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Author Topic: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy  (Read 21696 times)

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Offline consortium11Topic starter

The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« on: June 12, 2015, 10:45:42 AM »
Rachel Dolezal, the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane and who makes occasional appearances in the media, has presented herself as being African-American and of African-American heritage.

The issue is it appears she may well actually be Caucasian...

I've seen the concept of "trans black" people before (i.e. people who aren't black but feel like they are inside and so classify themselves as black) before... although generally on tumblr and thus somewhat difficult to take too seriously (even if it's not a troll to begin with) but I think this could be one of the first cases I'm aware of in "real life" (for lack of a better term).

It strikes me that there are some interesting aspects to this:

1) We've had a discussion about headmates and to an extent otherkin on here not so long ago. Now, I don't have any headmates and honestly struggle to get my mind around the concept too much but if you have a headmate that is/identifies as black and/or African American does that mean one is black/African American when that headmate is in control?

2) The obvious counter to someone who appears white saying that they feel as if they're black is that regardless of how they feel their appearance means they are not subjected to the same prejudices as a "real" (and I dislike using that term) black person. In this case however Rachel Dolezal has seemingly been abused because of her supposed race (the genesis of this story was a previous one about her being racially abused and threatened). So if one presents themselves as black, is subjected to the same prejudices as someone who is "genuinely" (again, dislike the term but can't think of a better way to phrase it) black and considers themselves black when do we say they are or aren't black?

3) Some of the commentary on this references Caitlyn Jenner and the fact she has/is (I can't say I've followed the story at all) transitioning to being female, comparing the two. Is that fair? If someone can transition their sex and/or gender can people also transition their race? What makes sex/gender and race the same or different? If Rachel Dolezal feels as if she is black then is it fair for her to "transition" to becoming it?

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 11:02:47 AM »
I ran across that story last night - and it seems as though the 'harassment' that she claims is suspect.  One of the recent 'harassing letters' arrived without a cancelled stamp (possibly without any stamp - I'm not looking at the article), which could only happen if it didn't come through the mail.  In other words, the person who put it into the PO Box had to have the key.  Whether or not she 'legitimately believes herself to be African-American', this particular aspect strikes me as someone with a persecution complex at a bare minimum.  I remember reading about a similar case without any of the racial aspects where a teacher (JoAnne Chambers) was claiming that she was being stalked by a co-worker (Paula Nawrocki) until they actually determined that JoAnne was planting the 'evidence of stalking'.

Forensics File episode here

EDIT:  Found an article that mentioned the PO Box thing.

Relevant bit of article
[/quote]Also this week, Spokane police files on Dolezal’s report that she received a hate mail package and other mailing in late February and March were released. Police records say the initial package Dolezal reported receiving did not bear a date stamp or bar code, which Dolezal herself told police when she reported it. Investigators interviewed postal workers, who said it was either very unlikely or impossible that the package could have been processed through the post office, and that the only other alternative was that it had been put there by someone with a key.

However, several other pieces of mail sent in the same handwriting and style, and with the writer identifying himself in the same way as “War Pig (Ret.),” have been received by Dolezal, the Spokane Valley Police Department and The Spokesman-Review. Those other letters were date-stamped and postmarked from Oakland, California.

It was not clear from the reports, released through a public records request Wednesday, if the police investigation into the letter has concluded or was ongoing. Dolezal said Wednesday she believes it has reached an end, at least for the time being.

“They’re not going any further. … I didn’t hear the word closed, but I did hear there’s nothing more they can do at this time,” she said.

Dolezal said she received a key to the post office box when she became president of the NAACP earlier this year. Asked about the possibility that she had put the package there herself, she said, “That’s such bullshit. What mother would terrorize her own children?”

She said she was not questioned about that possibility by police, and was bothered by initial media reports about the package. “Nobody’s ever come out and said (they suspect me) directly, but I am bothered by the subtle implication,” she said.

Neumaier said he was suspicious of several incidents Dolezal reported in Coeur d’Alene, including her discovery of a swastika on the door of the Human Rights Education Institute when the organization’s security camera was “mysteriously turned off.”

