Rachel Dolezal is delusional.
Her delusional state is unfortunate, in my view, because she is also incredibly intelligent and an immensely talented artist.
As most people now know, Dolezal is the former president of the NAACP in Spokane, Wash. who led people to believe she was Black. Dolezal’s Caucasian biological parents exposed her true identity last week.
I do not necessarily have a problem with Dolezal’s affinity to Blacks or even the physical attributes that she has assumed that are similar to Black women. As a matter of fact, there are many whites who, because of their long-term associations with Blacks, adapt some of their cultural characteristics including dialect, hairstyles and even attire. Such representation is especially common with the influx of the hip-hop culture and how so many non-Blacks have adapted to that culture.
However, the problem I have with Dolezal is she intentionally misled people to believe she was Black. She blatantly lied as well as misrepresented and took advantage of the Black community. Dolezal created a life that gave her relevancy. The irony is, because of her intellect and passion for minorities and human rights; she would have been relevant anyway – perhaps even more so – had she assumed her true identity from the beginning.
Think about it: had Dolezal advocated for Blacks as an authentic White woman with the same zeal that she did as a Black female imposer, she may have broadened the perspectives of non-Blacks who may not have been able to empathize with minorities in general. Blacks already understand the discrimination and oppression that riddle our race. We have that knowledge because unfortunately, many of us have personally experienced it or know others who have.
However, if a White person is courageously talking about the disparities and inequities of Blacks, that person may be more effective in enlightening their White counterparts to the injustices of Blacks. Such a milestone would be accomplished because the messenger was different, thus breaking down hidden and often unknown barriers that people of different ethnicities have toward one another.
As a “fake” Black woman Dolezal was impactful and made great strides, but had she embraced her true heritage, her efforts might have been monumental.
Integrity is everything and Dolezal has none because her foundation is rooted in deceit.
I watched a previous interview of Dolezal’s where she spoke about being a Black woman. The most troubling aspects of that interview were her own stereotypes and generalizations of Blacks. She seemed to focus more on the negative qualities of Black women than the positive characteristics we possess. For instance, she talked about being Black and going to public places in slippers or using EBT cards, yet she neglected to speak of the wonderful aspects of Black women such as our indelible strength, our courageous demeanor and our vast intellect.
Dolezal granted “The Today Show” her first public interview. As I watched the exchange between her and Matt Lauer, I grew even more frustrated because she refused to admit what she did was wrong. She failed to take responsibility. Instead, her half-hearted attempt to explain years of deceit was that a reporter initially referred to her as “trans-racial,” then another referred to her as “bi-racial,” and then after that reporters referred to her as Black. So rather than admitting to her own lies, she tried to shift the blame on others. Amazing…and not in a good way.
There has to be some sort of psychological breakdown or disconnect as it relates to Dolezal and her “belief” that she is a Black woman. As intelligent and talented as Dolezal is, she is also mentally troubled and she needs help.
Evidence of this is Dolezal’s accusations of receiving hate mail from her NAACP branch’s post office box. The police stated the envelope had “neither a barcode, nor date stamp on the envelope,” which suggests that the letter was never mailed. Police said no one at the post office was a suspect. In other words, Dolezal probably “planted” the letter to look like hate mail – all for attention.
The first step in resolving issues is first admitting that a problem exists. Dolezal has failed to do this, so until then, she can’t effectively deal with, or correct her actions.
I will end with this scripture from Mark 8:36. In Dolezal’s quest toward notoriety and attention, it is a question that she should consider asking herself:
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”