Do you have a color chip on your shoulder? This shit is heavy like a monkey on your damn back. Aaron and Tamu share their perspectives on colorism and discover Aaron’s first affinity for sad songs (Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life”). Come through with the tissue, fam!
Do you have a color chip on your shoulder? This shit is heavy like a monkey on your damn back. Aaron and Tamu share their perspectives on colorism and discover Aaron’s first affinity for sad songs (Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life”). Come through with the tissue, fam!
Aaron: [00:00:00]I'm gonna write some lyrics to it. Hoe, you my hoe.
And then you're probably like
Bitch, you my bitch. Oh, Oh, let's try it. Ready. One, two, three, go Hoe, you my hoe
Tamu: [00:00:51] Bitch you my bitch
Aaron: [00:00:59] yes.
Number one thing on the charts
hello everyone. Welcome to when the bill comes due.
Tamu: [00:01:09] I'm Tamu. And we're here to take you on a magical journey through life. Electric word life. It means forever.
That's mighty long time, but I'm here to tell you there's something else. Our podcast. Boom.
Aaron: [00:01:22] Wow. That's fancy.
Tamu: [00:01:25] So have you been this week?
Aaron: [00:01:28] We're very Christmasy this year. Have you guys set up your tree?
Tamu: [00:01:32] There's a tree. I'm not festive. but everybody else I live with is
Aaron: [00:01:36] is it a real tree.
Tamu: [00:01:37] What's the point of that? that requires you to go out and get one every time. And there's a lot of work involved in a real tree.
That's not this house. This is a very low maintenance home.
Aaron: [00:01:46] We have real and fake trees. I could do a fake tree, but Rich would never, he would never, ever, we've gone out a couple of times and tried to saw your own tree or pick your own tree?
No bueno. normally, they're not really good trees. They're [00:02:00] really young and they have this really tiny trunk. When we used to live in DC, I used to tell people that we used to be off of the green line and they built this development, like at the end of the line.
I used to tell them, you have to go through the hood to get to the good and the same is true at a Christmas tree farm, because there's this like scraggly shit everywhere.
And then like you see this like pristine whatever. So I don't know for the past. Few years I've been going along with this and we go all the way back, like back black to the back and yeah.
Tamu: [00:02:33] That's nice. any fun, exciting feedback from episode three?
Aaron: [00:02:40] a lot of my friends really liked the episode.
Tamu: [00:02:43] Good. I also receive feedback from one of my friends, Hannah, who is, one of the co-hosts of the anti-racist parenting podcast.
So definitely go check that out. she's working hard on allyship. So she found it very interesting and good information
Aaron: [00:02:58] yeah, lots of good comments. So [00:03:00] it was fun. Episode hard, but fun.
Tamu: [00:03:01] Well, we're about to start another super fun and potentially hard episode. I guess it's not necessarily when the bill comes to due, but this is more about, what happens in our internal communities and worlds. we're going to talk about colorism today and how that impacts our lives and how that has formed us into the people we are currently.
how we could potentially find ways to change those things. If we have to, I personally have issues. I don't know if you do
Aaron: [00:03:30] definitely. I guess in general terms, , I know about colorism, right? I'm not well-read in colorism. I think you probably have a more, textbook answer or more defined definition for our listeners of what colorism is.
What do you define it as
Tamu: [00:03:46] basically racism against our own, right? it's what we've been conditioned through slavery, to, subjugate ourselves and in fight between our own brothers and sisters who might be lighter. And [00:04:00] darker, so that we continue to have friction and not unity our own communities to move ahead and strive forward.
it's just another way to categorize in another way to make groups feel less than. it's the whole thing of on the plantation, the house slaves and the. Field slaves are different. How slaves look closer to master because usually that's who is they daddy.
field slaves are the ones who work in the fields and get whipped and treated more like crap I mean, listen, everybody's getting treated like crap in this situation. Nobody's winning.
So that's how I equated and I'll be 100% honest. I have a color chip on my shoulder, 100%. it's something that I've constantly and always wrestled with, but it's there and I would admit it, 100%.
Aaron: [00:04:48] What does that mean when you're talking about you have a color chip on your shoulder?
What does that mean for you?
Tamu: [00:04:54] Well, it means that because I'm a darker skinned woman that I am not considered beautiful. I am [00:05:00] not considered smart. I am not considered desirable. I'm not considered sexy. My hair is not straight. I lose out on all the categories. So I am, as you said earlier, black to the back.
