Years ago, in one of my workplaces (Sumter, South Carolina, no less) we had two black guys, and both had the last name of “Brown”. One, however, was much darker complected than the other.
THEIR way of differentiating each other when called, was to award THEMSELVES nicknames of “Dark Brown” and “Light Brown”. It was THEIR doing and THEIR convention, and they responded nicely to those nicknames even when a white person said it.
They were both refreshing, particularly pleasant, open-minded, well mannered, and well educated. Neither was particularly “race conscious”, nor even remotely belligerent about the topic. As I said, their attitude was refreshing.
I remember one of the Browns had a son about the age of my son at the time (5). They lived close by, and my son and his son became fast friends and played pleasantly together.
One time, my wife’s mother was visiting and she commented how “wrong” it was for us white folks to allow our son to play with and befriend a black boy. I was particularly offended by that remark, but not wanting to get into an argument with my mother-in-law, I let it pass. But the whole time she was visiting, I enjoyed seeing her discomfort whenever she saw our son getting together with the Brown boy.
Had a white person come up with those nicknames, I suspect they would have been accused of being racist by some. However, as I said, those nicknames were devised by the Brown’s themselves, and all of us in the shop got a chuckle out of what was essentially a benign joke.
But here’s my conclusion: Had an MSM observer, not familiar with the situation, witnessed one of us calling “Light Brown” or “Dark Brown”, no doubt they would have characterized the shop as “racist”. It’s a good example of how the MSM might have taken this out of context and put their own (racist!) spin on it, and I’m sure they would have done it even if they had known the benign background. Apparently that was what was done to Rush.