Where’s That Bleaching Cream?

Screw the term “light-skinned pretty” — I say we bring on “brown-skinned pretty.” Watch this.

The lyrics are tight (and readable), but the flashing images in the video clip just make me lean back and go, “Word…!” Bad ass video stumble courtesy of the website The Poet Project, virtual home base to Canada’s Humble the Poet otherwise known as the photographic Kanwer Singh.

“Appearances can be deceiving, and Toronto based artist Humble The Poet has used every misconception and assumption about him to amplify his message to the masses. … His first public release, Voice for the Voiceless, is a social commentary on the Taboos of the South Asian community, and has been the subject of acclaim and reference during public discourse on topics ranging on domestic abuse, violence in the community.[poetproject]“

I’m really impressed with his lyrics – it’s clear this guy is poetic musician verses flipped around and he understands the power of words (Not many hip-hop artists would have lyrics dance across their videos).

I’m a fan of the conscious hip-hop, but this guy’s clean flow and smart lyrics just put him on another level. You can bop your head and get educated. I’d not heard of him before this comment – anyone know who this cat is? I just found my latest twitter crush to follow.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

98 thoughts on “Where’s That Bleaching Cream?

  1. There Are No Villains – There are No Victims

    Racial Harmony Abounds… It’s a New Day. It’s a New Time. In full respect for our ancestors we humbly release the perceived ‘pain’ of the past and embrace the triumph. As human beings we are observers, thus choosers of our individual and collective realities. The basis of every choice is essentially love. We are here learning to experience love and joy which are never possible without challenge and perceived conflict.

    War is not separate from Quantum Reality:

    We are spiritual beings having human experiences – Life is illusion – Energy Based – Maya

    We chose our experiences for the purpose of learning love

    We are reflecting one another at all times – we are ONE

    What you see in me is what you have in you, and vice versa, at all times

    There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ – Life IS

    We respect all things, peoples and experiences

    We created all things, peoples and experiences

    We honor ourselves – we created the past

    We honor ourselves – we create the eternal NOW

    No Victims – No Villains

    We Are All ONE – All Things Being Possible

  2. NotEvenPrema on May 25, 2009 03:10 PM · Direct link

    my vote is for Hari Kunzru’s The Impressionist Though the fictional character had an easier time passing, and moved in a social circle more upscale than Steve Sailer &Co, there is a resemblance.

    I’ll have to check this book out. Steve Sailor and Co — lulz.

    neither the Congolese nor the Arabs have a legitimate claim on Israel, I’m afraid

    Jews do not have legitimate claim either. And definitely not the waves of European descent Jews filling those lush, suburban settlements in occupied territories and terrorizing unarmed Arab farmers and residents. FYI, settlers are all armed by law. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8016258.stm http://palsolidarity.org/2009/04/5903

    But then rob, from what i can tell from your comments here, history, or even reality, for that matter, are not your strong points.

  3. Lulu, Notice that I didn’t say that the Jews have a legitimate claim to the land; I merely pointed out that one can’t plausibly claim that the Arabs do. Why should my heart bleed when I see “unarmed” Arabs driven off of land that they took by force of arms. . . .

  4. Rob,

    Looks like you really need to read up on the history of the Middle East.. The Arabs in Palestine have been living there for generations.. and are the descendants of the ‘indigenous’ population.

  5. Screw the term “light-skinned pretty”— I say we bring on “brown-skinned pretty.”

    A more humane alternative would be to embrace all skin tones, a discernment that might escape somebody who fills their head with Humble’s “smart lyrics just put him on another level.” He wouldn’t make a song called “Shout-outs to _____ Girls” Or would he?

    Same cracker Different suit I’m sorry folks that’s an inconvenient truth Fuck Obama -Humble the Poet

    I know Canadian rappers have to try harder but come on. He sounds like a pasty suburban Canadian…oh wait.

