Rachel Dolezal, the president of Spokane, Washington's NAACP chapter was exposed as creating an African American identity, and was born to white parents. She was set to speak today, but decided to wait to make a statement. Her parents came forward on Thursday and said that their daughter has been pretending to be African-American. This opened up a whole discussion about race and identity.
And the main question coming out of this is: Can we racial identity ourselves?
Some people participating in the discussion have spoken out and said it’s ok. Stating that if Dolezal identifies as African American, then she should be able to boast that ethnicity. Some even compared it to the situation of Caitlyn Jenner.
Others, however really don’t like this comparison. Self-identifying as another race is wrong. As Dolezal self-identified on a volunteer application as “African American,” she is being faced with legal issues. But her brother also came forward and compared her lie to “black face.”
This discussion is bring out some good points that is worth really talking about.
Can we compare ethnicity and race with the gender spectrum? What if a person identifies with the race they don’t belong to? Is it ever fair for someone to pretend they are a different race?
I would be interested to see what Rachel’s statement will be about, and how NAACP leaders deal with this controversy.