Backstory on Dolezal
If you didn’t know already, Rachael Dolezal was the Spokane Chapter NAACP President. Her parents came forward about her background and she resigned following allegations that she had lied about her racial identity and other aspects of her biography. It was clear that a white lady has been masquerading as a black woman. It was claimed that she had been suing this disguise as a costume to get social and financial gain.
From MS. Magazine:
Dolezal’s actions suggest that blackness and black womanhood are costumes or stepping stones to achieve success.
Why that might be a problem as well.
Now I get why people would be appalled. It’s a form of black-face. Some could possibly say it’s a form of cultural appropriation. With the latter I wonder where we should draw the line in America as we are a melting pot, aren’t we? But the concept of black-face anger usually comes from a standpoint of feeling that you are being mocked. Mocked because someone is acting like they know what it is like to be like you, but in reality they have never encountered or faced the struggles of your race, like you have.
We cannot trust everything that Dolezal says. We know that she has lied about her black parents, and her real parents aren’t actually black. But perhaps she did bother to go through something that would have put her in a position of experience. It still doesn’t address a problem with claiming the social and financial success problems addressed. Why would it be that she would have something to gain from being trans-racial, if the race she is trans-racial to claims to experience mass oppression based on skin color? Is there nothing to gain from a black guy using white face? Fighting oppression with inverse oppression, is still oppression and might as well be fighting fire with fire. Remember, the fire department uses water to put out fires. I just do not want fuel for the people that say racial discrimination doesn’t exist anymore. I do not want the people that think we have reached a state of racial equality having fuel for their argument. This costume response opens the door to that. To say that her actions gave her an advantage, would mean that as a white woman she was at more of a disadvantage than black candidates. The reverse racism argument ensues.
I will be told – don’t forget to check your white privilege at the door. I cannot say that I know what it’s like to be black, and I cannot say that I know what it is like to be Rachael Dolezal either. I don’t think many others are in the position to say that they know what it is like to be her. Was there something that she felt would have been able to help her level the playing field when it came to getting employment? We may never know. We have only what is at face value right now and that is not much.
What are your thoughts on this? Is trans-racial a thing and how comparable is it to trans-gender? Is reverse racism at play?