Kudos to Megha Rajagopalan for her current story on the BLM movement and cosmetics companies “rethinking” the sale and distribution of skin lightening products. It was a pleasure to chat about my own hesitations regarding the move. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the ways in which people are coming together to organize against racial justice. However, when major corporations declare that they will no longer sell skin lightening products, I am holding off on any major celebrations. The root of racism and inequality is capitalism. Historically, capitalist systems have ensured the subjugation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. A single statement, followed by a donation, and a promise to “do better” does not hold a lot of weight for me. There’s too much money on the line and capitalism has always showed us that profit – not people – are central.
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA