|Different black definitions of justice|
In 2012 and 2014, the GSS asked interviewers to rate the skin tone of survey participants on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lightest and 10 the darkest. While virtually all self-identified white respondents were gauged to be on the light side of the spectrum, blacks were distributed almost evenly on the light (1-5) and dark (6-10) ends, with 46.8% of blacks assessed as light-skinned and 53.2% as dark-skinned. The total black sample was 576. So the question is contemporarily relevant and conveniently designed to evaluate how well the observation holds up at the street level.
The following graph shows the distribution of partisan affiliations among light- and dark-skinned blacks:
The differences are marginal, and its slim pickings among self-identified black Republicans of any skin tone. That said, among the handful of black Republicans in existence, dark-skinned blacks are 35% more likely to self-identify as Republican than light-skinned blacks are. Maybe the GOP brain trust, given ten blacks in the entire country to choose from, simply promotes the five blackest to maximize the authenticity of its perpetually futile outreach!
Dark-skinned blacks are noticeably more conservative and less liberal than light-skinned blacks are. The following graph shows the distribution of political orientations among light- and dark-skinned blacks:
Tribal loyalties aside--which may motivate light-skinned blacks worried about not being perceived as black enough to compensate by vociferously and emphatically embracing their blackness and, by extension, their Democratic party affiliation more than dark-skinned blacks--dark-skinned blacks may well be more likely to find kindred spirits among white political conservatives than light-skinned blacks are.
GSS variables used: RATETONE(1-5)(6-10), RACECEN1(2), POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), PARTYID(0-1)(2-4)(5-6)
++Addition++In the comments, Dan points to before-and-afters of Al Sharpton and David Dinkins:
|Lipids and melanin, begone!|
Are there any black conservatives/Republicans who have intentionally lightened their skin? Or does bucking the political expectation and being a black conservative/Republican mean generally not conforming to any black norms, stated or unstated?