Sinbad and Chris Brown joke about being 'dark white', fans say the comedian should 'shut the hell up'
Comedian Sinbad has launched a new movement called the 'Dark White Chronicles' in an attempt to provide laughter and relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Sinbad spoke about his "cheetah tribe" of lighter-skinned celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Klay Thompson, Ice-T, Nicole Ari Parker, Blake Griffin, Halsey, The Rock, Vin Diesel, Zoe Kravitz, Lionel Richie, and Chris Brown.
Sinbad jokes in the video uploaded on Instagram that the "cheetah tribe" is "neither white not black," but are rather "dark white." He said that he would like to be in a movie about slavery and lead the rebellion. He also joked that he did not see anyone who looked like him in Marvel's 'Black Panther'. In the post, Sinbad wrote, "Dark White Chronicles - Pt. 1 The frustrations of a dark white man. It’s time to be seen. Tag your favorite Dark White and join the movement. If you’ve been hiding, we got your back. Memberships coming soon."
Singer Chris Brown soon joined in the fun. Reposting Sinbad's video, Brown tagged rapper Drake and wrote, "Verified #DARKWHITE 😂 CHEETAH TRIBE 'THE CHEETAH KING' @champagnepapi U IN THIS TOO N**** @sinbadbad. #IMLIGHTBLACK." Drake is yet to respond.
However, while many are laughing along with Brown and Sinbad, others are calling out the rapper and comedian for flaunting their light-skinned privilege. One fan wrote, "Wtf is dark white? Sinbad Needs to shut the hell up!" Another wrote, "Sinbad said he’s dark white. Oh wow. Sooo he’s not....ummm nevermind."
One social media user commented, "Lol, u have lost you mind," while another wrote, "Light skin brothers trying to rise again!!!! I’m sorry Dark white!!!"
Colorism is prejudice against people who have a darker skin tone and/or the preferential treatment of those who are of the same race but lighter-skinned. As many have pointed out, light-skinned African-Americans tend to find it easier to find success in Hollywood and other entertainment industries.
When ABC's 'Mixed-ish' came out last year, the show faced criticism over its depiction of its lighter-skinned biracial characters being bullied by darker students. 2020 hopeful Senator Kamala Harris was accused of tokenizing her HBCU experience and Greekdom to pander to Black folks. Ayesha Curry, actress, cookbook author, wife of NBA star Steph Curry, who was tagged by Sinbad, appeared on 'The View' where she discussed not feeling embraced by the Black community.
When 'Grey's Anatomy' actor Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards gained prominence on social media, many on Twitter asserted that people were excited about the speech primarily because Williams is a light-skinned, light-eyed black actor.
As Jordie Davis of the Black Youth Project wrote, "White supremacy is pervasive. Colorism, or the systemic preference for individuals of color who have a lighter skin tone, is as old as slavery itself and was used to evaluate black people during slavery. It is a stalwart component of structural racism that has permeated the black community ever since the divisive concept of the house slave and the field slave. We are socialized to believe that 'light is alright.'"