I can’t speak for the rest of the planet; however, American media seems to always be searching for the next “Big Thing”. By now, you have surely heard about, read, seen…perhaps absorbed through osmosis, the story of Rachel Dolezal. She’s the woman whose biological parents say that she has no African-American bloodlines; however, she claims that she is black. A simple test might end the controversy!
Photographs that are purported to show her as a young girl seem to suggest that she is, indeed, white. Of course, she has been a front page story, or cited as “Breaking News”, in any and all media coverage. To me, she seems to be as difficult to pin-down with a straight answer to a direct question as are most politicians.
When asked whether she is black, she has replied that she “identifies” as black. More recently, when asked some version of the same question, she responded that she had never taken a DNA test. Now, if she did wish to end the controversy, wouldn’t it make sense to just have the test performed? I’m sure that many media outlets would be happy to pay for it. Well, that is…if they could have exclusive coverage. Oh, I can see it now: “Breaking News!” And Ms. Dolezal certainly seems to be basking in the glow of all the attention–some of which might even be for payment.
This whole brouhaha came about when Ms. Dolezal’s parents were interviewed on TV recently, and they stated that she was white. This past Monday, she resigned as the President of the Spokane, Washington Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is important to note that she would not have been the first white president in Spokane, an area which only has a black population of approximately 1.8%. The national NAACP headquarters had quickly affirmed that race is neither a requirement for leadership, nor a detriment.
Looking behind the nonsense of the moment, I believe that Rachel Dolezal’s supporters are not considering the underlying reality of this situation and, perhaps, their support merely encourages her to fall deeper into her (I assume) psychosis. If she is white, why does she feel that she has to identify as black in order to respect and live among them? Might she actually be putting African-Americans down by assuming that she prefers to masquerade as one in order to function in “their world”–as if it were a different one than everyone else lives in? Also, wouldn’t living within the black community as a white person better advance the idea of racial tolerance and acceptance?
Lastly, what must actual black women, who have spent oodles of money and countless hours trying to straighten their hair, think of her allegedly cosmetic blackness? Besides having her hair “kinked”, she also seems to have had her skin darkened slightly, as well. Honestly, if Rachel Dolezal is white, I believe that the cosmetic measures that she underwent to enhance her charade merely reflect the extent of her mental illness.
NOTE: Sorry to add for to the over-the-top and unnecessary coverage of this “story”. Most of what I have seen or heard on this matter, however, has been mostly emotional, rather than helpful…potentially to her. Very little attention has been devoted toward Ms. Dolezal’s possible need for mental health care. Once again , it would be easy to settle this controversy with a routine DNA test; however, that would end the “story” there!