  6. DesiInDC, I know they’ve been there for generations; what doesn’t logically follow is that their claim to the land is therefore more “legitimate” than that of those who were forcibly displaced, err–”generations” ago.
    It might be that they have a plausible claim, but the underlying theory of legitimacy in property acquisition and transfer needs to be laid out; it’s not enough to (just) point to occupation of land for some generations to say your claim is better than somebody’s else.

  7. yeah, i’ve been called magid before. lol ;-)

    p.s. east asians also developed lighter skin and their relatively thick straight hair recently (again, the genes are known).

  8. Screw the term “light-skinned pretty”— I say we bring on “brown-skinned pretty.”

    White and black people have already brought that on, a long time ago, in fact.

    Its no secret that a lot black men are really into desi women and its no secret that a lot of white men are into both east asian and south asian women. They find these women and their skin tones attractive, sexy, alluring, yada yada yada.

    There are also plenty of white women who find desi dudes and their skin tones attractive.

    It seems to be browns who don’t find other browns sexy.

  9. Pretty ignorant when you consider that the northern blond race he lusts after were considered barbarians by the greeks and romans; and many of whom were enslaved by “less evolved” mongols, arabs and turks for centuries.

    Prema, do you seriously think anyone takes all the above socio-historic bullshit into account when deciding what they find PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE!!??

  10. Prema, do you seriously think anyone takes all the above socio-historic bullshit into account when deciding what they find PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE!!??

    You mean like the kiddies in the 1st video? Fast forward 15 years when they are young adults dating. if the same choice is made, how does it magically become preference vs internalized racism?

  11. You mean like the kiddies in the 1st video? Fast forward 15 years when they are young adults dating. if the same choice is made, how does it magically become preference vs internalized racism?

    So, you’re against inter-racial relationships as well? Wow.

    Talk to any person who dates consistenly out of their race. In most cases it has nothing to do with skin color at all, or power issues associated with that skin color.

  12. do you seriously think anyone takes all the above socio-historic bullshit into account when deciding what they find PHYSICALLY ATTRACTIVE!!??

    Looks like a touched a raw nerve with the wannabe “scythian” (talk about socio-historic bullshit), who is as obsessed with looks as any teenage girl :)

    I was responding to the (sarcastic) point about northern europeans being the pinnacle of human evolution. What part of that couldn’t you understand? Also, its typical of trolls to call bullshit without making any points showing why its bullshit. Are you denying that northern europeans were considered barbarians by the ancient southern europeans, or that many of them, in particular the Slavs, were never enslaved? The very word Slav should teach you something.

    Either make your case with facts and rational arguments or STFU.

  13. So, you’re against inter-racial relationships as well?

    I didn’t say that. I have no problem with interracial dating/ marriage. Everyone, no matter their view on IR marriage etc. finds something wrong with the doll test- and makes some value judgments about the kids making the choice and their home environment (as well as the larger society).

    I just don’t see how all of that judgment magically disappears and is termed preference once a person is older and makes consistently the same choice in real life.

  14. Its no secret that a lot black men are really into desi women and its no secret that a lot of white men are into both east asian and south asian women. They find these women and their skin tones attractive, sexy, alluring, yada yada yada.

    Black and white men are into all kinds of women but to claim that they are into south asian women like they are into east asian (or southeast asian) women is complete BS. The data on dating and inter-marriage proves otherwise.

  15. Humble is relatively new to the scene, so there isn’t much info on him but i heard him talk about writing and how he goes about it and i’ve realized he’s a student of the art and science of communication and he’s constantly working hard to improve
    there was a time when he was posting new verses on his website on a daily basis, that kinda work ethic isn’t very common, its scary to see how far he’s come in such a short time, so if he keeps pushing the way he’s been pushing, i think we’ll hear big things from him in the near future

  16. Black and white men are into all kinds of women but to claim that they are into south asian women like they are into east asian (or southeast asian) women is complete BS. The data on dating and inter-marriage proves otherwise.

    This is largely due to desi and east asian women who will not date black or white, and desi and east asian women who will date white or black on the downlow but will not marry them.