“None of them passed the smell test,” he said.[/quote]
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 12:01:12 PM by Oniya »

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 06:27:59 PM »
 I saw that story yesterday in the Guardian, and Ms Dolezal does come across as mildly delusional. The idea of "I wanna be black" is not unfamiliar -.people have staked the wish to belong and mix with black American popular culture - soul, r'n'b, tough guys and danger - ever since Lou Reed (or Bowie's Young Americans album), it's become a familiar thing with some white-skinned hiphop and soul fans, but very few of those folks have actually tried to "transition to black" irl, even short term. It wouldn't really be accepted these days.

And I think there's a definite difference between saying "I am female in my mind and in my self, even if my body (currently) has some male outward characters, therefore I want to be spoken to as a woman, identify as a woman, behave and be treated as a woman, for better and for worse - and I want to share with women's conversation about their lives and conditions" and saying on the other hand "I want to belong with the black race, define myself as one of them and share in their lives, even though I haven't lived as a black, have not been subjected to the kind of prejudice, sneer and "all-in-one viewing" that blacks sometimes (often) have to take for granted, and I want to take a front seat in speaking for my black brothers and sisters". "Being a woman on the inside" translates into many different things one can actually feel, act, do and experience spontaneously no matter what is between one's thighs, while "being really black on the inside" doesn't have much meaning IMO if that person hasn't been raised and lived as ethnically/genetically black, hasn't been subjected to some typically "black" life pressures and images but has been shielded from them, hasn't faced those social conditions or seen them nearby ("it could have been you and your kin") and then had it connected to their own dark skin colour.

Unless you'd suppose that "there is a special black mind", specially inborn black ways of thinking and feeling (or sexual behaviour?) that are essential parts of being black, and that those habits, feelings and thoughts define you as black irrespective of where and how you are living, and whether you actually are a dark-skinned person. Now that idea would border on racism, or at least some serious race/mind essentialism, wouldn't it? And if a black mental make-up, "black ideas" was something you could only have through your blood, then how could it be accessible to any non-black at all by defining themselves as black?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 06:43:24 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 09:52:14 PM »
I ran across that story last night - and it seems as though the 'harassment' that she claims is suspect.

Oh, I'm not going to claim that every single claim of harassment she's made it completely true; if there's anyone in PROC who tends to question such claims it's likely me (sometimes to a fault). I'm well aware of cases where people fake harassment and abuse; this example springs to mind for how ridiculous it is but this (part 2 here) is one of the most chilling. But I don't think it's too big a stretch or going out on a limb too much to say that a NAACP chapter president who's appeared in the media previously and presents herself as black has received at least some racial harassment.

And I think there's a definite difference between saying "I am female in my mind and in my self, even if my body (currently) has some male outward characters, therefore I want to be spoken to as a woman, identify as a woman, behave and be treated as a woman, for better and for worse - and I want to share with women's conversation about their lives and conditions" and saying on the other hand "I want to belong with the black race, define myself as one of them and share in their lives, even though I haven't lived as a black, have not been subjected to the kind of prejudice, sneer and "all-in-one viewing" that blacks sometimes (often) have to take for granted, and I want to take a front seat in speaking for my black brothers and sisters".

I don't think this part of the argument really holds up for me.

Isn't what Rachel Dolezal is saying basically "I am black in my mind and in my self, even if my body doesn't necessarily have a black skin tone/body composition/*insert whatever racially identifying feature someone may use*, therefore I want to be spoken to as if I was black, identify as black, behave and be treated as someone who is black, for better or worse? And before starting to transition sex/gender hasn't someone not lived as the other sex/gender and not been subjected to sort of prejudice, sneer and "all-in-one viewing" that the other sex/gender sometimes (often) have to take for granted? Likewise if Ms. Dolezal is telling at least some of the truth about the harassment she's suffered... and if she isn't then we could use a hypothetical case where someone is... then since starting to present herself as black hasn't she suffered all those things?

Which leaves us with the speaking/listening point you mention... sharing a conversation rather than taking the front seat. But, and perhaps this is the limits of my knowledge showing, can't someone "fully" (for lack of a better term) transition their sex/gender at which point they become the other sex/gender? I appreciate that labeling is pretty much always an imprecise art but can a man become a woman/male become female (or vice versa)? Or are they always going to a trans-(wo)man? If they can then at that point aren't they in a position where they could take a front seat and discuss their experiences as a man/woman since they "fully" transitioned?

