Essay about The Case For Legal Recognition Of Colorism

1242 Words Sep 29th, 2015 5 Pages
The various articles included within Shades of Difference discuss the dynamic complexities and differences of colorism and racism, two terms that have been incorrectly used interchangeably for years by society to refer to generalized, racist phenomena. However just like Trina Jones explained in “The Case for Legal Recognition of Colorism Claims,” colorism is the maltreatment of another based on their skin color, while racism is the prejudicial and stereotypical beliefs one holds and perpetuates towards another based on their racially assigned group. Color may be used to assign others to a group but despite the contrary, is not an actual indicator of race, although its ideas are similar to Brazilians. “With racism, it is the social meaning afforded one’s race that determines one’s status. With colorism, it is the social meaning afforded one’s color that determines one’s status” (225). The importance of distinguishing between race and colorism is that it is often compared and idealized as having similar meanings by the social, political, and legal structures, when in fact its denotation is independent from race, but may also intersect and become interdependent with it in some circumstances. While the term ‘color’ is often included in many legal documents used to defend racism, this is problematic because the basis in which many of these clauses were created do not identify colorism as a legitimate and separate incident from racism because of its less popularized link to…

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