And because we are Caribbeans in my family, colorism is the pervasive racism. In addition to her just regular systemic racism. Latinos are so racist. for example, my mom considers herself a black Dominican, which means that, she's not as desirable or as important as a lighter, a white appearing Dominican. she has got issues with that like she won't speak Spanish to people who, make comments like, Oh my gosh, you're Dominican because they're white Dominicans or white Puerto Ricans or whatever.
they're surprised. they think that she's just a regular old fashioned black woman, but then when she speaks Spanish, they're like, Oh shit,
Aaron: [00:05:53] You know, that's interesting because, I lived in Miami for a little bit and I think about Cubans and [00:06:00] that was probably my first encounter with a black Cuban speaking straight up Spanish, , or just any, latino, other than what I appeared to be a Mexican, because I'm from Texas speaking Spanish it was an interesting dynamic, but I never you saying that about the color, the colorism that existed, in your culture exists in your culture was interesting.
Cause I didn't, I don't know. I just feel like. I don't know, again, I probably don't know enough about the culture to really, comment on the colors and that exists within the Cuban community. But what you're saying makes sense,
Tamu: [00:06:34] my great-grandmother was a dark skinned, Puerto Rican. She's probably your complexion, but when she was a baby, she was white looking and had light eyes, they were greenish, Hazely and so on her passport, she was listed as white.
Aaron: [00:06:52] we have, a daughter, that's older and her birth certificate says she's white. She's Puerto Rican, her birth certificate [00:07:00] it says she's white. But, if you met her, if you interacted with her, to me, she's black,
Tamu: [00:07:06] this is too new, she's black, to her passport and our government, which is, this is a us passport, she white.
Aaron: [00:07:12] Right, right.
Tamu: [00:07:14] So it's just very interesting to see how those things happen. on my dad's side of the grandmother's side is from Barbados and my great grandmother looked like a little white lady. she was very fair.
my great grandfather, was probably my complexion ish. He hated his color and he wanted to be white so bad. So he made my grandmother's life. My grandmother, who was the same color, exact as he made her life terribly hell by calling her black and ugly and stupid, and that she would never amount to anything because of her complexion, his complexion.
And he exalted the lighter, children, in the family, and made them feel better because they were [00:08:00] lighter. So this is stuff that's gone on in my family history, through the generations. So nothing that's new to me, but I'm surprised that you don't notice it. Aaron, when you're looking at television or movies,
Aaron: [00:08:11] yes, of course, of course.
Tamu: [00:08:13] I'm surprised that you didn't experience that in Texas,
Aaron: [00:08:17] I would say that I didn't have a label or a name for it, but definitely it was there I've seen it. when my kids were younger, I'd say the twins are like seven or eight and we had a full six pack at that point.
I remember people like
Tamu: [00:08:31] Explain the six pack.
Aaron: [00:08:33] I have six children.
Tamu: [00:08:34] People might not be paying attention. We also might be having people starting from here.
Aaron: [00:08:38] Well, y'all need to start back in episode one.
Tamu: [00:08:40] Welcome and thank you for listening.
Aaron: [00:08:42] We love you. anyhow. we had six kids and we would go out, and people would comment always, like your kids are so cute and they would notice, of course, the fairer skinned children.
And then they would realize what the hell this was. And they were like, Oh, all of your children are beautiful, you know? And it was just like, Oh, [00:09:00] thank you. my colorism experiences probably have not been within my family. I mean, there's another example.
I have a step-grandmother, who's since passed on. I just remember I had gone to summer camp or something and she was at our house for the summer. And, she made the comment that I was in the sun too long and that I was going to be too black. And like that statement, I have always remembered it.
I didn't necessarily have a close relationship with her as an adult, but it really shaped my impression of her. and I don't know if it scared me or if it was just. I didn't like what she said the words that she said to me affected me, affected the relationship I had with her.
Tamu: [00:09:49] So you, you kind of put a guard up,
Aaron: [00:09:52] right. But has nothing to do with nothing to do with colorism. I mean, it's something I remember
I probably would say [00:10:00] colorism for myself is definitely when I think about my children. And I said before, in other episodes that, I know that my darker skin children may encounter. More issues in particular police brutality, all that good stuff.
versus my white looking children, so you're having to parent differently, but also we have a blended family, we have a very mixed family. my husband's white, I'm black. My kids are black. Some of my kids are black. All of my kids are black actually, but they, got some drops in them, you know?
it's a very complex dance, because, you don't want your kids to get hung up. Like you would have been hung up, like I was hung up on color.
I think it's more descriptive like that light skinned girl or that yellow bone, you know, it's just ingrained in the culture.
Right. it's a racism. It's an, it's an ism, that we just ingrained in our society in our life, just even the fact that [00:11:00] people, even when I had kids, asking where are they from? What, what color are they are?
You know, are they mixed? people feel like they have the audacity to ask these they're trying to probably figure out why my black ass has these white ass kids. And like, what's the connection here?
Tamu: [00:11:15] How does that work in the gay community? Are you an exotic because you're darker or have you had that experience or encountered that at all?
Aaron: [00:11:23] everyone knows that by all accounts, I should have been married to a 5'5" Latino that spoke no English.