    But believe me, black and white men are on them like white on rice. Whether or not they get reciprocated is another thing. Especially desi women with their tradition of arranged marriage often opt to go their traditional route when it comes to marriage, leaving several brothers and white men holding the bag (in more ways than one), and crying their eyes out.

    I think its even been mentioned on this site the “exotification” that desi women feel directed to them from white and black men. This means that white and black men find them and their skin PRETTY. So since the original statement was…

    Screw the term “light-skinned pretty”— I say we bring on “brown-skinned pretty.”

    … I think its fair to say that this concept has already been “brought on”. However, perhaps brown men have not joined the bandwagon. If not, that is their problem.

    There are plenty of other men who find brown skin “pretty”.

  17. but last time I checked Bollywood is run be desis. Indian ‘fair skin” color preference predates European colonialism and I have no doubt Hollywood/European media are more open to representative examples of Indian beauty than Indian media are

    Parminder Nagra is someone who is thought of more beautiful by people in Hollywood then she ever would be among the Bollywood elite.

  18. This is largely due to desi and east asian women who will not date black or white, and desi and east asian women who will date white or black on the downlow but will not marry them.

    You seem to be hell bent on equating the “prettiness” or desirability of desi and east asian women to westerners, regardless of the facts on the ground. This is nothing but the pathological tendency to wishful self-delusion that afflicts way too many desis.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that white men much prefer women from the far east to women from the indian subcontinent. And white women are far more likely to have relationships with men with african ancestry than with men from south asia. Just deal with the facts like an adult. You are in denial and resorting to lies in claiming equal “prettiness” in foreign eyes. What purpose does burying your head in the sand and imagining things serve?

    Now I expect you to be the typical irrational desi in your defence by giving anecdotes as proof. Wont work. Show some actual data.

  19. Parminder Nagra is someone who is thought of more beautiful by people in Hollywood then she ever would be among the Bollywood elite.

    Yeah, and that woman who starred in Missippii Masala.

    One of my black male friends thought that she would be considered a “classic Indian beauty”. NOT.

    He said he loved her full, sensuous lips. I said in India her lips would not be considered sensuous and her features would not be considered “classic” nor “beautiful”.

    He also dated an Indian girl who he thought was bangin’ but he said to me, “I get the feeling that for some reason she’s not considered attractive in her community.” My first question to him was “is she dark?”

    And then there’s Freida Pinto. Not gorgeous by Indian standards.

  20. This is nothing but the pathological tendency to wishful self-delusion that afflicts way too many desis.

    prema dude, i believe the pathologicaly deluded individual to which you refer is in fact a white woman, ie pardesi gori.

  21. There is no doubt whatsoever that white men much prefer women from the far east to women from the indian subcontinent. And white women are far more likely to have relationships with men with african ancestry than with men from south asia. Just deal with the facts like an adult. You are in denial and resorting to lies in claiming equal “prettiness” in foreign eyes. What purpose does burying your head in the sand and imagining things serve?

    I don’t quite get what you’re aiming at here, the way you have phrased things. My only point is that brown skin is definetly considered pretty by a lot of black and white men. Whether or not this translates into brown women dating, jumping-off, and/or marrying these white and black men, I don’t know.

    But the white and black men are definetly lusting after them. Especially black men tend to love them some some West Indian curry, which they seem to have better luck with than East Indian roti.

    And that’s not ALL black and white men obviously.

    Just let it be known that brown IS considered exotic, pretty and sexy but a lot of dudes. Hopefully you are one of them.

  22. Just let it be known that brown IS considered exotic, pretty and sexy but a lot of dudes.

    Should read:

    BY a lot of dudes…

    In my experience more black than white men lust for desi women. Of course, that does not translate into desi women dating, sleeping with or marrying black men, and I never stated that it did. I’m just saying that black men DO find desi skin pretty.

    What do you have against this and what are you arguing over, Bulleh Shah?

    Is your kalam really mightier than the sword?

