Opinion: Not cool, Rachel Dolezal...not cool - The South End: Perspectives

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Opinion: Not cool, Rachel Dolezal...not cool

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Posted: Monday, June 22, 2015 1:30 pm

If you think about it, Rachel Dolezal has done a lot as a civil rights activist.

But there’s that one big elephant in the room: she completely lied about who she was.

When the interview with her parents surfaced, I knew there was something weird about Dolezal. It didn’t make sense to me that she would lie about her ethnicity, especially in an organization like the NAACP, which accepts people of different races, by the way.

After seeing Dolezal’s interview on the Today Show, I’ve come to the realization that she really believes she is African American. And honestly, I find that sad.

I don’t have a problem with her sympathizing with African American culture. But I don’t believe she understands her actions. The work that she’s done for the black community is backfiring because she’s offended so many people, including her own family, who just want her to be who she really is.

I find it most aggravating that she taught African American history classes, such as “The Black Woman’s Struggle” while pretending to be black. As a young African American woman myself, this upsets me. She’s making fun of my black female ancestors, whether she intended to or not, by putting on blackface.

Remember a woman named Tania Head? After Sept. 11, she became known as a survivor of the World Trade Center attacks and later became the president of the WTC Survivors' Network support group. For a while, she gained recognition and appreciation for the work she did.

Until it became revealed that she was not a survivor. In fact, she made up her entire story. She wasn’t even in the country on Sept. 11. All of the people she helped and befriended felt betrayed by her actions.

My point is this: when you lie to a community to be a part of it by telling them you went through the same things they did, you just crapped on everything they stand for when they discover you haven’t.

Here’s a question for #AskRachel: have you really thought about what you did?

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