Yes. And I married the sweetest most beautiful, lovely white boy from Iowa. a lot of my friends back home were like, are you okay? Like, yeah, I love him. He's cute. He's great.
I digress from that statement, just to say that, I remember, definitely in Texas and in Austin during college times, definitely was not a hot commodity in the South. and I moved, Miami, you know, it's [00:12:00] my people, so we were good. We had some fun in Miami, and Minnesota too exotic. I would, that's a, that is a perfect phrase, for when I moved to Minnesota exotic, I will say now I never want it to be anyone's fantasy that's for sure.
But I think that a lot of people have that fantasy. and that was definitely a lot of the attraction. What about you?
Tamu: [00:12:24] One point in time a young white man from Staten Island was interested in me and actually professed that he wanted to marry me with meeting me.
After a day. No. but that was straight up like early nineties and anytime I told anybody in my family anything about this, or even my friends, they were kind of like, yeah, but what's he, after again, it's this, you know, the dark Berry thing or is he just trying to like.
get a notch on his belt it was always trying to figure out what their motives were. [00:13:00] However, I was always, Very much a pro dark skin person. I wanted a darker skin boyfriend, I was like light skin whatevers. most of my crushes were dark skin ends up that dark skin men didn't seem interested in me so much 100 percent.
And they wanted the light-skinned to the ladies or the Latinas. or the honey coated complected ladies as LL cool. J likes to say in his, around the way girl , I always think that God likes to fuck around with people. And so my first boyfriend was I high yellow man.
Right. And then the next one. I moved here for ended up being a white man and then a dalliance with another white man. So completely off type, not what I would have picked at all for myself. Right. But they just sort of popped in because they were the ones that were interested. I couldn't [00:14:00] get a dark skinned man to be interested in me if I fucking paid them money at that point in time.
Aaron: [00:14:04] sitting here thinking and listening about your story. I think about, what was it like for like me, for like gay men? And I feel like I was trying to rationalize it to think, well, we're probably, we already outcast , because we were gay. Right. And then you get into, I feel like all bets are off
Tamu: [00:14:20] And there's a weird hierarchy.
I think in the gay community, even in talking to my younger, obviously much younger cousin who experiences those things now as a young gay man where he has a hard time being a young black gay man, because people are, just trying to knock off their fantasies,
Aaron: [00:14:41] definitely level of racism in the gay community.
I always remember as a kid and maybe this is the ingrained colorism, right?
This is the ingrained colorism at, at five years old. I just remember being attracted to lighter skinned people, and I [00:15:00] think it's, what your environment is as well. I was a suburban kid, one of a handful of black families, pretty much in all white, uh, predominantly white school.
You're sort of attracted to what you're around. And then maybe that's when I think in the last episode, I talked a little bit about, , being in DC and people not making eye contact with each other, at work and things like that. So maybe the seed that was planted to some degree.
when I was plopped into that suburban existence in this predominantly white world. Right. And maybe I didn't. associate or see, or date or attract, because somehow I knew that it wasn't, I don't know. I don't want to say that wasn't gonna get me anywhere, but maybe it wasn't going to get me anywhere.
Or that it's that ingrained I don't know. I don't even know if this is making sense, but do you understand, trying to say,
it's fucked up basically.
Tamu: [00:15:58] Yeah. Yeah. [00:16:00] Well, perfect example within my own family structure most of the men in my family don't tend to go for black women, black facing women. I don't believe at this point, none of my cousins who are the next generation, none of them are with anybody. Who is a black woman from what I understand or a black man. it always bothered me that nobody ever really brought home. Although I think my cousin slash God's son brought home a darker skinned woman recently to meet the family.
But I don't know if she's still in the picture. it's disheartening because you were brought up by. A black woman, not to say that you should find your mother as a replicant or whatever, but you're brought up by a strong, beautiful black woman, and yet still used, can't see it.
And within yourself to go and find yourself a strong, beautiful [00:17:00] black woman to be in your life. It has to be. The long curly hair or, be Hispanic or Asian or white or light-skinned black girl. Not that they're not black, that's where my color chip comes in.
it's always the next best thing. we are always cast down to the bottom and the next best thing is that honey coated complected chick. Which is what I had to grow up, hearing about listening to and watching and seeing in videos and on magazines, so that's why I have a color chip
Aaron: [00:17:32] it's complex. It really is because when I think about it, and again, I'm a man in this perspective, right? I'm not looking for my father and that's part of it too. For me. I, have resolved in fact that, part of my attraction to Latinos and non-black men had to do with my father.
It wasn't necessarily a great relationship. It wasn't something that was good for me. [00:18:00] And I, I think that attributes to my. Attraction to other races. I hear you say that. about, black men and, them wanting to run to, the lighter skin and woman, which is truly, truly, truly a thing.
