Rachel Dolezal is the head of the Spokane, Washington branch of the NAACP. She is also a white woman who has been professing to be black for years. She has worn her hair in locks or in a frizzy curly afro. She has even darkened her skin and found a black man whom she claimed to be her father. Until her real parent’s called her out as being their blonde-haired, green-eyed, white daughter, she was accepted as a woman of color who professed to be what she wasn’t.
The national NAACP organization out of Washington D.C. has issued a statement in support of Dolezal. There have also been a number of prominent and everyday black folks who have joined in that support. Together they have overlooked her lies and based their advocacy on what she has done for the organization and for the community, while overlooking in reality what her lies have done to the organization and to the community.
For years, black folks have cried out that, “It’s a black thang, you wouldn’t understand!” Well, I guess that isn’t as true as we thought. All it took was the illusion of blackness for us to be bamboozled by it. And once outted as a liar, I am not shocked by the number of folks who are claiming “it doesn’t matter” or that they “don’t care.”
Because for some folks, defending the wrong is more important than making it right.
The reality is that if Dolezal can fool us when we work up close and personal with her, how do we claim to be able to spot racism or injustice when we can’t even see the bamboozlement in front of our face?
Dolezal’s outing is also about leadership. If the head is a lie, shouldn’t everything that goes along with that head end up being a lie?
Yet it is some black folks’ love of the hypocrisy of it all that has to be at center stage. Let anyone try to point out that hypocrisy, however, and we get our fangs out. We can see the injustice in police murders, while overlooking the everyday killing of one black person by another. We can scream and holler about wanting a better neighborhood, while being the main cause of the deterioration of the current neighborhoods. We can holler about jobs, opportunity and the like, but make no attempt to support or build on the foundations that bring jobs, opportunities and the like. And when confronted with a liar and thief, we talk about what a good job she’s done.
But if all it takes to be black is to pretend, then why can’t all of white America join in the charade as a way to shut us up? For if we accept Dolezal’s shenanigans, then, as an example, can all-white police departments have 20 percent of their white officers claim to be black? Voila, suddenly the all-white department has met it 20 percent quota?
Rachel Dolezal could have served us better by being a white woman who understood the plight of the black community instead of perpetrating a fraud that made a mockery of it. If she really knew and cared about black people, she would never have committed the fraud.
But even worse are the black folks who went along with her charade. They are as guilty as she is.