair and Lovely and starts using the product, her skin miraculously becomes lighter, she instantly becomes more beautiful, and once this happens, she automatically gets her desired job.
I mean, are you kidding me? Since when did people stop looking at credentials, and start looking at the darkness of one's skin in order to determine whether or not they get a job? How does this even make sense in a country where all people are colored? Unfortunately, this idea, though quite sad, is very prominent in India and unfortunately, is even seen in my family. When my aunt came to the U.S. for the first time from India, she paid a quick visit to my family and I here in Minnesota. A big part of Indian culture is the idea of arranged marriages and with this in mind, my aunt was looking for potential matches for her son (my cousin) on an Indian dating website (I know, I know, it's weird, but that's Indian culture). As she was browsing through the website, she came across a specific girl with GREAT credentials--she was well educated and seemed to come from a great family. This girl, I thought, is perfect for my cousin. However, just as I thought that, my aunt quickly said, "NO! No, not this one. She is just too dark." I am the first one to admit how ashamed I am that my aunt even said this because for one thing, being dark, or should I say darker, does not put anyone at a disadvantage nor should it make them inferior. The idea is just wrong, and no matter how much I dislike that my most of my culture believes in this, I cannot change the fact that they do.
So, what do you guys think of this issue? Is it baffling for you or do you think it is a natural thing that happens within races? Does it bother you?