Jul 23, 2012

Now let me be honest, I haven't listened to Eric Benet since he came out with 'Femininty' (that's still my song).  He just doesn't do it for me.  I figure if I want to listen to a guy sang in falsetto then why not just put on a Maxwell record.

So imagine my surprise when I learned about this controversy surrounding this new song Benet came out with entitled "Redbone Girl".  Evidently a lot of people where not happy about the singer professing his love for a 'caramel cream' clolored woman.

A lot of the criticism comes from the fact that people think the singer is perpetuating the European standard of beauty when it comes to this song.

Well, Benet is not taking the criticism lying down and he decided to speak out against what he finds to be 'racism'.

In a recent interview with CBS Local, Benet responded to critics who called him out for playing to conventional standards of beauty that value light skin over dark.

“I think it’s its own form of racism,” he told CBS Local of the controversy. “I did a song called “Chocolate Legs’ about my experience with a dark skin lady. There was no anger or uproar of ‘How dare you.’ So ‘Redbone Girl’ is one song about one experience about a girl who happens to be light complected but there was quite an uproar.”
As far as Benet is concerned, there is a double standard when it comes to how society and singers can express themselves about a woman’s beauty in the black community.

“You can talk about how wonderful it is to be with a dark complected person but how dare you talk about having an experience experience with light skin person,” he said. “By no way is ‘Redbone Girl’ me professing my preference for any type of skin color. It’s just the songwriter talking about one experience. When people look into it much deeper than that, it’s on them.”

To be sure, Benet is not oblivious to the longtime issues of race and colorism within the black community. He opens ”Redbone Girl” with a type of disclaimer that he hoped would inoculate him against such charges.

“I love all women,” he says on the song’s introduction. “I love them dark and light. Short, tall, thick, thin and back one more ‘gain.”

“He’s very specific about saying this is about one woman,” said Akiba Solomon gender blogger for Colorlines.com. “But he’s not taking into consideration the climate surrounding black woman and skin tone; the long history and what has been said about dark skin over time.”
So do we care about Eric's explanation?



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