Willie Richardson / May 13, 2020

Mind Over Melanin

When it comes to bias about skin color, it’s time for many Americans to think again.

Here we go again. It’s an election year. Tensions are high from COVID-19. What is America missing this spring season? Enter another media melanin manipulation.

Melanin is a skin pigment, and it’s what makes hair, skin, and eyes appear darker. Black and brown people are born with it; Caucasians crave it. During this season, tanning beds are packed with “white people” who have melanin mania. Caucasians don’t want to be “white.” The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice. It’s a better look to be bronzed on the beach. Aesthetically, darker skin shows more definition and research has found that melanin may help protect the skin from UV rays. Increasing melanin may also help block processes in the body that lead to skin cancer.

On the flip side, besides being naturally “melanated,” black people view melanin as a mechanism for a specific mentality. If your skin is darker, then everyone who looks like you is supposed to think like you, talk like you, walk like you, and even vote like you. In contrast to Caucasians, the blacker the berry, the more monolithic the thinking.

Seeing life through the kaleidoscope of color can be confusing. How does my epidermis determine my intellect? How does skin determine whether something is a sin? Why does a black man’s skin determine his kin? All your skin folk ain’t your kinfolk. Black people are in a color conundrum of epic proportions.

Fellow Americans, with this context, lean in and see if you can see what I see as a “black” man.

Enter Ahmaud Arbery.

If you haven’t heard his name in this media firestorm, then you need to poke your head out of quarantine. The media melanin manipulation introduced the public to him something like this. Ahmaud was a “melanated” 25-year-old taking a jog through a less “melanated” neighborhood, according to his “melanated” mother. All of a sudden, two “less melanated” males pulled out shotguns and fired on the 25-year-old unarmed “melanated” male. Dead. Execution style. Hunted down like a rabid dog! The “melanated” community explodes with rage, anger, hurt, sadness, and displaced emotions. Social justice “melanated” warriors post on social media, stirring that stuff that hits the fan.

The less “melanated” community holds its breath, turning red, hoping no one is calling them “less melanated” racists and supremacists.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Arbery’s killing reminds some of Emmett Till, a black teen from Chicago who was kidnapped in 1955 in Mississippi, then lynched and dumped in a river after he was falsely accused of whistling at a white woman. An all-white jury acquitted the white men accused of killing Till, who was 14. His death helped fuel the civil rights movement and brought about the eventual passage of federal civil rights protections.

Emmett Till, a boy who was literally hunted down like a rabid dog by “less melanated” hoodlums, is being compared to an adult trespassing on someone’s property being apprehended and ultimately shot by neighbors who tried to perform a citizen’s arrest. If Till could roll, he would roll over in his grave. This is not that!

The “melanated” black collective is just waiting for their next OJ “not guilty” verdict celebration. Yeah, I said it. “Blacks” and “Whites” had differing reactions to that verdict. “Melanated” people celebrated because of OJ’s melanin, regardless of facts or evidence. “Less melanated” people were disgusted because the empirical evidence pointed to a bloody premeditated murder.

After the video emerged on social media last week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took one day after launching its probe Wednesday to arrest Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34. They were jailed on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

As a “melanated” man, I don’t see this through the media’s manipulated color kaleidoscope. I believe people who can use their brains to wait for all the evidence to come out. I think rational Americans believe their Minds are not driven by their melanin. I believe sane Americans don’t wear their melanin on their sleeves — unless, of course, it were a T-shirt that reads: Mind Over Melanin. Support Americans thinking again. Click the link.

Wear it with American pride.

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