On Rachel Dolezal

Dolezal after and before

In case you are unaware, there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding Rachel Dolezal, Africana studies professor and head of a local NAACP chapter. You see, for years, Dolezal has been represented as an African-American woman. However, that was recently questioned when reporters found a Caucasian couple who claims to be her estranged birth parents. The investigation was launched when doubts were raised about hate crimes she had reported.

There are so many questions. Why would she lie about her ethnicity? Why would her parents out her as Caucasian? Why is she estranged from her parents? Should her race even matter? And, the most burning question for me personally – how did she get her hair to look so damned good?

Dolezal after and before
These pictures are both reportedly of the same person

The regional leader of the NAACP has stated that Ms. Dolezal’s race doesn’t matter, and it shouldn’t. But what does matter is the dishonesty. If she truly is of two Caucasian parents with no discernible African ancestry, why the dishonesty? Can you really trust her to champion the cause of racial equality when she’s not true to her own race? But then again, does race really matter?

I can’t claim to have the answers to these questions. It would be ideal if we lived in a world where race, ethnicity, religion, gender, were extremely minor details that mattered very little.

No matter what her race, Rachel Dolezal appears to be a formidable ally of racial equality, who’s clearly personally invested, given that she’s the legal guardian of a young Black man (her adopted brother) and has another African-American (or perhaps biracial) son. And if she knows her stuff about Africana Stidues, then she should be able to teach to the subject. I’ve had French teachers of Italian descent, Spanish teachers from France, and I’ve never been taught English by a Briton. It’s a sad reality that if she had been perceived as Caucasian, she probably wouldn’t have been able to get as far as she has. It shouldn’t be that way.

If anything, she can always fall back on doing hair; if those are crochet braids she’s rocking, she does an impressive job!

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