The more I hear about Rachel Dolezal’s story, the sicker I get. She has to be one of the biggest pathological liars on the planet. When I first heard about her story, I felt a little sorry for her. My first thoughts were, “Hey, if she self-identifies as African-American, then who cares? Just let her be.” “Race is merely a social construct.” And that’s right, it is a construct. If you’re in sociology or communication academia, you know this. However, the problem if Dolezal goes deeper than her just calling herself “African-American.”
First of all, identifying as “African-American” is not the issue; repeatedly lying and deceiving people is. I can sympathize with her on the fact that she may very well actually feel like being white is not who she really is, but to lie about your childhood and now claim that you’re not sure who your parents really are is a bit much. To pretend that your black adopted brother is actually your son and to tell your biracial brother to not tell people about your real race is going too far. She claims she has self-identified as black since childhood, but sued Howard University in 2002 for being discriminated against for being “white.” How the hell does that work? Rachel wants to be black when it’s beneficial for her. She’s black when she wants to get a full ride to Howard, and then uses her whiteness to sue Howard when she doesn’t get her way. When asked during an interview with CNN affiliate KXLY if she was African-American, she replied “I don’t understand the question…” When asked if her parents were white, she just walked away. If she supposedly has self-identified as African-American since childhood, then why not just answer the questions?
Paul Mooney said it best, “Everybody wants to be a nigga, but nobody wants to be a nigga.”
Blackness is a commodity. It’s fun. It’s hip. Wearing weave is cool. Tanning your skin to look like an orange M&M is cool. Having a fake bubble butt and adding filler to lips is trendy. Black is the new black. Whites can imitate black culture and take on as there own, yet remove themselves from that same blackness when shit hits the fan. They want to be accepted into black culture, but claim reverse racism when called out on their appropriation… but I digress….
White privilege allows Dolezal to be able to racially appropriate African-American culture and get away with it by playing the victim. African-Americans don’t get a pass to claim another racial identity. Hell, even those of us who are biracial, can’t claim that we are “white” or “Caucasian” due to the one drop rule. As a black woman, I can dye my hair blonde, listen to country western music, drink Starbucks and wear UGG boots everyday, but I can’t call myself “white” or “Caucasian.” It doesn’t work that way for people of color. I could have a white parent or grandparent, but society would still see me as “black.” One drop of black, and that’s it! Wearing micro braids or nappy weave and tanning to the point that she looks like a New Jersey Housewife doesn’t make Dolezal black.
What baffles me the most though are the countless African-Americans that are standing up for her.
“If she wants to be black, let her!”
“If a man can turn into a woman, and people accept it, then why can’t she be black?”
My people perish due to lack of knowledge.
We can’t be that fucking gullible.
I’ll be the first to admit, I too compared Dolezal’s story to that of Caitlyn Jenner at first , but I’m here to tell that being transgender and making up bullshit stories about your racial identity are not the same thing!
First of all, Jenner never denied that she was born biologically male. She never lied about growing up in a male body. Why lie about that? She knew since childhood that she was in the wrong body. Dolezal on the other hand has continued to blatantly lie about her life and her “struggle” as an African-American woman. Even going as far as pretending that a black man was her father. Her “struggles” are not real. They never happened. Dolezal comparing herself to transgendered people is disgusting and is a slap in the face to all trans people, especially those of color who have little to no visibility.
Dolezal is a fraud. Plain and simple. She doesn’t deserve sympathy. She’s not a victim, so stop treating her as such!