  23. Yeah, and that woman who starred in Missippii Masala. One of my black male friends thought that she would be considered a “classic Indian beauty”. NOT………He also dated an Indian girl who he thought was bangin’ but he said to me, “I get the feeling that for some reason she’s not considered attractive in her community.” My first question to him was “is she dark?” And then there’s Freida Pinto. Not gorgeous by Indian standards.

    FYI dear deluded ostrich, indian women are overwhelmingly dark-skinned. Just like indian men.

    If “gorgeous by indian standards” to you means a look and color that is rare in India, as I suspect from your posts, then you just made my point about indian servility and self-loathing.

  24. FYI dear deluded ostrich, indian women are overwhelmingly dark-skinned. Just like indian men. If “gorgeous by indian standards” to you means a look and color that is rare in India, as I suspect from your posts, then you just made my point about indian servility and self-loathing.

    Well, then maybe I did make your point for you. If so, your welcome. I am not arguing that Indians are dark. I am not arguing that most Indians are light skinned. I am simply saying that BROWN SKIN is indeed considered “pretty” by many people in this world, even though it may not be considered “pretty” by many of the people who have it.

    So, um, we are on the same page, right?

    Regarding Mississippi Queen, it’s not just her skin tone I was referring to but her overall “look”, I do not think would go over well in Indian cinema.

    Proud Mary Keep On Rollin’

  25. Regarding Mississippi Queen, it’s not just her skin tone I was referring to but her overall “look”, I do not think would go over well in Indian cinema.

    Her skin tone, and Frieda Pinto’s, are actually light by indian standards. You, mr. ostrich, are just another pitiful desi fool whose head has been screwed up by Bollywood. What you are doing so shamelessly is insulting the great majority of desi women.

  26. There is no doubt whatsoever that white men much prefer women from the far east to women from the indian subcontinent

    Sounds like it comes from professional experience. How long have you been in the business?

    And white women are far more likely to have relationships with men with african ancestry than with men from south asia

    I don’t know where you have pulled that out from, but following the same twisted logic, the Kumars of the world are far more likely to score than the Harolds.

    Show some actual data

    Why don’t you lead the way, since you act like you are oozing data from all orifices

    FYI dear deluded ostrich, indian women are overwhelmingly dark-skinned. Just like indian men

    Where is your data? What is your baseline for comparing skin tone? Scandinavia? South Europe? Glolious Mothelland?

    indian servility and self-loathing

    As I say everytime I see you, why don’t you slither away and celebrate your national humiliation day?

    zà i jià n

  27. I’m not insulting desi women! I’m saying that there are plenty of men in this world who find desi women pretty, exotic and sexy! Where’s the insult?

  28. Glolious Mothelland?

    Drunk on toddy mr lupus? (what kind of guy uses a disease for his nick anyway?)

    Try using spell check. This isn’t one of them boards where the posters understand all the mocking acronyms and “clever” misspellings of your ghetto hindutva hinglish :-)

  29. “BTW, I also read that the default setting for humans is pale skin and dark hair – like chimpanzees!”

    for what it’s worth, chimps are born pale but get darker. Some remain fairly pale under the hair, while others get dark. Chimpanzees, in fact, display a color continuum similar to that of the human race. The reason we don’t realize this is because the vast majority of chimps used in entertainment, as pets, even in zoos and animal parks, are very young. Once a chimp passes the age of 7 or 8 (they reach puberty at about 10-14) , they become unmanageable and very dangerous. Adult chimps are NEVER used as entertainment. anyway, most of the chimps we are likely to have seen are very young and have a different phenotype and usually color, than they will eventually have. How much they have to do with humans genetically, I don’t know. I know Darwin’s theory of evolution says human evolved from apes–but what apes? Chimps are never going to change. 50,000 years from now they’ll be the same. So I don’t think any of the known species of animal primates are good reference points for “default” human characterisitcs.

  30. what kind of guy uses a disease for his nick anyway?

    A doctor. Or anyone not unnaturally and weirdly preoccupied enough with the mating habits of males of other races to have a basic understanding of Etymology/Latin/Biology/Harry Potter.

