A rather close friend inspired this painting. During a conversation (about women no less), I mentioned that I knew very beautiful one that I wanted him to meet. His first question was, "What color is she?" His response caught me off guard considering we were both black men and he knew that the woman in question was black as well. "What do you mean?" I asked. "What color is she?" he responded. "Is she dark-skinned or a redbone? I like my women light, not dark." I was both stunned and stung by his comment. Not so much by the sentiment (I am not naïve to the intricacies of racism), but by the absoluteness of his delivery.
Interracial racism is familiar to all that would see, but rarely are the abuses of intraracial racism discussed. The idea that a knowing victim of bias had been so affected that they would (un)knowingly promulgate the sentiment raised serious questions about the cyclical nature of abuse. The abused had become the abuser. Though the scope of abuse in this case was limited to the favoritism of skin color, I couldn't help but wonder what other areas of his judgment had been affected and routinely exercised.