I would like to say that if I met a great black guy, I would be with him. And if I've met a great Mexican guy would be with him. I don't know. Right. I don't have the answer to that either. I've married, who I married, but God, I hope that less of the issue now and more that people just don't give a shit.
my kids. we're a biracial couple and they see me, they see rich. And so I'm sure someone will pick, choose those qualities and their next mate.
Tamu: [00:18:48] But you also live in a predominantly white state
Aaron: [00:18:52] will that too. definitely that's at play as well at well, for sure. I do think our children's generations, that it's less [00:19:00] of an issue.
Tamu: [00:19:00] I do agree with you that it is different now. I think, now that you're seeing more black women being pushed forward and. You're seeing them in media and in print and in other spaces as beautiful, you're seeing their facial features as beautiful.
Like, I will give you an example. My dad thinks Lupita Nyongo is an unattractive woman.
Aaron: [00:19:28] I love her.
Tamu: [00:19:29] this is, what we're talking about. This is a colorism issue, right? your older children or younger children probably see Lupita and think she's gorgeous because that's, what's being promoted now.
Aaron: [00:19:42] Absolutely.
Tamu: [00:19:42] That wasn't being promoted in our time. Definitely not their time. I think it's great now that these things are happening, that you're seeing more, I'm going to say black love with the love of the darker black woman, the love of the darker black man. [00:20:00] To me, that is important for kids of color to see so that they can not grow up feeling.
The way that I did, like, nobody's going to want me because I'm Brown or they're going to think I'm ugly because my lips are bigger or my nose is a little bit more spread out. Now those features are glorified and considered a beautiful, I think that's fantastic, but that's not to say that there's still not even on top of that.
Right that layer it's still there because drills down further into the hair is not quite curly enough. It's not 3C, 3A, 3B or 4A, all these stupid fucking categories that we continue to box ourselves into, as opposed to just saying you're just a beautiful person who the fuck cares. What's growing out of your head. can you read, can you think, do you have critical thinking skills?
these things are important, that's where I'm coming from with [00:21:00] it in terms of I'm happy to see the shift start to come up, but we still have a long road ahead as black people.
As People of color to dismantle and dispel because this is happening, not just in the black community or black culture, it's happening across all cultures, where the darker you are, the less you are considered to be important, desired, intelligent.
it would be nice just to, not to have that issue come up, period.
Aaron: [00:21:34] I go to pick my kids up from the school and many times kids are like, there's two questions either.
There's either, Hey. Is that your dad or, Hey, do you have two dads? those are the two questions they get and I hear them and I just walk away from it. Well, sometimes I'll answer. If they ask me directly, I'll say, yep. I think kids are just having natural curiosity they're very matter of fact about their inquiries,
the other thing that [00:22:00] makes me sad is, I often pick up, my kids from daycare and the younger kids they're lighter white looking kids, , And sometimes when I walk in the classroom.
my baby runs to me, but you also see like other kids just fearing me and it breaks my heart every time I see it just because like, Oh honey. am I the first one you've seen?
I'm not very emotional person, but it just makes me sad when I see it because that is the fear and it's exactly what you talk about the exposure and of course now shit I have never seen so much color on TV.
I've never seen so many gay people lesbians, all the trans , Ru Paul's in a commercial it's great.
Tamu: [00:22:43] I love it.
Aaron: [00:22:44] It's great. It's wonderful. in a fucked up disgusting year, like 20, 20, we can celebrate the fact that people are just now getting it.
But if you really want to think about it, it's about the money girl. It's about the money.
Tamu: [00:22:58] not only that, but it's about. I call [00:23:00] it a checkbox, so what are you bitching about to me? There's a trans person on TV. What are you bitching about to me? We have a black character, what are you bitching about to me, there's a woman, it's always going to be trying to cover their asses.
And you have to always wonder, is this really genuine? Are you really trying to do this?
we getting all these black CEOs and all these black heads of whatever, all of a sudden, okay. This is fantastic and wonderful, but maybe they shouldn't all be happening at one time in 2020, because I started complaining about shit.
Aaron: [00:23:31] Right, right. Yes. Yes. Maybe this should have been happening decades ago.
Tamu: [00:23:37] Not only that, but here is my issue again, this is where my color chip comes in. It's always some light bitch or some light-skin dude who is in charge, they were considered to be, the miracle talented layer back in the day, right?
Like dark skin, people were so stupid and dumb bubble head idiots. But this one magical layer of [00:24:00] Negro. The skinned ones, we're going to show and prove for the rest of us to show that the race was smart once you've mixed it in with white. And it irritates me Obama is a great black president, but he's a half black president.
If he was a full black man. Yes, he has very forward-facing facing black features. Right. But if he was full on a black man, I doubt it. Look at the vice-president Kamala is very much not. black facially featured darker skinned.
