LASO hosts colorism talk for Latino Heritage Month

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The Latin American Student Organization hosted an event explaining colorism and its effects for Latino Heritage Month Thursday night.

Colorism is defined as “differential treatment based on skin color, especially favoritism toward those with a lighter skin tone and mistreatment or exclusion of those with a darker skin tone, typically among those of the same racial group or ethnicity.”

Presenters further described it as another form of racism.

LASO executive board members discussed the damages of colorism within the Latinx community and solutions they believed would combat it.

The presenters explained that from their experiences as Latinx individuals they have found that many older Latinx individuals have said to date and have children with people who have lighter complexions than them so the children are born with lighter complexions.

LASO asked 40 individuals questions on colorism and found that:

· 15% of those who responded did not know what colorism is

· All believed colorism was an issue in today’s society

· 92.5% believed colorism is an issue in their community or culture

· 45% said they have experienced colorism

The presentation showcased well known individuals experiencing colorism like Yalitza Aparicio and Amara La Negra who have both spoken publicly about their experiences.

The executive board members also included experiences students shared with them:

· “I’m Black, and unfortunately dark skinned Black women are subject to the worst of the abuse and vitriol that is experienced by my community. They’re called dehumanizing names, vilified for their skin colors, hair types, etc. and are overall treated in a worse manner.”

· “I grew up in a small town that had very little diversity. I distinctly remember my sophomore year of high school my English teacher was asking who wanted to play the slave character (in the Crucible play) and she almost immediately asked me to play the part. As the only student in that class that was colored I found this incredibly racist. That was just one example of someone profiling me in my life.”

· “My dark skin friend has told me guys she dates are surprised that she is nice every time and that they have told her that they thought she was gonna be mean.”

· “People with fair skin are more likely to be hired for a more professional job than someone with darker skin. Someone with darker skin is usually associated with working class (campesino).”

· “Light skin men and women are often viewed as more appealing than dark skin men and women.”

The presenters said the way to combat colorism is informing people and taking a stand against colorism when they see instances of it, many of them saying they grew up seeing colorism frequently and realized the problem with it until they got older.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]