Sunday, June 14, 2015
The Rachel Dolezal story took over regular and social media last week, quickly becoming the dominant, basically insane story of the moment (not counting presidential announcements).
Over on Facebook, my friend Tina Dupuy admitted that Dolezal was "kooky and cringe-inducing" but that her parents were "DICKS"! I've seen variations of this line around social media over the last couple of days -- harshly criticizing Rachel's parents for "outing" her. What follows is my response to Tina, slightly edited and expanded for general consumption:
Her parents are dicks? Right. They're such dicks that they adopted two actual African-American kids. In fact, the weird story about Rachel is that she didn't start taking on the black identity until AFTER her parents did the adoption thing. "Well, mom and dad want black kids?? I'll give them another one!"
That's why I give them a benefit of the doubt and her zero. Her parents "ruined" her career? It was a career built on a FALSEHOOD. Furthermore, they came forward only after she made some dubious claims about being a victim of a hate crime. Given that she's lived her life as a lie, skepticism on how far she would go to perpetuate that lie is more than warranted.
Moreover, it's the ultimate in white privilege to put on black face and then decide to shoot for a leadership role in a black organization. And something for those over-thinkers who serously want to make comparisons between the Caitlyn Jenner "transgender" situation and Dolezal's "transracial" assertion (yes, Melissa, I'm talking to you): GET REAL!!
Historically, black Americans who did the opposite -- passed for white -- did so to survive in a racist society. For them, exposure meant true ruin, in some states even death. For Rachel Dolezal, it means momentary embarrassment, more acceptance by a too-forgiving black community, the talk-show circuit, a book deal and, oh, yes, living the rest of her life as a white person! BOO-FUCKING-HOO!
UPDATE: Thanks Tara L. Martin for passing along this Buzzfeed interview of Rachel's adopted (actually black) brother Ezra. Some major duplicity and emotional manipulation going on with this woman.
UPDATE II: For those wondering about "Melissa," this is to whom I was referring.