    This isn’t one of them boards where the posters understand all the mocking acronyms and “clever” misspellings

    It wasn’t for the other posters, Prema dear. It was just for you.

  31. Doctors use diseases as their nicks? Lol. Methinks you are a liar.

    Why didnt you pick a mental disease for your nick? That would be far more appropriate than lupus :)

  32. what kind of guy uses a disease for his nick anyway?

    The Latin ain’t that hard to figure out darling. Just try a tad bit harder.

    FYI dear deluded ostrich, indian women are overwhelmingly dark-skinned. Just like indian men.

    India, dear sir, is a vast and diverse nation that contains multitudes. We have plenty of light skinned people in our fair nation as well. In fact, much of the color bias in India I would wager comes from a preference for people who don’t have to work outside under the Indian sun (manual labor is considered low class in just about every society, the sanctity of poverty can generally be regarded as an invention of the rich) moreso than self-loathing.

    There is plenty of self-loathing around, of that I am sure, but what do you expect when the country is barely a generation removed from actually being a subjugated colony?

  33. There is plenty of self-loathing around, of that I am sure, but what do you expect when the country is barely a generation removed from actually being a subjugated colony?

    The thing is, Bulleh Shah wants desi women to self-loathe to the point that they think the whole world thinks they are ugly and therefore they have to confine themselves solely to the arrangement of their parents. The fact is, desi women and brown skin are found attractive the world over and desi women have a choice now.

    Sorry guys, but dats whats up.

  34. Are you denying that northern europeans were considered barbarians by the ancient southern europeans, or that many of them, in particular the Slavs, were never enslaved? The very word Slav should teach you something.

    This has nothing to do with whether they are good-looking or not.

  35. 17 · Taz on May 24, 2009 11:06 PM · Direct link Crap is relative. For instance, as much as I respect Jahcoozi, (and I do have a couple of her songs and we did blog about her plenty already on SM, and we’ve NEVER blogged about this guy before) when her song comes up on my ipod shuffle, I tend to press skip and go to the next song. If humble poet came on, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t press skip. Thus, if skipping songs are any indication of CRAP, then to me, Jahcoozi is CRAP. And Humble the Poet isn’t. Like I said, Builder, crap is relative. And yours is tinged with elitist blipster.

    yes, your Sweet Valley High books are better than Crime & Punishment. because you prefer them.

    (no.)

  36. 1) humans developed dark skin more 1 million years ago, probably when we lost our fur.

    Then how do you explain Robin Williams?

  37. i do wish that people could engage in anti-prejudice and anti-racism consciousness raising without being anti-white. just because you think black or brown is beautiful doesn’t mean that white isn’t alright.

    But whitey is evil. Most people here blame whitey when they really should being blaming there parents for immigrating to these god awful place like Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia or some of the other Western European Countries. What were they thinking when they chose to move to places where evil whitey made up the majority of the population. It sad many of us had grow up in these hellholes.

    Why couldn’t our parents who left India instead of move to some great places instead like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, or Bangladesh. For one thing there are very few white people there, plus those places would have welcomed us with open arms and should for any unseen reason we experience any prejudice, those countries have many things set up for us to deal with the very rare racist remark we would experience there and the governments are known for treating people from India like they are part of there own family.

  38. Suki Dillon wrote:

    Why couldn’t our parents who left India instead of move to some great places instead like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, or Bangladesh. For one thing there are very few white people there

    You mean very few European people. All of the countries you listed (except for Bangladesh) are populated by Arabs and Scythians, who consider themselves to be “white.”

  39. It might be that they have a plausible claim, but the underlying theory of legitimacy in property acquisition and transfer needs to be laid out; it’s not enough to (just) point to occupation of land for some generations to say your claim is better than somebody’s else.

    rob, can you expand? i was discussing the israel-palestine conflict with a (jewish) colleague and his view was that israel had a legitimate claim to the land because they conquered it through war.although, he also brought up the “chosen people” argument, as well. you, however, indicate that you don’t necessarily agree israel has a legitimate claim, either. i often think about the legitimacy issue when e.g.looking at the history of the U.S., and sometimes, i really think none of us (except native americans) has a true right to be here (esp.when somebody tells me to “go back to india”).

