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Posted under: Opinion Race & Identity

Let's be real, the 'Smoochr' app is a digital brown paper bag test

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Sunday night, I was up late doing my usual lurking and sliding into DMs (for professional reasons, of course) and I see #Smoochr trending on Black Twitter. I clicked on the hashtag to see what it was all about and I thought Jesus was playing with my eyes when I saw this.
Photo: smoochr Because the devil is a liar, I went to bed thinking my eyes were deceiving me at 2:00 a.m. Satan is real, because #Smoochr continued to trend early into Monday morning. Let me wipe the crust from my eyes. Does the Smoochr description really read, "Discover Black singles by complexion, hair type and more!"?
Photo: Giphy Who did this? Show your faces. More importantly, who is signing up for this ploy to divide blacks?

I am not the only one in disbelief that such an app exists.

And, the preferences are extremely specific.

You can find your desired "mocha", "almond", "vanilla" and/or "caramel" mate.

We are in the latter half of 2016 and it is evident that the damaging psychological effects of Jim Crow are alive and well. Did this app developer have an unexcused absence on the day that their high school history class discussed Brown v. the Board of Education? Does "the doll experiment" ring a bell to anyone? Black children admitted in the 1950's that they preferred playing with white dolls because the lighter complexion resonated with them in a positive manner as opposed to the darker dolls which implied something "bad" or "ugly". At one point in time, blacks were subjected to brown paper bag tests. If you were lighter or the same color as the bag, then you were afforded elite privileges. If your skin were darker, then you could forget about it and go to the back of the bus, figuratively speaking. We were made to feel inferior because of our complexion and now you expect us to find love connections in the same manner? I must've woke up in 1946 today. The Smoochr app sounds extremely familiar. History is repeating itself. Discrimination and colorism. Someone is monetizing the two. I can get over the occasional #teamdarkskin and #teamlightskin discussions on social media because some of ya'll just don't know any better. But, an entire dating app dedicated to locating singles based on their level of melanin and hair texture? Come on. Yes, we all have our preferences when it comes to finding a potential mate, I get it. The app's ramifications stretch way beyond taste and enters into prejudicial territory. Talk about finding love in the wrong places. Shout out to everyone signing up for "research purposes". Even if the developer missed the desegregation of American school lesson, surely he watched School Daze because Smoochr confirms every stereotype from the film.
school daze gif
school daze gif
Photo: tumblr If the word "jigaboo" suddenly resurrects itself from the 20th century, I will know who to blame. I have yet to find out who is behind Smoochr...but...

If another ethnicity were to develop this app targeted toward blacks with certain features, ya'll would be ready to march.

Photo: daystune.com
Photo: daystune.com
Photo: daystune.com Let's just pretend this is a bad dream like the rest of 2016.

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