Tue | Aug 21, 2018

There's dark skin and there's dark skin

Published:Wednesday | October 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: I thank those persons who read my Gleaner online article published on Monday, September 29, 2014, titled 'Too many black children with bad hair', and took the time out to comment. However, I was taken to task by some because I said that "one of our two major political parties has never been led by a dark-skinned person", and was reminded that Hugh Shearer was dark-skinned.

I feel compelled to clarify my statement.

To be honest, the term 'dark-skinned' is relative. When compared with a Scandinavian Caucasian, he would have been considered to be dark-skinned, but not when compared with the range of skin tones found in people of black African descent. I refer you to photographs of Mr Shearer and P.J. Patterson, which illustrate my point.

I have no evidence that Mr Shearer's party has in any way practised any form of shadism, and was merely making an observation. Unfortunately, for some Jamaicans, skin tone, even among black people, is an issue.

For example, I know someone who was upset when her daughter, who is Mr Shearer's complexion, married a man who has Mr Patterson's complexion.

I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding.