by Shelby Williams
In the Western world, anti-blackness is a universal concept which has been practiced throughout the historical living experience of the human race. Anti-blackness is a colorist concept that has dominated the cultural fabric of various ethnic groups, as well as within the African diaspora.
Examples of anti-blackness can be seen in the portrayal of beauty in Western mass media and culture where lighter skin is glorified and exoticized, while darker skin is depicted as being dirty and undesirable.
Other examples can be found in Central and Southeast Asia, where beauty is determined by the lightness of one’s skin and the fairness of one’s skin tone. In this context, beauty, which has been culturally instilled in the minds of many ethnic community members, has been categorized to only being in the hands of those who carry some degree of the Eurocentric phenotype.
In regards to the Afro-diaspora, beauty is also deemed by the standard of how light one may appear, along with portraying physical traits that are common within the Euro-diaspora. Collectively, different cultural and ethnic influences across the globe have come to the same consensus that beauty is a standard that is not only created by an Arian standard, but that it has also dominated the perception of beauty.
As a consequence of this phenomena, racial prejudice is simplistically based on the perception of an individual’s variance in skin tone, which, in this case, is from light to dark.
In the West, racial prejudice is conducted by a means of interpreting dark skin as well as Afrocentric features being indicators of someone belonging to the black race. As a result, a person that may want to participate or conduct racial discrimination, prejudice or any forms of racial attacks onto another person, can do so by simply recognizing hues of melanin, then being able to identify whether or not someone is black or a product of a different ethnic variation.
For those in the Western world who are racist, this makes conducting racial attacks very easy, considering all a person has to do is identify whether or not a person has hues of melanin. However, in the Arab-diaspora, racism is conducted a lot more intricately than the institutions that exist in the West.
In the Arab world, racism is a concept that is not so much discussed and more so conducted. Racial prejudice and forms of discrimination, as supported and provided by some institutions in the Arab world, normalize the mistreatment of those who are of a more “Afro experience than they are Arab.”
In the Middle East, examples of anti-blackness can be found within the political and economic institutions that continue to oppress black people. For example, the “Middle East Apartheid” is a process of slave trafficking, brutalizations and inhumane treatment toward black people. Through similar institutions, the Arab world attempts to reprimand the Afro-Arab diaspora from becoming a respected, self-liberated and determined entity that deserves human civil rights.
It is through the inner workings that some Arab states familiarize members within the Arab diaspora to identify and attack their Afro counterparts. This form of racial prejudice and identification has familiarized itself within the cultural mechanics of the Arab world through specifications of what makes a person Arab or Afro-Arab. In other words, it is broken down to a science.