Anthony Mahon / Feature / November 2016

So . . . Rachel Dolezal Has a Book Now

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Over one year ago, Rachel Dolezal—then-President of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP—came under fire when she was outed as a white woman despite claiming to be black.

The scandal led Dolezal to step down from her position as President. What followed was a series of televised appearances including The Today Show and NBC Nightly News where she defended herself as “transracial”.

In an interview in June 2015, Dolezal was questioned about her identity as well as the identity of her parents. Rather than tell the truth, she became defensive and abruptly left the interview.

Following the incident, family members were interviewed about Dolezal’s “transformation”. Her parents denied the authenticity of her story. According to her adoptive brothers, her transformation began with her changing her hairstyle and continued with her tanning her skin. They also revealed that Dolezal told them not to disclose where she was actually from.

Almost a year after her cover was blown, Rachel Dolezal announced her book on racial identity titled In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World. If openly deceiving people wasn’t bad enough, she gets to profit off that deceit at the expense of the black community.

Rachel Dolezal has attempted to spin her “story” into a groundbreaking concept that validates her changing her race. There’s a major problem with her logic.

It’s not groundbreaking. It’s lying.

Where’s the accountability? Where’s the remorse? Nowhere to be found. She claims to understand the black community’s frustration with her actions but that understanding was unveiled as lip-service the moment she made the choice to cash in on a lie.

Look no further than her interview on The Real to get her take on what “the black experience” is. When asked about whether she has truly walked in the shoes of a black woman, she responded with: “The police marked black on my traffic ticket.” This is a response from someone who has spent years working with the black community as a chapter president and taught classes about race and culture.

The black experience is not about getting pulled over. The black experience is not about police brutality. The black experience isn’t about the courses you teach or take, how deeply you’re involved with the black community, and the music that you listen to or what you wear. Why? Because there is no singular black experience in existence.

Rachel hasn’t walked a mile in the shoes of a person of color. She’s merely cherry-picked stereotypes to create her own fabricated identity. When confronted with questions, she danced around them with moves not seen since Thriller.

Did she identify as black when she accused Howard University of removing her artwork because of “a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students”? No. She identified as black when it benefitted her career.

Allies are always welcome in the black community. However, Dolezal made the choice to cross the line from ally to appropriator.

Rachel Dolezal has had a year to realize her mistakes and make amends with everyone she has deceived. Unfortunately, with the release of this book, she’s already too far gone.

To anyone who plans on buying her book, consider this: She has failed time after time to come up with a logical explanation for her actions when she was put on the spot. Why give her the time and money to create a book filled with lies?

Instead of buying her book, buy a book from a person of color who didn’t get the forum Rachel was given to milk her dishonesty. Buy a book from someone who had the courage to write openly and honestly about their struggles. Support people who actually went through the struggles Rachel claims to have gone through.

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