appropriation

Can Rachel Dolezal Make a Comeback?


The White NAACP chapter president has been posing as a Black woman for years. This writer wonders what it would take to let her back on The Team as an honorary member.



So, turns out that Rachel Dolezal, President of the Spokane, WA Chapter of the NAACP, graduate of Howard University, professor of African studies at Eastern Washington University, artist, and black-hair enthusiast , is not a lighter-skinned, blue-eyed Black woman as many were led to believe by her appropriation of black culture, but is, in fact, a White woman. The internet is ablaze with people crying foul, as it should be. Appropriation of another culture is  an egregious misstep, especially if you are not being truthful about who and what you really are.  As a black woman, I’m perplexed at Ms. Dolezal’s choices. Did she not feel she would be taken seriously as an ally if she were just a regular white woman?  Does she not understand that the privilege she was born with is, indeed, a valuable weapon to wield in the fight for equality?  Maybe she got turned out at Howard and became the walking, talking, real-life example of “once you go black, you never go back”? (Well, according to her father that’s where it happened, so …)  I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this: Rachel Dolezal is definitely going to make for interesting conversation in the next few days. 

In addition to those outing all the lies she’s told and condemning Dolezal’s actions, there are those like myself who wonder, Well, if she wants on the team so bad, should we let her on? Her membership would be conditional and provisional, of course, and she’d have to have a gigantic asterisk beside her name on the roster, sure. I’d imagine a call to the Racial Draft headquarters would go something like this:

[Calls up Black delegation]

 

“Hey, yeah listen. So, I know Rachel Dolezal has been perpetrating for a minute. But, look, before we come for her head, consider this: She did the homework.

She went to an HBCU, is a professor of African studies, wears her hair in a natural (for Black women) style—when we can’t get real Black women to stop wasting money putting Malaysian women’s hair on their heads to conform to European beauty standards, but whatever. She does Afrocentric art, she even became president of an NAACP chapter. Like, come on yo. She wants to rep for Black people more than a lot of Black people out here! Maybe we can draft her on a special contract? WE GOT PEOPLE TO TRADE. Someone mentioned Stacey Dash, if you’re looking for an aesthetic match. There are a SLEW of folk we can dispose of to make this happen: Dr. Ben Carson. Raven-Symoné. Don Lemon. Just think about it.

Sure, she’ll have to come clean and all, admit that she grew up with white privilege so she could never really know what it is to actually, authentically BE Black, but she can stop pretending so hard and just be like, Honorary Black (capital HONORARY). She can stop appropriating and just be that crazy ally that goes hard in the paint.

I mean, at least consider it. Just a suggestion. Okay, I got Ben Jealous on the other line trying to get more people to vouch for him because, you know, shit is cray right now for all the light skins with light eyes, especially if they were involved with NAACP, so I gotta run. Holla.”

I don’t know if the delegation would agree to Rachel’s membership without putting her through some sort of intake procedure (read: hazing), so I’ve compiled a list of actions Rachel should be prepared to do if she wants to make it in:

Things #RachelDolezal gotta do to get in: Finish this sentence: “First, giving honor to God, __________”

Things #RachelDolezal gotta do to get in: Recite “Coming To America” in it’s entirety.

Things #RachelDolezal gotta do to get in: Perform at least 4 versions of the electric slide, ON BEAT.

Things #RachelDolezal gotta do to get in: produce a tin of used Murray’s, Dax, or Royal Crown from her medicine cabinet.

There are others you can find on twitter on my page (@KHough09) under the hashtag #LetRachelOnLine.  Do you have some requirements for Ms. Dolezal’s CONDITIONAL approval to get on line and pledge her loyalty to the Black community?  Let me know in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter under #LetRachelOnLine.

 

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