My problem with Rachal Dolezal isn’t that she identifies with the African-American community, it’s that she lied on several occasions.
Dolezal can identify as black, but has been purposefully deceptive in her attempts to convince others that her natural identity is other than Caucasian. She told many that her adopted African-American brother was her son, lied that an African American man was her dad, she told classmates that she was half-African American and if her parents are to believed, told the family not to associate with her in fear of exposing her.
On top of that, she’s reported that at least eight hate crimes were committed against her. If false, these were more attempts at deceit. Stay with me here:
This past March, Dolezal told police hate mail had been found in the Spokane NAACP chapter’s post office box, but police investigators stated the envelope had neither a barcode nor date stamp on the envelope.
In that case, a postal inspector told police, “The only way this letter could have ended up in this P.O. box would be if it was placed there by someone with a key to that box or a USPS employee.”
That’s not the only issue that doesn’t seem to hold water, but it’s a pattern of problems that make the rest of Dolezal’s claims seem suspect, at least on the surface.
In several cases that have come to light, Dolezal is the sole witness.
When there’s been a security camera supposed to be recording an event, it failed due to a power surge. When Dolezal reported incidents where White Supremacists threatened to kidnap a family member, there were no official documents to support that she reported them to the police.
I have a healthy suspicion for authorities especially when it comes to race, but I also have a strong bullshit detector. I am very sensitive to race issues so I hesitate to call BS on anyone that has suffered at the hands of it, but there are too many coincidences that have raised internal red flags without even one green flag to counter them.
Irony at Best, Dangerous to the Cause at It’s Worst
To be clear, I don’t want to tear down Dolezal — she’s done a lot of good admirable work, but at the same time, her character cannot be completely trusted. I believe she needs to be called out for her deliberate actions to deceive. All of which, as a former and potential future leader, she needs to take responsibility for those actions.
Also, I have absolutely no issues with another race advocating for a different race; in fact I encourage it when the situation arises, but it’s ironic that Dolezal would lie or worse, make up hate crimes, in order to seem more credible.
I’ve read some very smart people somewhat advocating for Dolezal, arguing that she’s done a lot of great things. Their hearts are in the right place, but this isn’t a case of a couple mistakes outweighed by a noble cause. This is case of a personal, selfish cause full of common lies that can potentially harm to all the work she’s done.
To me, the silver lining is the timing of the conversation to coincide with Caitlyn Jenner has made us think about the rigid lines around race and gender on a deeper level. Otherwise this was one big ol’ mind fuck.