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When it comes to colorism, LisaRaye doesn’t understand all of the fuss.

She reminded people of that during an episode of Cocktails with Queens this week where the hosts discussed the controversy surrounding a New York-based radio host fired for colorist comments. Rob Lederman, formerly of The Morning Bull Show on 97 Rock, shared his preferences among his white co-hosts on the show in regards to Black women, comparing the skin tones of notable women of color to toaster settings.

Starting out by saying “I may get into trouble for this,” Lederman said, “I will never go to a Serena Williams level, but I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level.”

He went further adding, “I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through.”

While publicly stating that he would never be attracted to a darker-skinned woman was offensive to her co-hosts (and most people who heard the comments), LisaRaye didn’t get the uproar.

“Wait a minute. What I heard was an opinion. I heard that he’s saying that he won’t go as far as a dark-skinned Black woman,” she said. “He’s comfortable with going with the color of a Halle Berry. What’s wrong with that?”

When Syleena Johnson tried to explain to her the ignorance of the comments, LisaRaye replied by saying only a small bit of the conversation was put out there, and he simply was sharing the kind of woman he’s partial to.

“You don’t got a preference? How [do] you say it? ‘I like mocha chocolate opposed to cappuccino?'”

“This man said I like ’em more mixed. That’s what this man said!” Johnson replied. “He said I like ’em more mulatto. That’s what this man said. To me, that is colorism and discriminatory. That’s a fool.”

LisaRaye said comparing skin tones to toast is similar to her way of comparing Black skin, as a Black woman mind you, to the shades of coffee drinks. No, girl. Just no.

“I don’t know. I’m not there with it. I just think that we’re so sensitive now,” she said. “Everybody gonna get caught up now because I think everybody is gon’ be so sensitive and ain’t gon’ know what to say and how to say it and it’s going to take the fun out of everything and everybody gon’ get slapped with lawsuits and defamation and it’s gon’ to be tedious and ain’t nobody gonna be able to talk about nothin.”

This isn’t the first time LisaRaye has played confused about why people are upset in regards to moments of colorism. Earlier this year she was one of the few people who came to the defense of singer DaniLeigh after a clip of her controversial song “Yellow Bone {That’s What He Want)” was shared on her social media.

“I’m light skin, I’m a redbone, I’m a yellow bone, I’m boney,” LisaRaye said in January in response to the uproar. “I think that you know, India Arie, ‘Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin,’ — I’ve heard women and men talk about what they have, because I guess, and you can contest to this, that you’ve got to start inward with what you all sing about; meaning what your experience is, what you have gone through and whatever. For her to celebrate her skin, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. I do think that just because it’s Black Lives Matter, is it that Black lives matter because we’re talking about dark skin Black lives matter? Or light skin and cappuccino and caramel and expresso and all of that?”

As a light-skinned woman, it wasn’t a shock that she wouldn’t see why a song like that might be seen as a bad look, but the disrespect was very clear in regards to Lederman’s comments concerning Black women’s skin tones. Saying you would “never” go for a darker woman but love a mixed one is incredibly offensive and gives the impression that only Black women mixed with something else are beautiful. Even the person he lauded in that silly conversation was outraged:

Granted, he’s welcome to have his opinion, but to use his platform to publicly state it when it was ignorant as hell and hurtful (and he knew it was, which is why he introduced the view by saying he could “get in trouble” for it), is very bold. The backlash he received was fair.

And no, LisaRaye, people weren’t just being sensitive in regards to this situation. Colorism is bad enough amongst us, we don’t need white people out here publicly perpetuating it. But as the complimented “toaster setting,” she didn’t see anything wrong with what was said. And it seems that when people who look like her are uplifted in a way that is seen as putting down other shades of Black women, she doesn’t want to understand how it’s problematic. There is a clear block there and a desire to see herself in situations; to be defensive when the insults felt by darker women are centered in conversations. Perhaps if she realized that light-skin Black women are often represented and embraced in comparison to brown, dark-skinned and the other shades of Black women, she would realize why people are so fed up with this kind of thing.

She certainly is welcome to have an opinion that’s unlike others when controversial topics are brought up. Different viewpoints are great to share. But LisaRaye’s positions on matters of colorism rarely provide a refreshing perspective or really add anything to the discussions had by her colleagues. She just doesn’t get it. She simply doesn’t want to because how would that benefit her?



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