  40. Why couldn’t our parents who left India instead of move to some great places instead like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, or Bangladesh. For one thing there are very few white people there, plus those places would have welcomed us with open arms and should for any unseen reason we experience any prejudice, those countries have many things set up for us to deal with the very rare racist remark we would experience there and the governments are known for treating people from India like they are part of there own family.

    not sure if you were being facetious, but it seems like indians might be at more of a disadvantage in some of those countries than in the western countries you named. your argument is couched in terms of race, but there are several other factors upon which inequality can be based. for instance, you’ve named 5 islamic countries,under many of whose laws non-muslims are just not treated with the same rights as muslims. i’m glad my parents moved me to a country where i actually have a CHANCE at equal rights. not to mention, quite frankly, that as imperfect as the legal rights systems are in the western countries you named, they are based,to a great extent, on a theory of equality. even if that is not always played out, it’s better than a system that starts off with inequality or does not hold itself up to such a standard in practise.

  41. ak, Well, one nice example that has the result of problematizing nearly all claims to legitimate holdings in (real) property would be Locke’s proviso that one leave “as much and as good” behind. I.e., I might, through cultivation, building roads and dams, etc. (the so-called “mixing” of labor with the land), be able to establish legitimate rights in 10% of my island, but my claim on the remaining 90% is problematic when hordes of refugees show up! So, even the Native Americans may have taken “too much” if they claim legitimate holdings in all of the Americas. Ultimately, it’s really difficult to justify wide-ranging claims to land (which somewhat uncomfortably puts us in some sort of pragmatic zone where appeals to principle are illegitimate when we have multiple groups contesting)–Nozick, for example, explicitly avoids defining principles of acquisition, and ridicules Locke by pointing out that “mixing” his glass of orange juice with the ocean doesn’t give him ownership of the sea; it just means he lost his glass of juice. ;-)

  42. I.e., I might, through cultivation, building roads and dams, etc. (the so-called “mixing” of labor with the land), be able to establish legitimate rights in 10% of my island, but my claim on the remaining 90% is problematic when hordes of refugees show up! So, even the Native Americans may have taken “too much” if they claim legitimate holdings in all of the Americas.

    By that logic we’d be rescinding out claims to any national parks or preserves because we’re not “improving” them.

    Of course the entire rationale behind leaving natural preserves is that mankind cannot improve upon them and any attempts to try will only mar their pristine beauty.

  43. 3 · Catholic Guilt on May 24, 2009 12:07 AM · Direct link watching the kids with the dolls at the end was just crushing.

    I totally agree. my eyes start tearing up everytime the little girl says she looks like the black doll even though she has picked the white one as the nice one.

  44. I’m watching a Gandhi documentary on http://www.globalone.tv/ with tears in eyes.

    The concept that the British are not our enemies but our friends and we must liberate them along with us. That is, liberate them from the prison of their own minds which makes them think they are rulers over others.

    There are no villians or victims. Is just is.

    As long as one of us are bound, we are all bound. None can be freed until all are freed.

    We need someone like this now, here, and everywhere. A type of social bodhisattva

    Usher in the age of aquarius.

  45. With two or three entire generations of people who grew up AFTER colonialism was long gone and subsequently started losing their self-hatred, doesn’t it seem like things might slowly be changing? Would Bipasha Basu be considered a “bombshell” by the media, or Kajol have been a “superstar” 30 years ago? Even arty actress Nandita Das is considered beautiful by the mainstream. I think in previous times, those gorgeous “dark-skinned” actresses may not have been given the chance to change the ideal perception of beauty in India, which was based on thousands of years of conquest by lighter and lighter-skinned invaders. Yes, unfortunately they still do sell Fair & Lovely, but I personally don’t know of any relatives or friends in India who use it…except my grandmothers who grew up during the Raj.