Is Rachel Dolezal A White Girl with Issues? And is she anything like YOU?
If you’re not familiar with this story, it’s about how Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane NAACP chapter in Washington State, basically pretended to be black for years.
She is also a professor in the Africana Studies Program at Easter Washington University. She actually taught a range of classes on race, gender, and art. One of them was called “The Black Woman’s Struggle.”
Yeah, you read that right.
This story about Rachel Dolezal is breaking out as a huge scandal, and is trending rapidly, and with good reason. Rachel’s parents are the ones who helped “out” her in this media frenzy.
You see, Rachel Dolezal is white. She’s the whitest kind of white, actually.
Her heritage is – get this – Czech, Swedish and German.
She doesn’t have a drop of African American Heritage in her family.
It gets even better when you realize that Rachel Dolezal was outed by Ruthanne Dolezal.
That’s Rachel’s mother, by the way. Yeah, she got outed and busted by her mom.
Rachel Dolezal’s parents are also contributing to this situation.
Some of the Twitter responses are pretty classic, ranging from:
– “Please don’t let this white lady get a book deal. Please don’t let this white lady get a book deal…”
– “It’s great passing as a black woman #RachelDolezal until you go to a community pool in Texas”
– “Her own mama outed her. HER OWN MAMA! That is the blackest thing that ever happened to her.”
Now I won’t even touch on the hot potato debate that is now calling this #transracial.
This is where some people are suggesting that Rachel is a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body.
That’s just so outlandish it defies any classification.
And if you look at it from another point of view, what difference does it make if she’s black or not?
She’s obviously working to forward human rights, and racial/inter-cultural understanding.
Does it really even matter that she’s black or white, or whatever?
Some would say no.
However, in the face of being exposed, Rachel Dolezal is still claiming to be black, which is clearly a bit deluded, but hey… if you’re invested this far into the lie, what else are you gonna do?
My question to you is this: If Rachel’s racial identity is so contentious, and she’s latched onto this identity for herself…
Why did she do it?
I mean, why would you pretend to be that which you are not?
Yes, I realize that question seems silly in two different directions. On one hand, of course you don’t want to pretend to be something you’re not.
But on the other hand, we are all pretending in some way, and we all know some – dare I say MANY – people in our lives that are doing this kind of thing right now.
Rachel Dolezal’s “impersonation” is really speaking to the huge problem we all have with feeling like impostors in our own lives – not just in our vocation. One of the most difficult areas of our psychology is the “Impostor Syndrome.”
What is that?
It’s that deep-in-the-bones feeling that we are not who we pretend to be on the surface.
It’s that feeling that – at any moment – someone could crush our self-esteem by revealing our deep dark secret thoughts and imperfections to the world, and thus make us an impostor.
It’s kind of irrational, but it’s a very real belief that many people carry with them.
And some people never shake it off.
And you might say there’s another level of this mental quirk that makes us feel that way even more when we’re dating and trying to find a partner.
Have you ever gone on a date and feel like the other person is a detective? Was he trying to figure out if you are who you really say you are?
Ever go out with a guy that makes you a bit nervous, like maybe he’s out of your league?
And you start to worry that maybe he is. Maybe you’re not enough for him?
Have you ever been with a man that you want to open up to, but you feel like your vulnerability could actually send him running for the hills when he discovers who you REALLY are under the makeup and (slightly) padded bra?
Well, I have some good news: Guys have this feeling, too.
We are working very hard to present ourselves as competent, respectable and capable providers.
We work hard, and we try to block out thoughts that the world says are shameful. (Which is pretty much any thought a man has about a woman that is sexual.)
We try to go along with all the prevailing winds of society, even those gender standards that hurt us.
Yeah, it’s true – men are also corralled into behaving in ways that we might not want to.
So when we condemn Rachel Dolezal for her behavior, what we’re really saying is that we find it instinctively repulsive to misrepresent ourselves.
I think on a very primal level, human beings find this kind of situation very scandalous, because it cuts right to the core of our need for truth and trust in our relationships.
Rachel Dolezal – black or white – probably did a lot of good for her cause, regardless of her racial misrepresentation. She also worked hard and long for what many would call a humanitarian and ethical pursuit.
But all of that is pushed to the side when it comes down to the fact that she pretended to be someone she wasn’t.
Rachel is being vilified simply because she wasn’t truthful about who she was – and that identity was something that undermined her work.
Since it’s come to light, she’s resigned her position at the NAACP as well.
Some people called her a hero, and others said she was an impersonator. Others focus on the fact that Rachel Dolezal’s parents were a factor in her scandal.
And why would her own parents do that to her?
Well, in the end, there are some lessons to be learned:
1) Be Transparent With People
Rachel may have never risen to such an auspicious position in the NAACP if her racial heritage had been made clear, but it brings up an interesting point of another kind of racism.
I don’t know how well she did her job, but it seems like she was a champion of her cause.
To genuinely earn respect in a relationship – or even just with friends – you gotta be real and not pretend to be someone else.
That has a way of coming back to bite you in the end.
Because you need to…
2) Be True To Who You Really Are Inside…
Rachel Dolezal’s race and genetics may ultimately be a moot point. What might be a greater question is whether she was devoted and valued in her cause.
But when we aren’t true to ourselves and live in a blissful kind of self-deception, it will only undermine any relationship we have.
You gotta be true to your reality – even if it brings out some limitations we might not want to deal with.
And related to that is:
3) Don’t Change Your Appearance To Be Someone You’re Not.
This might ultimately be the main reason Rachel’s parents felt they needed to reveal the truth in the situation rather than let her continue her work. They may have felt like she betrayed them.
On some level, we will feel the same way in our relationships if we’re not being true to ourselves.
Mind you, changing your appearance for the better – such as getting fit and losing weight – is NOT the same thing.
It’s when we “lie” with our props – going a step too far in how we represent ourselves to the opposite sex – that the acceptable limit of vanity can be stretched too far.
The funny thing is that, yeah, Rachel Dolezal and her racial controversy will probably net her a book deal and maybe some reality show down the line.
But we can discover something about our own tolerance for this kind of “truth distortion,” can’t we?
If you want to know how to take your reality and create the kind of beautiful relationship you’ve always dreamed of, I’m going to encourage you to use my “Connection Code” to discover the hidden truth of what makes a man commit to you.