There are so many issues with this situation and it has definitely left me dazed and confused. So, Rachel Dolezal is a white woman who has been pretending to be black for years. She apparently got her degree from Howard University and is the current president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP. Mind you, she is also a professor in Africana studies at Eastern Washington University. Not surprisingly, Dolezal was exposed by her parents a few days ago that she indeed was a white woman who’d been lying to people by saying that she was African American. They said, “we’re puzzled and it’s very sad.” This is cultural appropriation to the utmost degree.
There is a big difference between liking and supporting a culture, and completely impersonating it. Technically, Dolezal was dressing in black face for years. She wore black hairstyles and tried to make herself appear as a black woman. Personally, I’m not sure why anyone believed her, because she looks exactly like a white woman with a tan, as opposed to a mixed-race woman. She has bright blue eyes and very Anglo-Saxon features. In addition, most of her hairstyles appeared to be wigs. She tried to rock various styles from cornrows to afros, and to be honest, they didn’t really suit her. She appropriated black culture for her own personal benefit, which is no surprise because people have been doing it for years.
Quite frankly, I find all of her actions to be incredibly offensive, but her greatest offense to me is her presidential NAACP chapter position. No matter how hard she tries to be black, she will never be, which makes her unfit to be the chapter president. She will never fully understand the plight that black people face in America. Moreover, I hope that she is removed from this position because she obtained it under false pretenses. Rachel did not only lie about her ethnicity, but she also told lies about her family life, rapes that may or may not have happened, potential battles with cancer, and that is just to name a few.
Many have compared Rachel Dolezal identifying as black to being similar to cases like Caitlyn Jenner and transgender people, but in my opinion, these are completely different situations. One must consider the foundation of the relationship between blacks and whites in America. You must take history into account. Finally, let me make one thing clear. It is not that Rachel was incapable of contributing to the NAACP as a result of her being white. If she wanted to stand up for the rights of people of color, all she had to do was be herself and I am sure that she would’ve been welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately, she chose an alternative route, and therefore, she should be called out on her actions.