by Mai Kusakabe
Now, there is actually prejudice against black people in the world. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva argues that the United States is developing a triracial system with whites at the top, honorary whites follow and collective black at the bottom. Thus, people decide others’ status by skin color, and tend to consider that whites are superior to blacks. Then, why does such stratification happen? Most people think that the reason is historical facts. For instance, in the 16th century, European countries started a slave trade from Africa. This historical fact may be one factor and it leads current situation of blacks. However is it really just historical reasons? I came up with one question, color images also influence on estimation of blacks and whites, don’t they?
In my opinion, most people have images with colors. For example, when we look at red, we feel like hot and passion. On contrary, when we look at blue, we feel like cold, sad, and like that. Then when we look at white color, what kind of feeling is coming up in our mind? Most of us consider it as good, clean, pure and something like these. On the other hand, we tend to consider black color as evil, fear, worry and so on. In fact, the word “white” has meaning that is like guiltiness, blameless and harmless, and one of meanings of “black” is nasty, ominous, surly and so forth. Like this, people basically do not have good impression with black color a long time ago. For instance, in Japanese anime, “名探偵コナン, Detective Conan”, a criminal is always painted by only black color.
In Japan, women try to make their skin whiter, because most people think white skin is beauty. Some people say this is admiration for whites. However is it just for white people? I think there is also admiration for white color, not only whites. For example, a long time ago 8-12 century, in Japan “Heian Jidai”, noblewomen did not even have a chance to meet foreigners, whichever whites or blacks, they put on makeup called “Oshiroi” which is white powder to make their skin white like as you can see from “Maiko” in these days. Thus, the reason why do Japanese people prefer to white skin is not only to admire whites, but also basically to admire white color.
As I stated, images of colors also have a great power to influence on our way of thinking. I think that’s one of the reason why blacks are categorized at the bottom of the stratification in the U.S. and other various countries.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo and David R. Dietrich (2009). The Latin Americanization of U.S. Race Relations: A New Pigmentocracy. In E. Nakano-Glenn (Ed.), Shades of Difference. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Jinkawiki, Keshou (makeup), 17 October 2013. Retrieved from http://kwww3.koshigaya.bunkyo.ac.jp/wiki/index.php/%E5%8C%96%E7%B2%A7