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4) The whole light-skinned black liberal thing works in her favor: I should start by noting that I’m a bit light-skinned myself and nearly all of my relatives are of the “high-yella” variety (I was adopted). So, this is not meant to offend anyone with light skin.
But, the emergence of Barack Obama has opened the door for quite a few light-skinned, non-threatening, black superstars of both politics and media: Cory Booker, Harold Ford, Don Lemon on CNN and a few others have been able to benefit from this wave. Harris-Perry is a perfect fit as the (in the words of cousin Pookie) “light-skinded-ded,” red-bone, highly educated liberal that white folks tend to love. Nothing militant will come out of her mouth, unless she’s angry about a new immigration law or some civil liberties violation in the National Defense Authorization Act. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with the “light-skinned liberal analyst” phenomenon, but I wonder how successful these folks might be if they looked like they were siblings of Wesley Snipes – darker skinned commentators and pundits deserve opportunities as well, and I argue that they are being put to the side (can you think of one dark-skinned person in prime time media? Me neither).