NFL Player Catches Hell For Toasting To “More Light-Skinned Babies” With His Fiancée

February 11, 2019  |  

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This past weekend, my husband and I were talking about interracial relationships. He referenced a Chris Rock joke where he says when Black women call out Black men for dating interracially, they’re apt to say something like, “You must hate your mother.”

While my husband made it clear to me that this line from Black women wasn’t the funny part of the joke (the ha ha part was about Black men dating White women regardless of attractiveness), I had to let him know that the sentiment of “hating one’s mother” is not as much of a stretch as people make it out to be.

There are Black men who fall in love with White women for genuine love. And then there are Black men who solely pursue, date and marry White women because, for them, a White woman represents some type of prize, a trophy, a success story. It represents the anti-Blackness they’ve internalized, which comes down to a level of self-hatred.

Black women have this conversation amongst ourselves all the time. So I know I’m preaching to the choir. But this past weekend, there was an incident that proved that we’re not exaggerating in our analysis.

NFL player Jahleel Addae and his fiancé Lindsey Nelson caught all types of flack this weekend after they shared a video of themselves at dinner on Nelson’s Instagram story.

At the restaurant, sitting with another interracial couple, someone proposed a toast…to “more light-skinned kids.”

Nelson captioned the IG video when she shared it on her story, just in case there was any confusion.

In response to the backlash that you know he received, Addae made his Instagram page private.

There are so many things going on in this video.

One, Addae is a dark-skinned man. Toasting to light-skinned children sends the impression that they are preferable to his own complexion.

Secondly, I don’t know who made the toast but the fact that his fiancé, a White woman, shared it, completely oblivious to its implications, speak to a lack of awareness on her part. That’s particularly concerning seeing as how she’ll be raising a Black child. There is a centuries-long history of colorism in virtually every community of color across the globe and making light of it as a White woman is in terrible taste.

Thirdly, there is this assumption that all biracial children will come out with light skin. And while it is a high probability, genetics do what they want. And I would hope that if Addae were presented with a child that shared his complexion, he’d be ready to toast them as well.

I’m sure Addae, his fiancé and their friends thought they were making a nice little joke about all of this. But there are too many real-life, real-world consequences of praising lighter skin in communities of color. It often comes at the expense of darker complexions. We see it manifest in the media, in entertainment industries, and in the psyches of dark-skinned children who’ve internalized these messages as proof of their own inferiority.

When you’re raising children, Black, White or in between, you can’t afford to play like that.

 

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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