She's still light These are the things I think about when I see these people. Yes. They're black. but they're only getting in because they're acceptable looking black. for me. if Michelle became vice president or Michelle became president, then I could be like, okay, we're finally moving forward because Michelle is a black woman, black featured black skinned.
[00:25:00] Aaron: [00:25:00] That's tough.
Tamu: [00:25:01] Look at shit in the world. I'm not crazy. I know it sounds like I am, but even still today, there aren't a lot of dark skin, black people doing a lot of things. Big things.
Aaron: [00:25:17] You know that? Yes, that's true. That's always been true. my hesitation was just thinking about, I don't know, this is the problem with a kid that was grown up pie in the sky.
Cause like I'm thinking, you know, I think it's great that Obama, I hear what you're saying too, like that he was, not fully black.
Tamu: [00:25:36] I mean, he's a Brown man. he's a black man. Right. But he's still white. He's still lighter. He's not your complexion. He's not my complexion.
Aaron: [00:25:45] that's tough for me because again, and this is me pie in the sky, Aaron, James, right? I mean he's black, he's white. First of all, I think the union of his parents was beautiful. I think about those things. And I think, well, that's progress too.
And so I don't want to [00:26:00] discount that, but I hear what you're saying. That for people that look like us, for people that came to this country and were dropped here, There has never been a person in that office that looks
Tamu: [00:26:11] like
Aaron: [00:26:12] right.
Tamu: [00:26:13] And don't get it twisted. I'm biracial.
Aaron: [00:26:17] Yes.
Tamu: [00:26:17] I'm Afro Caribbean. You would not know this by looking at me. You would just think that it was a black woman. You wouldn't say, Oh, you're Dominican. You're Puerto Rican.
That's what I mean. It's still there. the undercurrent of things. I notice it obviously, because like I said, I'm very sensitive to it. So I notice it, I see it and I recognize it and I'm like, Oh, here we go. Again. Just relax it's still a positive movement for the cause. However, most of the celebrated people in our black history with the exception of maybe MLK and a few others have been very. Light-skinned because that's what was [00:27:00] pushed to the fore.
Aaron: [00:27:00] And that's what America could accept. Right,
Tamu: [00:27:02] exactly.
Aaron: [00:27:03] it's fucked up and there's no ripe.
I mean, there is a right answer. Right. We need like 25. Years for that. I don't know. I don't, I'm kidding. It won't be that long.
I think about do you remember when scandal came out and Carrie Washington, beautiful black, beautiful black woman with a white president.
Right. And so like, I just remember watching that and thinking. Fuck. That's really cool. That's really cool that we've progressed as a society, but in reality, like that's not reality, right? that's the fantasy on TV. And so even though we're reflecting it in our billboards, in our commercials and you see gay people here and you see lesbians here, and you see dark skin, black people here, you're not seeing them.
where you expect them to at this point, right? if your visuals reflect America, then. It should be hella [00:28:00] rainbow colors up , in every corporation. Right? I got to where you were by talking through that because for me, like Obama was black Kamala's black and it's, but I get it right.
But to take it the other way and think about, I'm a marketing advertising person anyway, to take it the other way you see this, because I used to I would love to see more people of color in your ads or there's never anything for our kids to relate to and you see that in advertising, but you're absolutely right. You don't see it in the people that lead us
Tamu: [00:28:36] or in the people that we tout as heroes or people of our community, you know, I mean, let's be real. I'm gonna, I know that I'm going to get shade for this and it's okay. Prefacing it by saying, I think Beyonce is fantastic, but I think Kelly is the most beautiful woman in the world.
Aaron: [00:28:55] Agreed. I love Kelly. I love Kelly. You can say that [00:29:00] 20 times. I agree, and I love Beyonce. Sorry, Beyonce.
Tamu: [00:29:04] I Stan for her, but if you put them in front of me and ask me, which one do you think is the most beautiful, I'm going to tell you it's Kelly. And I'm going to tell you that 99% of people will say it's Beyonce.
Aaron: [00:29:18] You're right. Yeah. I, 100% agree with you. You were just saying frame of reference for people of color. I'll use that term frame of reference where people of color and, we were just watching leave it to Beaver and I love leave it to Beaver. I used to watch it every day after I came home from school, it was, the eighties.
but like I was just sitting there looking at, and I was just like, my God, this was my frame of reference. this was America's frame of reference of a two parent household, two kids, everyone white, I think George Floyd, for sure. Woke me up and you see things differently. I was watching, the toy Richard Pryor, and [00:30:00] I just thought, God damn black people are funny.
we've used that for years. Right. That's gotten us through
But How humiliating was that movie to him? I was going to sit and watch it with my kids they were done and I was really sad because there were so many racial undertones and being black and these black jokes.
Was the joke of the movie and I'm just like, Oh my God, this shit is deep, deep, deep, it's deep. and I really hope that's what people are seeing and understanding and analyzing for themselves. It's not just that off the cuff black joke, which I love a good joke. Right. And that's, that's the bad part is right.
