Dolezal -- who is the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington -- has publicly claimed to be an African-American woman and was described as a "most prominent civil rights activist" under this guise.
Dolezal’s story has left us bewildered; reactions to her reveal run the gamut. While many are amused by her attempts to “pass” as a black woman (see #AskRachel on Twitter), others have noted the serious implications her case highlights on the notion of passing, racial identity, appropriation and black womanhood.
Here are some of the more poignant points addressed by users on Twitter that address deeper explanations around Dolezal's bizarre story:
Dolezal's attempts to advocate for racial equality didn't have to come at the expense of appropriating black culture.
And yet, she disguised her identity and claimed to be black as she led an organization that fights for those she pretended to be.
Even her ability to be a white woman who passed as black, on her own volition, is exemplary of white privilege.
Instead, Dolezal disguised her identity and blatantly lied about it for years. The question it raises is: WHY?
Honesty would have been the best approach.
Perhaps one of the most disturbing parts of Dolezal's story is that she allegedly faked hate crimes, which ultimately has a more harmful impact.
Meanwhile, the same user suggested that Dolezal passed as black to boost her reputation among those she has “fetishized.”
Historically, African Americans who tried “passing” as white, did so for security and survival. Dolezal’s case is no match.
Historically, Black folks who could tried to "pass" for survival. #RachelDolezal's effort to pass was NOT about survival. No comparison.
— Charles Wade (@akacharleswade) June 12, 2015
And black people who were exposed for “passing” faced serious ramifications.
In order to pass, Dolezal dedicated a lot of time, energy and money to her appearance. Her hair alone raises a lot of questions.
"So many questions"...
Because, apparently, she liked rocking "the natural look."
And yes, she is still an example of all things wrong with blackface.
Still, the idea of being "transracial" has entered the conversation and some expect it to have equivalency to being transgender.
Hold up so you can be transgender in America but not transracial?
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) June 12, 2015
But let's be clear, Charlamagne: "transracial" doesn't exist.
And as bizarre as Dolezal's story is, there remains the possibility that she’ll be able to profit from it all.
But one potential title for her story is off the market.