Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The Gig is Over For Rachel Dolezal
Rachel Dolezal's native skin color should have in no way diminished the content of her character. It would have never done so either, had she not lied. That's what makes her guise so complex.
The assault on her integrity by her choice not to be truthful about who she desired to be is what crippled her character. A fair question to ask Dolezal is "If I can't believe who your are why should believe your convictions are on the level?
Dolezal's dilemma would be non-existent if she had simply been honest about her race origin. She could have looked "Black" all she liked and no one would have cared. Some white women go after the "Black look" every day. Just like some Black women chase a "white look" with relaxed hair and bleached skin. The hair and make-up industry has made millions off of folks chasing a "racial look" and frankly it's no big deal - until one sells out their true identity in an attempt to "be" the look.
Dolezal's self-appointed blackness has been compared to the coming out of transgenders. That's an apples to oranges comparison raised by debaters that have run out of intellectual gas and understand neither experience.
While I can't speak to the transgender experience I am qualified and can speak to being Black. I would be the first of many to tell you one can't just conveniently claim it because it suits their agenda. One can't simply claim an assimilation of being Black because they've lived around Black, have Blacks as friends, or even experienced some of the hardships exclusive to Blacks. As in Dolezal's case, it doesn't matter how deep one immerses themselves in Black issues, that is not a right of passage into Blackness. To pursue an assimilation on these pretexts screams patronization and deception.
Dolezal's affinity to deceptively be Black, unfortunately has overshadowed her years of progressive work on race and discrimination issues. She has undermined her own commitment to causes that so desperately need activists of her caliber to take up.
What Dolezal needs to do now is realize the gig is over. Dress up time as an African American woman is over. She's made the talk show rounds and in dong so seemed hell bent on keeping the ruse alive. She needs to accept the fact she's been outed, by her parents nonetheless.
The admirable thing she can do is just leave. The damage is done. There is no way she's going to convince anyone that she's Black - let alone credible.
There is a takeaway here we all should muse for a moment. You can only perpetuate a lie for so long. At some point, somewhere the gig is going to unravel and when it does your integrity will be shot all to hell.