I have been accused of not being black enough because my mother is from Cuba and my father is from the Dominican Republic. It all started after I spoke Spanish around some of my black friends in junior high and high school. They made the comment that I was not "really black." Knowing my history the way I do and attending Howard University (Rachel Dolezal's alma mater) exposed me to more of my background. I have explained, ad nauseam, that THE BOATS WENT EVERYWHERE and just because I have never labeled myself African-American does not mean I am less black than those who do. This is why I am quite offended at Rachel Dolezal's quest to pose as a black woman.
Regardless of the job that she has done for the NAACP in the state of Washington, to me, she has trivialized the struggle by pretending she had one. Tim Wise, who has been a powerhouse in the black community, has written numerous books on and stood up against racism and discrimination, was denied speaking fees from Rachel Dolezal because her assessment is that issues regarding the black community should be addressed by black people. I am curious about what she would say about Father Michael Pfleger, who has been in the struggle in the inner city and on the front lines in Chicago, working with the black community to make a better and safer Chicago. What does she think about Jane Elliott, the creator of the famous blue eyes/brown eyes exercise, who is an international educator who has been teaching people about the effects of discrimination and racism for over 30 years?
In a CNN interview with Ms. Dolezal's brother, Ezra, he revealed that his sister started her journey into blackness in 2011. Tanning her skin and using curly weaves, cornrows and other traditional hairstyles utilized by black women, Rachel Dolezal began her fake journey into what black women experience on a daily basis. This is another reason why I am offended at her actions. To me, it is the 21st century version of blackface.
There are black women who look like Rachel Dolezal as a white woman. Yes, black women come in all shades, sizes and colors. Falsifying experience and claiming hate crimes against you to justify those phony experiences only touches the surface of a very intricate web of deception that Rachel Dolezal wove for herself. My question to Ms. Dolezal are did she, for even one second, consider the feelings of the people who have gone through the same experiences that she claimed were her own? Now that everyone knows her real identity, how long does she plan on continuing on with this charade?
When it comes to ending racism, EVERYONE has something to bring to the table. There are many white people have made many contributions to the NAACP, including founding the organization. There are also many white people who have made it their life's work to fight against racism and discrimination and for equality. I am personally grateful to these individuals and the NAACP for their many accomplishments that have changed legislation for a better and more equal America.
As for Rachel Dolezal, if she has not yet had time to reflect on the drama that she has brought upon herself, her family and the NAACP, perhaps now would be a good time to do so.