Buffalo Rock Station Compares Black Women’s Skin Tone to Toast
Update: Rob Lederman issues an apology and statement.
Update: Rob Lederman has been terminated from the Morning Bull.
This conversation that the morning show at 97 Rock in Buffalo had instantly reminded me of this scene from Family Guy. The "Morning Bull" show took it upon themselves to discuss their preference of Black women's skin tones this morning and used toast color as a reference. It's offensive. It's objectifying. It's tiring.
The colorism is loud and clear. They start the conversation with the level their toaster is set to. Then, one of the hosts says that he sets his toaster to the tone he is attracted to. One of the hosts says he would never date Serena Williams, implying that her skin tone is too dark for him. Gale King was brought up by the female co-host of the show and one of the men says Gale would never make it, in his book.
Let me break down why this is so problematic:
Colorism is and has been a major issue and cause of division, not only in the African-American community but also in the Afro-Latino community. It's also often the basis of racism. As the male host stated, he needs "a little bit of mulatto still coming through." For centuries, in America and many other places around the world, women with darker skin tones have been devalued. Their beauty has often been considered "sub-par." Even entertainers Lil Wayne and Dani Leigh have been accused of colorism because of their comments about women with dark skin and placing more value on light skin.
Historically, white people used words like "darkie," "blackie" and other offensive terms to denigrate Africans and African-Americans with darker skin. Then there's the whole "field negro" versus "house negro" travesty that happened during slavery, where darker-skinned slaves were forced to work in the fields doing hard labor. Meanwhile, lighter-skinned slaves, who were considered "more acceptable" were allowed to work in the master's house, doing work that was physically easier in a more comfortable setting. Dark skin African-Americans were considered "wild," "untamed" and "animals." Whereas light skin African-Americans were considered "refined," "civilized" and "acceptable." Dove did a similar thing in recent times, which was disgusting and offensive. They implied that lighter is better than darker.
It's just sad that in 2021, we still have people, including public figures, that feel it's acceptable to tear down a whole group of women based solely on their skin tone. But then again, none of this surprises me anymore.
To the women with dark skin that may be reading this, you are a melanin queen. Your skin tone is beautiful and powerful. Never let anyone make you question that. ❤️