It's just going to get fucked up because people like, Oh, I can't say that anymore. You know? it's gonna change society, unfortunately, but. black people have been the butt of the joke many times, for comedy the time yes. Continued. Right? it's just so ingrained in our culture and in everything, and I'm seeing it now and [00:31:00] like, Screaming colors.
Tamu: [00:31:01] I actually found in my trapper keeper of time, a writing sample so that I could become a writer at vibe, which never happened, but I thought it was appropriate
it's gotta be like 94 95 that I wrote this. it's called missing sisters of a darker shade of Brown. By me, the problem is an age old one that many people dismiss as nothing serious. However, what they fail to realize is that no matter how trifle my observations may seem, it is real and rocks the core of many darker women.
The other day, I was watching music videos. When I noticed that the majority of sexy video Vixens were either Latinas or very light-skinned Brown women with long straight hair. I couldn't place my finger on exactly what was wrong with that until I watched more videos and realized there were no darker Brown skinned women in the majority of music, videos, being a darker Brown skin [00:32:00] woman, I was angered and appalled by this atrocity because I know that there are beautiful, darker Brown sisters in this world, but five of them in the next Joedci to see video, the odds are that you want what you will see are dark Brown women who are very natural looking. i.e., Short hair, basically shave close to their heads, skin, the color of dark chocolate and large full lips. Although these women are beautiful and sexy. They are not portrayed. on the video screen, they were either wearing baggy clothes or backup dancing, or doing some behind the scenes of work. An excellent example of this is Portrait'ss video. "Here We Go". All of the women. Yeah, they were singing to our light-skin tall and slender. The only darker Brown woman was drowning in a pair of baggy overalls, holding a picture frame.
Aaron: [00:32:50] wait. I'm sorry. What was the group? I didn't hear the word.
Tamu: [00:32:53] Portrait, Oh, see, you don't even know.
Aaron: [00:32:55] I was like Portrait ,
Tamu: [00:32:56] okay, we're going to watch this video after we're done.
Aaron: [00:32:58] Oh, [00:33:00] sorry. Go ahead.
Tamu: [00:33:02] She was drowning in a pair of baggy overalls, holding a picture frame. She was a beautiful woman, but no one would take notice of her because she did not look like the other woman in the video.
I say all this to say, That what it seems on the video screen correlates directly into the mainstream of society.
Look around at the people walking arm-in-arm on the streets. You'll see a majority of Brown men with white Latina or light Brown skinned women. Why? The answer is that baby fine hair and a light honey coated complexion is what most men are trained to desire and find beautiful. Videos add to this by only showing these kinds of women in music videos, the musicians are acting in accordance with society.
And doing what they have fantasized about all of their lives, a beautiful buxom, fair skinned, sex goddess with hair down her back, straddling them, rubbing her long fingertips all over their puny, muscular frames and her body dripping [00:34:00] wet with her nipples ever extended, making them feel like the most handsome and desired men in the world.
Since the majority of men want to feel like men in the videos, they are going to overlook the beautiful, darker Brown sister and step into the lighter shade of Brown to the women who love songs sung by these men. Don't you sometimes feel disappointed when you see who the songs that you think are being sung only to you are really being sung to?
And isn't it funny that when a woman. Has a jam that people love like Janet, they cover the entire color spectrum. So no one feels left out and men can envision themselves as being seduced by Janet and others. Like her.
Aaron: [00:34:43] That's very true
Tamu: [00:34:44] to the men who make the videos. What's an equal opportunity flavor. I applaud you and hope that others will take your positive and unbiased view of music being for everyone.
I feel like I should have got the job
Aaron: [00:34:56] I love, uh, And like, it's a [00:35:00] perspective you don't think about. Right? but you're fucking right. I was visualizing rump shaker video,
Tamu: [00:35:07] Throw a dart at a video.
Aaron: [00:35:08] That's so true. Shit. Send it again,
it's still not too late to get a job at vibe, just FYI. I you're an amazing writer and you should acknowledge that. I do.
Tamu: [00:35:20] I'll just probably put it on our blog page.
Aaron: [00:35:25] Wow. That was a good discussion.
Tamu: [00:35:27] Any last thoughts?
Aaron: [00:35:28] I'd love to revisit this conversation because just as I have many, many thoughts, this is a great topic and it's probably something I think about every single day now.
every day I see color, can we talk about this? We keep trying to close this shit up
I keep thinking about this because many people have said it to me and I've heard it before from other people. And we just need to put this to bed.
You do see color. We all see color. So to me, when you [00:36:00] say I don't see color, I know you're trying to mean something really lovely to me, but it's not real. Can I get an amen? This is not real.
Tamu: [00:36:10] Amen.
