olorism and antiblackness
October 7, 2012
So this post on the color/racial hierarchy in the colonial Philippines has been making my brain work for a while now.
Look at this chart:
I’m not so concerned with the fine gradations of the privileged people at the top, but with who ended up at the bottom: the Negritos – Aeta, Batak, or MaManwa. And then, of course, there is a lot of beauty stuff also applied to this hierarchy (see this post on it).
And, lest anyone think that this is just a weird, but defunct, colonial thing. Look at another post in this series about Blackface in the Philippines and the FHM cover (tw: Blackface in the link).
What is entirely shitty about the FHM example is not that it happened and everything that allowed it to happen (someone thinking it was a good idea and *everyone* involved doing it without, idk, stopping it or thinking it is a bad idea), is how many people, involved or not, came out to defend the cover (since Blackface always gets some kind of defence). And not all the people defending it were Filipin@s (as is often the case when non-Black poc do black face, someone is quick to make a ‘they are just ignorant’ argument).
Look at the racial hierarchy and tell me that Filipin@s are ignorant of the colorism in our communities and the the anti-Blackness. How would that even make sense when we lived within a colonial rule that not only put Negritos at the bottom, but considered them an *distinct* community from the rest of diverse people they named “Filipin@s”. Furthermore, it is even less believable that our ‘ignorance’ can be deemed anything other than viewing Black people as less than human, when we were occupied/colonised by the us during a period (i.e., *all periods*) of extreme anti-Blackness in american history.
What I’m getting at with all of this
If you are Filipin@ and aren’t making anti-Blackness a central component of your decolonization or activism or life?
You will not only fail to decolonize in any meaningful sense of the term, but you will also be complicit in an anti-Blackness that has been part of our culture since the spanish came.
Because you need to rethink your worldview if you cannot see the connections between this spanish imposed hierarchy, american anti-Blackness, the current state of the entire African diaspora, colorism in the Philippines, how Indigenous groups like the Aeta are currently treated in the Philippines,
and how Filipin@s are consistently anti-Black in various ways *today*
you are failing to see the full extent of the impacts that colonisation has had on our people and what we need to do to be free.