Black Like Her
“I identify as Black.”
So says Rachel Dolezal. The now-former boss of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, Dolezal has been outed by her parents and further embarrassed by the revelation that she sued Howard University et al years ago, claiming she was discriminated against because she was white.
If nothing else, we’ve learned she is an awfully confused woman.
Anyway, she’s not apologizing. She’s not outright admitting Caucasian-ness, either. She’s lingering in the limbo that a lot of public-eye fabulists inhabit. Pete Rose, Bill Clinton, cigarette company execs, everybody in the GW Bush admin. who breathed the words “weapons of mass destruction,” and Donald Trump, whenever he’s asked if he has a human conscience, all have danced around the truth in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
Here’s the sin, re: Dolezal’s charade: no matter how much she digs brown and black people, no matter how many R&B singles she has in her collection, no matter how many different African ways she styles her hair, she really, really, really doesn’t know what it is to be a “nigger.”
Because that’s what the NAACP is all about: Fighting for people who’ve been nigger-ized. I’ll guess Dolezal was never savaged by dramatic, overt, racism. Not only that, she never had to endure the death by a thousand cuts that subtle, unintentional, casual racism visits upon every dark skinned person in this holy land every single day.
And even if she was, somewhere in the back of her mind — supposing that she is not psychotic or delusional — she always could comfort herself with the knowledge that she is genetically white. That is, of course, if there is such a thing as genetic whiteness. In fact, the whole notion of race is merely a a flimsy social construct anyway.
Still, the hate-laden racists of the world have a well-honed ability to sense who is descended from the nations and tribes of Africa. Like homophobes, racists devote ungodly amounts of time and energy to fingering and stigmatizing the objects of their disgust.
Brown and black people every day are reminded they’re not as good, not as deserving, not as ambitious, not as astute, not as civilized as white people. White people never fail to remind them — and themselves — of these “facts.” When you’re told that every minute of the day, you just might start believing it.
Inherent blackness — whatever that means — becomes equated with inherent inferiority. It’s the tyranny of melanin. Dolezal lives under no such tyranny.
A Cause For Hate: The Molecular Structure Of Melanin
For my money, what Dolezal has done is analogous to sons and daughters of wealth who pretend to live as penniless bohemians. When push comes to shove, they can always go home for a hot meal.