Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
As I type this, I am reading through the umpteenth article about disgraced ex-NAACP chairwoman Rachel Dolezal, who as you may have had drilled into your skull via social media, is a 100% White woman who still publicly identifies herself as “Black” despite:
1. A DNA test showing she is 100% White.
2. Her 100% White parents publicly chastening her.
3. Having admitted to not being Black and to wearing a more publicly pleasing version of blackface.
I am seething, watching this green eyed, German and Czech creature with caked on tanning makeup, try and convince the world that she “has it rough” because she identifies as a race she has never been.
And I am reading the comments White people are leaving, and at this point, I don’t know whether to laugh or grit my teeth. They not only support her decision to parade in the streets, screaming “look at me look at me I’m BLACK” but I just read a comment that just about made this worse.
“It’s no different from when a man wants to be a woman, what’s the dif?”
Excuse me? Buddy, there is a big “dif” right here.
See, when a man wants to become a woman, (or vice-versa) it’s because he feels he was born the wrong gender. So be saves his money, pays for life altering surgery, life altering gene therapy, and slowly but surely, becomes a woman. It is a long, emotional, painful process, in which he will see who really cares about him and who loves him enough to accept him as a “her” post-process. It’s expensive, not just fiscally, but on a personal level, but he does it with passion and conviction, without sacrificing his roots. Even if he is rejected, he will still be able to tell you who his parents are, and he will not ever lie to your face about his family, even if they do not accept his new life.
What Rachel Dolezal is doing tantamount to parody.
Unlike a transgender person, Rachel Dolezal is not doing this publicity stunt out of passion, despite her claims. She doesn’t feel like African American is her “spirit race” she is doing this deliberately to see how much attention and sympathy she can garner by rejecting her race.
She rejects her family, rejects her bloodline, and prances around in Blackface, trying to make you emote for her. Joining the NAACP was more about seeing how much she could get over the public and less about the fight for equality. This is evident by how little she actually fought for, and how much extra public relations work she left behind.
Furthermore, people like Rachel Dolezal are nothing but a headache and a sincere hindrance to people who are either mixed race or light skinned.
I am known as a “Quadroon”. That’s an old word that means I am one quarter Black. As such, my skin changes from near-Caucasian to a deep gold depending on my health.
Thanks to people like Rachel Dolezal, I now have to carry around photos of my mother and grandfather to prove to people I’m not yet another “crazy Rachel Dolezal” and I really am mixed race.
I have adult strangers calling me “wannabe” because of Rachel Dolezal.
White people wear fake chains around me, blare rap music, eat pork and claim they are “more Black” than I will “ever be” and then expect me to accept them as “the new Black” and cry for their fake struggles. As they tweet disparaging comments on their iPhones about how “stupid” #BlackLivesMatter is and how “all Blacks” are hoodlums who deserve death.
I have strangers name calling me online, pretending I don’t have the right to be angry over Rachel Dolezal, trying to convince me that this White woman in blackface is having a “rough” life in her designer clothes and crocodile tears.
Blacks now don’t know how to look at a light skinned “sista” anymore. I’ve seen Blacks look at mixed race babies cock-eyed, not knowing if they can trust this child’s ethnicity because of Rachel Dolezal.
And nobody trusts the NAACP anymore, because someone was foolish enough to elect Rachel Dolezal to a leadership status at a critical time where we needed someone who had more than their own interests at heart. We have conditions in this country ripe for a race war, and yet here we are, allowing a Rachel Dolezal to run around in brown makeup and make everything about herself.
Listen, we’ve all seen when White people try to “act Black” and we’ve all had our favorites. White rappers have been off and on the music charts for more than two decades now, and it’s great to see a White person embrace Black culture.
But there has to be a healthy limit, and Rachel Dolezal takes a pole vault leap right over it.
When Michael Jackson, Sammy Sosa and Lil’ Kim decided to start “whitening up” their features, using everything from blonde hair dye and bright contacts to flat out skin bleaching, Whites called it out. Let’s be fair. It was whiteface/whitewashing and it was wrong. It was a slap in the face to each celebrity’s original genetic makeup, it was not done out of passion, it was used for publicity and it was disgraceful, borderline racism.
When the movie White Chicks came out in 2004, it was wrong. It was a movie basically making whiteface look like an “acceptable” thing, and it was racist. There is no justifying it.
So imagine my red hot anger, seeing people suddenly try to make up lousy excuses for Rachel Dolezal, after years of us finally getting rid of the notion that blackface is “just a fun hobby” and years after making it crystal clear that pretending to be another race with makeup is ethically and morally wrong. Granted, we still have a whitewashing issue in Hollywood, but with the loud backlash against whitewashing films in recent years, you might think that some people would get it by now.
Of course, I give humanity too much credit.
Rachel Dolezal, I doubt very highly you are reading this, seeing as how most people I call out like to label those of us with a legitimate concern as “haters” but as an actually Black descendant American citizen with a soon to be renewed membership in the NAACP, I hope that if for nothing else that you, and people like you, can understand why we are angry with you.
Of course you won’t, but it is still a free country, so I can hope if I want to.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!