I've seen the "#### is a social construct" point brought up with regards to this comparison, contrasting gender and race as the reason why one can be transitioned and the other can't. This strikes me as being somewhat of a red herring though. First, aren't people still debating whether gender and race are social constructs or not? I know for example that not that long ago Anita Sarkeesian described gender (as opposed to gender roles) as a social construct while I know others (including many trans-folk) vehemently disagree. Likewise I know some view race as being a social construct while others completely disagree. Secondly, I'm also not sure it helps anything. If race is a social construct then surely one can transition? If it isn't and there is some biological or "natural" (for lack of a better term) aspect to it then what is that aspect and how far back to do we look for it? As I understand it there's at least circumstantial evidence to point to a huge number of people alive today having a genetic connection (that may be a poor use of words on my part) to a relatively small number of figures, most infamously Genghis Khan. Is that enough?

Perhaps what this question really cuts down to is what it means to be of a certain race and beyond that what do we even mean by race? This is especially apparent in a case like Ms. Dolezal's as going by her recent comments she doesn't identify as African American but as black. Is there a black race in general and does it extend to more than skin tone (and even setting aside awkward questions of what skin tone constitutes being black, where does that leave albinos and the like?)? Is there a white race? Or any other of the big stereotypical "race blocks" (again for lack of a better term) such as an Indian sub-continent race, an East Asian race etc etc? Are races more specific and focused then that... so a Japanese race and a Chinese race, an African-American race and an Ethiopian race? If there are then how specific and focused do we get? Is someone who is white and Irish a member of the white race, the Irish race or both?

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 02:10:45 AM »
Well (quick reply here, I'm in a hurry), Ms Dolezal had been making a career in the Washington state NAACP and evidently had put in some work to steadily present herself as a person born and raised black. I don't think the NAACP buys into any idea that "race only exists as a language and social construct" in the sense of a game of opposites, words and signs that could essentially have been played out even if there were no differences in skin colouring at all, no personal ancestry and no wider history to add to the matter. To them race is something that anchors firmly both into outward history, past and present legal and political obstacles, family ancestry and genetic/blood and social heritage. Also to them, black mostly means African-American black as far as their own work, and life and politics in the US, is concerned, not just dark-skinned of any kind; they likely would not have chosen a first or second generation immigrant from Congo or Somalia as a high-level state spokesperson.

That's part of what makes this case rather problematic. Also I admit I don't really see what "being a black on the inside" would mean if it had no links at all to living under "black conditions" steadily, having to live in black skin or being spoken to as black irl from day to day, year to year. In everyday life, race background, skin colour and what it brings into your life isn't something one can jump to-and-fro with from white to black and back again in a jiffy, it's just like your age - difficult or impossible to add or subtract a lot to in a matter of a few hours or days. "Being black on the inside" as a statement to other people can't just mean: I like gutsy and funky music, I identify with strong black men and women and fantasize about myself as one of them. Any person could feel that way and have those attitudes irrespective of race, but it doesn't make you "black" to the outside world in any real way.

Gendered experience on the other hand exists on a few more levels than that, and sometimes in a more fluid way.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 03:33:36 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 01:22:22 PM »
I found this to be an interesting article on the topic:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/12/rachel-dolezal-caitlyn-jenner_n_7569160.html

As the article points out, Rachel Dolezal could, at any minute, reassert her privilege.  This isn't even comparable to John Howard Griffin's foray into experiencing the realities of what African-Americans go through, as Griffin (under a doctor's supervision) took doses of an anti-vitiligo medication, and 'abided by the rule that he would not change his name or alter his identity; if asked who he was or what he was doing, he would tell the truth.'

Rachel Dolezal has not.  When she was accepted into Howard University, she received a full scholarship - as a black woman.  She has identified a man to whom she has no relation (either blood or adoptive) as her biological father.  Two of her adopted brothers have spoken about this, and how they were told not to mention her actual biological parents when they visited her.  (There is a picture in this article that is alleged to be of her wedding.  Her adopted siblings are in the foreground.)

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 01:47:33 PM »
I found this to be an interesting article on the topic:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/12/rachel-dolezal-caitlyn-jenner_n_7569160.html

As the article points out, Rachel Dolezal could, at any minute, reassert her privilege.  This isn't even comparable to John Howard Griffin's foray into experiencing the realities of what African-Americans go through, as Griffin (under a doctor's supervision) took doses of an anti-vitiligo medication, and 'abided by the rule that he would not change his name or alter his identity; if asked who he was or what he was doing, he would tell the truth.'

