By Bill Fletcher, Jr., NNPA News Wire Columnist
If you are like me, you sometimes find yourself surfing the Web when you are supposed to be doing something more important. You may notice “click bait” that poses questions like, “What has happened to these child-hood stars?” or offers, “Secrets of the Mayans revealed.” Well, the other day I noticed one that concerned a list with dozens of allegedly gorgeous news anchors called “News Anchors Who Will Make Your Jaw Drop.” Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look. Let me tell you what I found.
The list was all women. I mention that because my wife’s first comment was that there are many male news anchors and that some of them are good looking. For some reason I did not assume that there would be any men, but that may be my own blindness.
The second thing was that they were reasonably attractive, they tended to be on the younger side, and there was not one identifiable Black woman among them. The story does not stop there. The list included Europeans, Euro-Americans (whites), Latinas and Asians. Yet the characteristics of all of the women were European. The Latinas were all light-skinned, not one looking Afro-Latina or, for that matter, indigenous. The Asians were all quite light, with Western looks, and with not one of them looking like the browner Asians one might find in Guam, the Philip-pines, Cambodia, Malaysia or Indonesia, not to mention, South Asia.
I kept assuming that I would come across at least one identifiable Black news anchor. There were a couple that looked like they might have a little African in them somewhere, but I felt that I was reaching.
Despite periodic initiatives towards Black pride and defeating efforts to erase Blackness from the mainstream, the white supremacist bias always finds a way to raise its ugly head. Beauty remains a category defined largely in European terms with a dismissal of the very notion that beauty can take myriad forms.
This situation is not remedied by the selection of one identifiably Black person to fill a quota. It really goes to the very basic question of how one de-fines beauty and breaking with the assumption that the closer we are to the purer European—whatever that means—the more beautiful we become.
I will leave it at that.