I have not yet given an opinion about the Rachel Dolezal story as of yet, though I have been posting about it and following the story like the rest of you. I have heard the testimony of Rachel’s parents and the claims that she has a mental disorder. I have heard people mention that she’s making money off of us, that she needs psychiatric help, that she’s mocking us, and that she’s wearing black face, the list goes on and on. My opinion is unlike those of the black people you’ll run into in the street. I do not hate Rachel Dolezal. I do not despise her. I think not that she’s racist or that she’s crazy. Quite frankly, I like her.
I posted a few days ago a post about how deep this story is, and if the black people out there understood that. I didn’t however, for lack of a better word, edify the post with an explanation and so I thought I’d do that real quick.
Rachel Dolezal, as we are all aware of as of now, is a white woman who has been pretending to be black for some time. She looks physically like an African American and her hair mimics a natural black hairstyle. As a “black” woman, she has been a leader in the attempt to advance the cause of black people, going far as to protest the Exodus movie because she said white people were playing the role of black people (which is true). She has done all of this under the deception that she is not white, but black. Thing is, this does not offend me. It does not offend me that she desires to identify as a so called African American to the extent of wishing she had parents who looked like them, and to the extent of wearing and dressing and fighting for their cause. She wanted to be you more than many of you want to be yourselves. What then is her crime? As a black woman did she commit a crime? Did she degrade herself? Did she jump around like an animal as a black woman or did she become the local leader of the NAACP (can I ask why you’re still calling yourselves colored people? But I digress) and a professor of African Studies at Eastern Washington University?
How many so called Black people bleach their skin and wear silky blonde weaves? How many of them have crossed the colored line for the chance to be white for the sake of opportunity? How many of us look down on dark skin and kinky hair? How many? So why then are black people emotional because a white woman pretended to be black for a chance to advance the plight of black people? I’m just saying if we’re going to be real about it be all the way real. Don’t tell a white woman she can’t wear a black hair style and excuse Beyonce for wearing a white hair style. Now, she did lie, true. And I must say I do believe she could have done more work as a white woman in the first place. But in the words of Bob Marley:
“Who are you to judge the life I live?
before you start pointing fingers…
make sure you hands are clean!”
There is so much more but let me end with this:
In a comment on whether or not she was African American, Dolezal stated:
“I don’t understand the question.”
Let me explain briefly to you black people why this statement is of such significance to you:
African and American does not define a Nationality. I use it on this blog for clarity but it is not a nation of people. African and American is just two continents put together. It is the continent of Africa and the continent of America. It says nothing to say that you are an African since Africa is a continent with over 50 countries: which of these countries can the African American claim, and which will claim you? The point is that African American does not identify someone’s nationality, their customs and traditions. In fact, prior to 1988, when Jesse Jackson coined the term African American, you were Black. Before you were Black you were Colored. Before you were Colored you were Negroes, and before this you were Niggas. Therefore, I am not offended at her statement because I don’t understand the question either. And I don’t think she’s crazy.
Now, for some laughs, since I after all love to laugh, I’m gonna lighten it up a bit. As of this post I have 478 followers of this blog. I wonder how many I’ll have by morning because of this post :).
7 thoughts on “Rachel Dolezal: A Different View”
I would hope you will have 478 or more, but as I learned this evening, you never know what is going to set someone off. I think you should be comfortable in articulating your opinion, and if others have a differing view that they express it in the same respectful manner that you did.
Oh yea, I’m very comfortable. People are generally used to my weirdness lol… and I enjoy being different :-).
I’ve been waiting to comment on the Rachel Dolezal issue because I’ve been trying to wrap my hands around the real issue here. I listened to some of what her parents said. (Obviously, there are some family issues that we are not privy to.) I listened to what her brother said. And it just seems like there are a lot pieces that we don’t know about. However, based on what I do know, I don’t think Rachel is crazy. (Any time the word “crazy” is flung around, there is usually a lot more than meets the eye.) Many people, it seems, think she’s crazy for wanting to be an AA woman. Based on what her parents said, she’s always identified with AA. Her friends were AA. Her siblings were AA, she married AA. She went to Howard. It’s clear, at least to me, that Rachel identifies more with the AA culture. In other words, she’s more comfortable being AA than being white, and this makes a lot of people uncomfortable, both whites and blacks. My questions is why? She didn’t change her name, only her image. How many of us haven’t done this before, identifying with this or that? One of her adopted brothers called her actions “blackface,” which makes me wonder if he even knows what that term means. Based on what I’ve heard so far, I admire Dolezal’s courage. And I don’t think the work she’s done with the NAACP should be negated. Did she go about it the right way? I’m not sure. Is it possible that Dolezal understood that in order to accomplish anything for AAs, she would have to be an AA, not an outsider–that it was better to work from within, not from the outside? Personally, I don’t have a problem with Dolezal either. In fact, I’m flattered
True. Well said.
I have no issue with anyone from any ethnic background identifying with another. My issue with her is her lack of honesty, at least from what I’ve read on the NY Times:
“Earlier this year, she told a news organization at Eastern Washington University, where she taught, that she had been born in a tepee, that her mother and stepfather had beaten her and her siblings, that “they would punish us by skin complexion,” and that they lived for a time in South Africa.
Family members say none of this is true. All agree that she has no stepfather, that this was one of several attempts she has made to deny the existence of her real father, Lawrence. Her parents moved to South Africa after Rachel was grown and out of the house.”
Anyway, regardless of how one feels about this matter, I hope that people don’t unfollow your blog. It’s a great blog and always well written.
Yea, that’s what they say but I don’t believe it. I believe Rachel knew more about the true identity of the so called African American than we think and that she was trying more so to imitate that. It’s so much deeper than ethnicity.
Thanks Rob for leaving a comment on the table!
Reblogged this on Tiffany's Non-Blog and commented:
As a transhumanist, who supports the individual decision to make one’s own determinations with one’s body, however unpopular, unwise, or controversial – I thought I would share and stand by this blog post.