Dear White People, There Is No Brown In Rainbows
I love rainbows. They are beautiful. They remind me of enjoyable things like better times, and storms gone by. The colors in the rainbow are beautiful. Most rainbows contain the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Brown is not included in this list for a reason.
There isn’t any brown or black in a rainbow.
When White people say they don’t see color or they love all colors of the rainbow, you’re saying you don’t see me and you damned sure don’t love me because my skin hue isn’t a color in any rainbow since forever.
There is no brown in rainbows.
I wished White people would stop saying it. It’s so racist and so commonly used. Anytime a White person says it to me, I think to myself, how racist and offensive. This is just another telltale sign to a person of color the White person standing before us is racist, yet doesn’t know it. Before this moment in our nation’s racist history, we wouldn’t be able to have these types of conversations because White people hate being wrong. They hate being told what to do. They also hate being corrected.
White people saying they love every color of the rainbow is so cringy and disrespectful I wish that it would go out of style. It’s a microaggression, a subtle form of ignoring our race and our humanity.
I often wonder if anyone has ever told White people who love to use the racist phrase., but People have probably tried, but they were likely too fixated on their intentions rather than perceptions, because that’s all that matters to White people. I sometimes wonder if these White people are even approachable enough to be told how racist the catchall ethnic slur is.
Until now, I just remained silent and let it slide. But since we have your attention, let me tell you about that slang.
I hate when White people tell me they have friends from all the colors of the rainbow or all colors, because it doesn’t help me know their friends at all. In fact, it says to me they don’t know them either. We Black and people of color don’t come from colors; we come from parents with heritages and cultures. Our nationalities vary, and they are the identifiers that help us understand immediately about where a person is from, who they may be, and what their culture is like (maybe).
We don’t come from rainbows. Rainbows don’t have brown in them.
Saying it is racist and is disrespectful. Using the line ignores my race, my culture, my ethnicity, and my humanity. Using rainbows to describe the colors of your so-called friends says more about the White person than it does the colors of the friend.
It says to us those White people using the phrase don’t really know how to be friends with Black people and people of color and they aren’t able to tell them how racist you are.
Asian people aren’t yellow. Their skins aren’t yellow, and why would their skin colors matter, anyway? Asian people come from the largest and most populous continent of the planet, Asia, not yellow. Nearly 60% of the world’s population lives on the continent. It’s worthy of noting. It’s definitely worthy of respect, but most White people don’t care. It’s much easier to call people a color than to take the time to learn where any non-White person originates from.
Lumping us together as colors is an example of privileges and powers White people have in assigning value or devaluing us based upon our skin tones. Not recognizing our ethnicity devalues us immediately. It’s a privilege White folks need to relinquish quickly. White Supremacy allows White people non-White people to be called colors of the rainbow.
Lumping us into colors is lazy and it’s racist.
Black people aren’t Black or colored. We’re a diverse set of human beings with lineages tying us to the oldest people and civilizations on earth. Many Black and Brown people hail from civilizations much older and more stable than America, a lesson most White people often miss. The only reason most African-Americans/Blacks/Descendants of Slaves (DOS) don’t know where they are from today is because of White people.
While we may live in America, many of us are descendants of slaves stolen/sold from the continent of Africa, the second most populated continent in the world. Many of us don’t know where we come from thanks to slavery. Many of us call ourselves Black because while we may have African ancestry, the anti-Blackness of Africans prevent us from embracing our heritage. We also call ourselves Black because that’s the name White men gave us during slavery. Ya’ll also called us Negros, which means Black in Portuguese and Spanish.
We call ourselves colors because colonizers and their descendants, White Supremacists, labeled our skins with colors. Today, White people use colors to describe Black and Brown people with no thought about whether it’s appropriate or if we even like it.
Most non-White people don’t like the rainbow saying because it erases their heritage, cultures, and ancestries. Black and Brown are not colors of the rainbow. Please stop using the phrase to describe your relationships with us.
The names White people have given us do not sufficiently describe who we are, where we are from, or provide a sufficient context of our ancestry, our cultures, or our histories on this earth. Many of us are from countries and civilizations much older than America. Being Black or Brown in a rainbow provides no context and does us no justice.
Brown is not a color of the rainbow White people. People aren’t in rainbows. Please stop saying this. It’s okay to see our skin color, but see us in the right light.
Privilege allows White people to refer to non-White people any old way they want to because they don’t have to respect our humanity. It’s time for White people to know better so they can do better.
White people choosing to acknowledge our ethnicity and humanity gives us life, it makes a real, and restores the dignity you snatched from us with the derogatory slur.
My First Experience With White People and Rainbows
White people love saying they have friends all color of the rainbow is problematic for me now, but as a kid, I didn’t really know any better. I can remember being taught to the racist religious song, “Jesus Loves The Little Children,” when I was a kid.
I knew no yellow people. What was a red person?
“Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
I’m sure many White people and Christians from across the globe have been taught to sing this racist song. George Frederick Root wrote the original song for a Civil War tune titled “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching” back in 1864. Later the words of “Jesus Love the Little Children” were written to the tune. The Civil War was about Black enslavement. Putting racist words and sprinkling Jesus in it to the tune of an old Civil War song is just the kind of covertly racist shit White people have done for years.
The song is racist, but a lot of White church goers still sing it. It’s time you understand how we really feel about your color labels. It’s past time America stopped clinging to racist ideologies that make them comfortable because they desire to stay ignorant and comfortable. In this hour, White people should decolonize their minds and ridding their vocabularies of racist things.
Referring To Your Friends As Rainbow Colors Is Bad
White people, you’re not proving to anyone you’re culturally competent by referring to your non-White friends and associates as a part of a rainbow coalition. What it says to people when you use the term, specifically minorities, is that: (1) you’re too lazy to learn about their ethnic background (s); (2) you’re not concerned about who they really are, they are tokens to make you look culturally inclusive; (3) you don’t really respect them, because when you respect them, you’d refer to them as human beings with life instead of colors which extends America’s already convoluted racial constructs.
If you’re White and reading this, have you ever asked your friends how they want to be described physically? I’m sure they won’t say yes, please call me red man or yellow person, I don’t care. We’re friends, right?
White people, please stop saying you don’t see color, because you’re erasing my history, my distinct skin tone, and my individualism.
Please see my face because behind my face there is a story, there are so many things that make us more alike than we are different.
See my color because you’ve erased Black people in America enough already. Seeing us means we matter. Seeing us means you acknowledge my existence and you care.
You don’t have friends from all colors of the rainbow if your friends are Black and Brown people, because Black and Brown are not colors of any rainbow.
Remove that from saying from your vocabulary and learn to see and embrace color. Rainbows are beautiful, even if they don’t have any brown in them. Black and Brown people are descendants of people from all over the globe. Start learning about your friends, if they are indeed your friends.
Not seeing my true is erasing our existense and we will not be erased any longer to make White people comfortable. We must talk about race, and to see color is to acknowledge my racial identity. But please understand, for now and forever more, there are no browns in rainbows. Saying you have friends from all colors of the rainbow is racist and offensive. Don’t use that saying anymore.
The road to becoming anti-racist begins with your words. Choose them and use them wisely.
Marley K. in Quarantine 2020