Aaron: [00:36:11] you understand what I'm saying? Right?
Tamu: [00:36:12] Yes, I do. We just literally had an hour conversation about color,
Aaron: [00:36:16] right?
Right. So don't say that
Tamu: [00:36:20] it's just stupid thing to say.
Aaron: [00:36:21] I'm done. I'm sorry, Mariah. I love you. That's the last one. I swear.
What about you? Last thoughts.
Tamu: [00:36:36] What I will say is we have a long way to go as black people I feel like if we can all unite. Just think of how much more powerful we would be as a cohesive unit of people who aren't fighting amongst each other for some stupid, created like wrung on a ladder. That's not even created by any of us, but created by quote unquote our [00:37:00] masters. So we need to start to think better. Of ourselves and start to appreciate us all for who we are and the beauty of our diversity. I mean, we are literally a fucking rainbow people and we need to appreciate that in all of us.
And then we can move forward and we can take over quite frankly, if we can all just get past all this bullshit that they put on us from day one.
Aaron: [00:37:28] Okay. I know we're closing up to make me think of one more thing, you made me think of something I wrote down in my little book about the fact that if we're trying to call for equality and justice and all of this black people, you need to love all people that includes all of the gay people that you've rejected for years by the adopted religion of your slave owners.
First of all, Right. we've been compounded with these things [00:38:00] and I, 100% agree with you. We can not heal. This will not be real until we can all stand side by side with each other black, light skinned, yellow bone, mixed whatever the case may be and stand and solidarity gay, straight trans all of it.
if we're really tired of this shit, then fucking be tired of it. Otherwise, what the fuck are we doing?
Tamu: [00:38:24] Right? Because you can't be tired of one layer of it, but then not tired of another layer of it because it's all the fucking same, and it will all meld into the same shit that we've been fighting for centuries.
And aren't you all tired of it because I am, I'm tired of it. I'm sick of it. If we could all come together as our own people of consciousness and realize that we are stronger than anything that these fucking people can throw at us. If we could just stick together and not in fight amongst each other and try to think one of us [00:39:00] is better than the other.
It's not true. We're all fighting. The same fight is just looks slightly different. It's the same fucking fight. Yeah.
Aaron: [00:39:10] Ooh, amen. Sister Tammy. Yes, that's a great, that was really great.
Tamu: [00:39:17] Yay. All right. Well, we'll take a moment and we'll come back with our throwback back segment.
Aaron: [00:39:29] I don't know.
I don't know.
I love this song.
Tamu: [00:39:43] thanks for hanging in there with us.
Today's throwback is
Aaron: [00:39:48] she's out of my life by Michael Jackson.
I thought about this after I picked it. And I shouldn't have, because this was a really deep episode. this song came [00:40:00] out I think, uh, 1984,
Tamu: [00:40:02] 1980 from the Off the Wall album, so right before thriller.
Aaron: [00:40:07] Okay. Yes. So. I would have been five or six maybe. And my aunt surely died, around the time that this album came out. Shirley is my very favorite cousin Sandra's, daughter. I remember listening to it. And for me, this was my first sad song. You're talking about how you love a love song.
I love. Sad songs for whatever reason, they make me feel really good. And this one in particular, my aunt had died, but it was my first thought of, Hey, I want to be a songwriter. I really loved, I loved the pain. from my perspective, obviously I thought Michael Jackson wrote it.
And so I was like, God, that poor guy, you know, who is this girl? But I really wasn't even thinking about the relationship, for me, the lyrics were about my aunt Shirley and just being [00:41:00] sad about that moment. And I didn't really catch onto the love song till later, but yeah, that was, that's probably why I love this song.
Tamu: [00:41:08] some background information on this particular song is that it was a heartfelt ballad written by Tom Bahler, not Baller, but my colorBah-Ler. And it was inspired by a breakup .
Michael Jackson had said that the song forced him to confront feelings of loneliness, of being so rich in some experiences while being so poor in moments of true joy.
And apparently according to Quincy Jones, they had. Done the song in like eight to 11 takes and he cried at the end of every single take. And so he's really crying at the end of the song.
Aaron: [00:41:47] I love that.
Tamu: [00:41:49] And then again, it's probably because he's never had to experience those feelings.
this is going to be fucked up and shady, but maybe it wasn't she's out of my life.
[00:42:00] Aaron: [00:42:00] Okcurr.
I was going to say, but I was no tea, no shade, girl. No tea, no shade.
Tamu: [00:42:07] And that would have been fine. Like
Aaron: [00:42:09] that's why I get in where you fit boo, no judgment here. is there any connection to this song for you?
Tamu: [00:42:18] every time a year she's out of my life, it's just very sad and emotional. it always makes me think of An unrequited love or a love not quite fulfilled or that feeling of loneliness and isolation. For me, at least when I listened to Michael Jackson like stranger in Moscow, which is one of my favorite songs of his, but it's all about him just walking down the street and fucking Moscow, Russia, and being so alone and feeling so isolated and alone.
