Many people are saying that no one should be upset or mad that Rachel Dolezal is claiming to be Black. The supported reasons that I’ve seen posted are: “Black people wear weaves!” “Some black people do skin lighting treatments… or wear light makeup to alter their appearance.” (Black skin and make-up selection history is a whole new discussion).
However, Do you see any of those same people walking around promoting themselves as White?! NO, you don’t! If anything that is a form of assimilation. A desire to want to appear as what the world would consider beautiful! Assimilating does not equate to pretending to be White. Assimilating can also happen on other levels such as education, social status and living someone else’s history as if it’s your own. Rachel Dolezal was successfully able to assimilate herself into an image of an affluent Black woman. Rachel was able to fake the funk… until the funk hit the fan.
Here is what we know about Rachel. She is a leader of the NAACP Spokane branch, she attended Howard University which is an HBCU, and she studied African American History. She also attempted to sue Howard University for discrimination. We also know that Rachel has made claims that people threatened and harassed her because she’s Black! Yet the police haven’t been able to find any evidence or records for these accusations. Supposedly, something was left in her locker and an examiner said it came from someone that had a key to the locker. These are the incidents that led up to her being exposed.
You can be a respectable Caucasian person and attend an HBCU and be a leader of the NAACP. You don’t have to fake the struggle and the history of African people to empathize with them. There are other Caucasian people in the world that are for equality and would like to expose and destroy White Privilege! Guess what?- They are perfectly okay with being White!
I understand that Rachel may have gotten caught up and empowered by our struggle, history, and will to survive. It’s quite impressive if I must say so myself. The fact that Rachel has been faking her identity for 10 years and her parents havent said anything until now makes me believe that they have something to gain. Are her parents racist pricks and that’s why she’s disassociated herself with them? Maybe Attending Howard opened her eyes to see her parents for who they are. Maybe she has some sort of mental issue that’s affecting how she views herself.
What I do know for sure is that portraying to be a part of such a deep rooted and painful history (specifically here in America) is not acceptable. It’s actually a slap in the face to those of us that are well aware of our past and those that are just aware of what’s currently happening. This situation reminds me of the saying “Black people accept anyone, but no one accepts Black people.” Why are you so quick to come to the defense of someone who is falsifying her identity and advertising it to the world!?
Our history or experience is not for sale or for pretenders to use at their leisure or for personal gain! Don’t ever compare AA/Black people’s desire for acceptance in the same realm as Rachel pretending to be Black! The image of black isn’t beautiful, pretty, and smart was embedded in our brains through people, magazines, advertisements, and TV. Society has made some of us feel “unpretty” and that wasn’t a choice! We didn’t make a choice to be Black, enslaved, oppressed, discriminated against, profiled…. but Rachel did. Do you think that’s okay? I surely don’t!
Editor:Ariel S. Jones
Photo credit: Google