I don’t quite know what to make of this.
Kharis Rogers, 10, and her mother, live in South Los Angeles. Kharis, who is Black, claims she was bullied for the ultra ebony palate of her dark skin, of all things. South Los Angeles is an archetypal Black community and such an allegation is baffling. It’s hard to believe a child would be bullied for having skin whose hue is not that extreme a deviation from most Black people I’ve seen in this town. It would be like a Chinese girl in Shanghai claiming she was bullied for having too much of an epicanthic fold.
Kharis is dark, but not darker than the typical South L.A. resident.
Granted, she does run a shade slightly more murky than we’re used to seeing, but it’s nothing untoward or conspicuously distracting.
She does cite an interesting anecdote from her 1st grade class.
She remembers a moment in first grade that still hurts.
“The teacher — we were supposed to draw ourselves — and she gave me a black crayon instead of a brown crayon, And I came home crying. I didn’t know what to do,” Kharis says.
Ha! That’s quite funny. Little Kharis seems a tad precociously dramatic; I predict a wonderful career as BLM spokeswoman in her future.
A South Los Angeles girl spent way too long bullied by people who called her ugly — because she had dark skin.
“I know I’m pretty I’m not gonna let anyone tell me different,” says Kharis Rogers.
But that wasn’t the case a few months ago…
“I just didn’t feel I was that pretty. I thought it was really ugly, people telling me it was ugly.” she says.
Rogers is talking about her skin tone…
“I felt like they were bullying me because of my skin color because I was darker,” she says.
What is going on here?
The news report is a bit nebulous when it comes to describing the provocateurs who would call out this young girl for having dark skin in a neighborhood whose collective pigmentation perhaps does seem a bit weighted on the black end of the crayon spectrum than the brown. However…”South Los Angeles,” while describing a clearly delineated neighborhood in this city, also happens to represent a figurative geographical span that encompasses many rather shitty neighborhoods south of downtown.
Interestingly, South Los Angeles has undergone a radical demographic shift over the past few decades and now we can safely assume its “newer” inhabitants perhaps skew toward the brown crayon end of the spectrum, slowly leaving the black behind.
This would certainly explain the “colorism” alleged by Kharis’ older sister, Taylor Pollard.
That’s right, homey: colorism, for those occasions that the source of racism bucks the narrative. If you can’t blame Whitey, then you blame…the mocha skin shades.
According to Kharis, her mother’s “solution” involved enrolling her in a more “diverse” school, but this move backfired.
Her mom did and switched her into a more diverse school. But still the nasty comments continued.
“There were a couple girls that were bullying me because I was too dark, but it was coming from black girls, too – so I was really confused, Kharis says.
Her big sister sprang into action.
“There is an issue of colorism in any race and I think it’s important to instill confidence,” says sister Taylor Pollard.
This is the only instance in which the race of “bullies” was alluded to in this story.
I suspect the other group which harangued the little girl for her “dark” skin might have been some of that 48.6%. But it eschews the traditional victimization script, so we’ll just leave that here…