A lie said by millions

By Michael Vass | January 23, 2009

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya – Princess Bride

Yesterday I was speaking about Good Hair, the upcoming documentary by Chris Rock. After having written about this subject I was brought back to an old pet peeve of mine. A common saying that is obtuse and an oxymoron. And everyone has heard it.

In countless films, emails, books, and nowadays internet dating sites you have seen

“Tall, dark, and handsome”

Now because of the conditioning of the media most will imagine Cary Grant, Mel Gibson, Leonardo DiCaprio Photo found at http://www.topnews.in/light/people/leonardo-dicaprio or some other famous White guy. But that is completely counter-intuitive. It just is stupid.

Dark defined as:

    Black, shadowed or black, having a dark hue, colored: having skin rich in melanin pigments

Since the meaning of the word is definitive, and in no application equating to white, light, pink or pale, I am at a loss of how the hell anyone can take that phrase to mean a White male of any sort.

It is solely through the manipulation of the media and Hollywood that anyone might confuse what the hell is being said. Such that “tall, dark, and handsome” should in reality bring up thoughts of Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx Photo found at http://concreteloop.com/2007/02/random-pics-jamie-foxx-chris-tucker, Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, or Michael Clarke Duncan and so on.

It is so absurd as to be absolutely common. And I doubt many non-people of color ever thing twice about how stupid that statement is.

Is this a big deal? No, not in a change of life sense. But it does say something about long-term depictions of people of color and subtle unconscious preferences in the nation. At least I think so.

Billions are spent every year for people to go and “get some color”. Tens of millions travel the globe to have their skin darken, though temporarily, and gain a “healthy tone”. And the search for eternal love is often filled with the above statement. At every turn it is a statement of the beauty of people of color.

Yet to consciously state such in public is abominable. Instead we get so much media influence that the obvious is now the wrong answer. Talk about love and hate. No wonder western society is so screwed up.

And before I get the hate-mail, or those trying to justify the phrase, those from Mediterranean backgrounds are not dark. When I stand next to an Italian man, he does not look like me. He is not confused as Black. He may be more pink or tan than some, especially after being out in the sun, but there is no question as to whether he is Black.

Look this is not about race as much as it is about language and the meanings American society places in those words. It is a wake up call that some things are just too stupid for intelligent people in the 21st century to do. It is a reminder that if we allow such obvious blatant falsehoods to continue unabated and unquestioned, we equally allow the breeding grounds for racism and prejudice to grow,

So it’s obvious. The next time you use that phrase indicate that you are speaking about a Black person. And if you overhear a friend use the term incorrectly, remind them how dumb they are being. Because I really am beyond annoyed at hearing it used as it has been.

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Leave a Reply

Help to support our efforts with a $3 donation


RSS Black Entertainment USA

Recent Comments

Popular Posts



Recent Posts

Ask for ad rates


Popular Posts

Copyright © 2005-2010 M V Consulting, Inc.

Black Entertainment USA is proudly powered by WordPress
Template by iThemes