And that's usually how I felt. So I always could relate to what he was singing in those particular moments.
Aaron: [00:42:54] I consider that a love song. I consider that a love song.
You broke up with your love. [00:43:00]
Tamu: [00:43:00] say it's maybe a love reckoning song where he's realizing, Oh, I could have done a bunch of shit differently. Maybe you wouldn't have left. That's the point of the song
Aaron: [00:43:09] It's still a love song.
Tamu: [00:43:12] It's a break--
Aaron: [00:43:20] okay. We're going to put a poll out there now for this motherfucker. Okay. Is it a love song? Is it a death song? Like I said, or is it a breakup
is it the first hybrid? Cause you know, like people now are like, I love you. I want to fuck you. I hate you.
Tamu: [00:43:37] Yeah. But a none of that, that is not anything that has to do with this song.
He's not wanting to fuck anything
Aaron: [00:43:46] that was questionable.
Well, anything else on that? I don't have anything else on that song.
Tamu: [00:43:52] It is a very sad song. It does evoke emotions of sadness and loss [00:44:00] and all of those things. So I can see why you can equate that to the loss of your mom and your cousins loss of their mom.
Aaron: [00:44:08] what song would that be for you?
whoever's closest to you that would have died. What song have you kind of canceled off the list that you just can't listen to without emotion?
Tamu: [00:44:17] it's a song called this woman's work.
When my great grandmother passed away in 2000. I was going to the airport, leaving New York, coming back to Minneapolis, and this song was playing in the taxi and I started balling.
unfortunately, Not been there for her Homegoing per se. I had landed not too long after she had passed, so I didn't get to be there to say fully goodbye.
So that's the song I kind of equate with that.
Aaron: [00:44:51] , I should be crying, but I just can't let it show I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking. Oh, [00:45:00] wow. Okay. I love music.
Tamu: [00:45:06] Music's a fucker
for me. It is. definitely a very powerful, channel of emotion, channel of creativity.
Um, there were a lot of. Good things about music, but also it evokes, a lot of sadness and can take you to at least meet the very pit of despair.
Aaron: [00:45:32] I think I'm sure I would. I would like to think for everybody, they probably have that, but I 100% agree, music has been everything for me. And probably most of my life can be like timelines by the release of a Mariah Carey album.
I know I didn't, I wasn't going to mention it again, but yeah.
Well, so we wrap this shit up.
Tamu: [00:45:51] You sure you want to wrap it up? Cause
you're a big Minnesota good-bye person.
Aaron: [00:45:55] I don't want, do
Tamu: [00:45:56] you have any housekeeping? I mean, you have a big deal that you just [00:46:00] did.
Aaron: [00:46:00] Oh, uh, um, G G G G G ladies and gentlemen we are now live and in color on Tik TOK,
we needed the whistle register for that one. @whenthebillcomesdue
so y'all find me come through. I'm very excited about that, but you're going to do the housekeeping this time.
Tamu: [00:46:30] like, and subscribe please write a review. I think mostly on Apple, but I think you can write it on any place that you're listening to our podcast.
I believe we are finally on iHeart radio. So please definitely listen, tell your friends. I know that these aren't the easiest subjects that we could be talking about right now. And it's not happy, stuff, but
Aaron: [00:46:53] it's important.
Tamu: [00:46:54] it's stuff that, I think as we head into the next phase of our lives, that we really are [00:47:00] trying to contemplate and figure out how we can move forward in the best way for us; Aaron, has kids. And for me, breaking cycles within my own.
Generational history. I know that it's hard for people to listen to, and it's sometimes tiresome, but we do have fun times between and at the end, so definitely worth it.
Aaron: [00:47:21] We are definitely worth it, but I would also add to that, this goes to back what we talked about last week, I personally don't necessarily have the time to teach people, but I think there are lessons to be learned here as well. this could be thing in your arsenal.
Tamu: [00:47:34] We don't have a hundred percent, right.
We're learning and figuring out and reading and making our own ways through every single moment, we're going through these processes just as much as everybody else's in real time.
That's the beauty of this, I think, and I really hope that we're helping people. And just, honestly, it's just humanizing people of color. You know, this is a shit we have to think about,
Aaron: [00:47:56] well, we're going down that Debbie downer road again,
Tamu: [00:47:59] on [00:48:00] Instagram @whenthebillcomesdue
We'd like to hear from you too. if you had questions for us DM us on Instagram, can you DM on Tik TOK? I don't know what that's about.
Aaron: [00:48:12] Yeah, you can slide into our DMs. Yes, ma'am
Tamu: [00:48:17] wash your hands, social distance. Keep your bitch asses at home.
Covid is legit.