See, I read this.
And then I responded with
Um…what kind of flesh? Taupe, Peach, Beige, Mocha, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cafe au Lait, Rosy, Splotchy, with freckles… Flesh comes in different colors.
“In 1962, Binney & Smith chose to change the name Flesh to Peach in response to the Civil Rights Movement, since not all people are the same skin color. While this is accurate, in reality, Crayola had changed this color from its original 1903 ‘Flesh Tint’ to Flesh then temporarily to ‘Pink Beige’, back to Flesh and then finally to Peach.” Wikipedia
And then this happened.
I thought it was a friendly reminder that using 'flesh' to describe a color is outdated and could be considered racist. Apparently, it was not taken in that spirit.
Someone pointed out to me that by saying that I wanted to be re-born a black woman- because black women have rhythm- would be considered racist. And what's the difference between saying that, and using the phrase "Jewed me down"? Good point. In my head, what I said was a positive and what my neighbor said was a negative. Making one a racist statement and one not...? But, just because it is positive doesn't necessarily make it not racist...
Last week I was on our school campus and the twins had wandered out of my sight. I laughingly asked one of the recess aides, who I know well, if she had seen my two brown kids who had wandered off. She remarked, laughing, "Oh, Trish, only you could say that". Uh, oh... I turned back, cocked my head, and we chatted about what I said. Did it sound racist? Would someone be offended by what I said? Did I offend her?
Am I being too sensitive, not sensitive enough? Or am I just thinking too much?
I found this. A little blurb from Bartleby.com.
And I read a Town Hall Article by Paul Jacob.
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as "other", different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.
It's interesting that of the five examples of "cultural racism," only one speaks to the usual key identifier of racial categorization: skin color. The others address ideas and speech patterns and cultural achievements, things that non-racists wouldn't normally attribute to racial factors at all.
It's worth remembering that for a "white" person a pinkish hue is "flesh," just as to a "black" person darker shades of brown would qualify. It's not racist to call some shade of pink "flesh" if you yourself are white. Nor is it racist to call "Burnt Sienna" "flesh" if that crayon is closest to your skin color. In these cases it's not racist, but apt.
What's racist is, upon seeing the relativity, to deny to the person of a different skin the term "flesh" for their color.
Some white Americans may have been a bit shocked to witness Crayola change the names of one of its crayons, back in the '60s, but it would have been racist for the company, upon noticing that their "flesh" didn't fit a huge segment of their clientele, to continue. "Peach" was more accurate.
Philosophers like to remind us to distinguish between fact and value. So let's do that here. It is a fact that "peach" is closer to the color of my flesh, or skin, than is "Burnt Sienna." It is also a fact that "peach" is nowhere near the color of Walter Williams's skin. Most of us can see the relativity of the terms, and most Americans have outgrown this issue.
You can read the whole article here
I read an article questioning band-aids as possibly racist. I found many references to the Crayola company changing their "flesh" color to "peach" and their "Indian Red" to "Chestnut".
My neighbor (different neighbor) and friend suggests that when we cut our skin open we are all the same color inside. Could that be construed as "flesh" colored? Another good point.
I think about these things. I like it if people let me know if my remarks are offensive or could be deemed offensive. Could someone take offensive at everything I say? Sure.
I still appreciate the heads up. And that, Chris, was my goal.
And my last questions.
Would the response had been different if I was Black... Mexican... Asian...instead of Caucasian?
Or different if Chris knew me and knew the spirit in which my comment was intended? There is quite a lot lost over the internet.
Or different if I was one of the "known" bloggers in the blog world? Perhaps I was treading where I should not be...
Certainly, lots to think about.