Rachel Dolezal has not.  When she was accepted into Howard University, she received a full scholarship - as a black woman.  She has identified a man to whom she has no relation (either blood or adoptive) as her biological father.  Two of her adopted brothers have spoken about this, and how they were told not to mention her actual biological parents when they visited her.  (There is a picture in this article that is alleged to be of her wedding.  Her adopted siblings are in the foreground.)

  This whole article just makes me uncomfortable, because despite what it claims, I cannot help but swap Rachel Dolezal for any trangendered individual and hear a transphobic bigot.

  "In attempting to pass as black, Dolezal falsely represented her identity. Trans people don't lie about their gender identities — they express their gender according to categories that reflect who they are."

  Isn't that saying that a transgender individual is being dishonest if they do not admit their born gender they are falsely representing their identity? After all, the operation does not change the biological gender on a genetic level, but we (I wish I could add all) allow such people to identify based on their chosen gender identity, regardless of whether or not they have an active Y chromosome. Isn't that the same as Dolezal? She may be biologically white, but if she identifies as black, why are we automatically letting genetics end the debate here?

  It is possibly she deceived people at least partly for gain, which is bad. But ultimately what I keep thinking is, "What if the world was only just finding out transgendered people existed. How would we, in the 21st century, react to first hearing there was a semi-prolific male celebrity who had biologically been a women since birth"? And that makes me hesistant to pass any judgement.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 01:48:50 PM by LisztesFerenc »

Offline Caehlim

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2015, 09:35:28 AM »
Rachel Dolezal has not.  When she was accepted into Howard University, she received a full scholarship - as a black woman.  She has identified a man to whom she has no relation (either blood or adoptive) as her biological father.  Two of her adopted brothers have spoken about this, and how they were told not to mention her actual biological parents when they visited her.  (There is a picture in this article that is alleged to be of her wedding.  Her adopted siblings are in the foreground.)

According to the article linked, all these statements about what she has done are at present allegations made by people she may have accused of child abuse. Questions like 'why are these people suddenly making these allegations directly to press outlets' don't seem to be answered or even asked anywhere. She's a woman in her late thirties, who has supposedly claimed to be black in a fairly high profile manner since her college admission. Why now? What is the motivation of these people to make these allegations?

"The Dolezals, it should be noted, are a family divided. Parents Lawrence and Ruthanne and brothers Ezra and Zach do not speak with their sister because, they say, she alleged abuse in the family and obtained custody of her 21-year-old brother Izaiah."

Her situation is evidently extraordinarily complicated and I am concerned by the speed at which a particular narrative regarding the events has been accepted as unquestionably true. I think that people's attitudes (in society, not on E) to both trans and racial issues has affected the way in which this situation has been discussed by the general public.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2015, 10:27:12 AM »
According to the article linked, all these statements about what she has done are at present allegations made by people she may have accused of child abuse. Questions like 'why are these people suddenly making these allegations directly to press outlets' don't seem to be answered or even asked anywhere. She's a woman in her late thirties, who has supposedly claimed to be black in a fairly high profile manner since her college admission. Why now? What is the motivation of these people to make these allegations?
I haven't seen the very first interview with her parents or read any details about it, but I think the timeline of events may answer part of the question:

Spokane police released a report on their investigation into threatening letters sent to the local NAACP on June 10. The interview with the Dolezals where they shared childhood pictures (and which set events really in motion) took place June 11, i.e. one day after the police report was released.

Strikes me as just some reporter gathering background material for a story surrounding a local personality from her parents.

Offline Caehlim

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 09:19:32 PM »
Spokane police released a report on their investigation into threatening letters sent to the local NAACP on June 10. The interview with the Dolezals where they shared childhood pictures (and which set events really in motion) took place June 11, i.e. one day after the police report was released.

Strikes me as just some reporter gathering background material for a story surrounding a local personality from her parents.

This would certainly make a lot of sense.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2015, 09:42:13 PM »
How people actually comparing Rachel with trans-people? I don't even want to get into why this makes me angry as a black woman. This is sickening.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2015, 10:21:37 PM »
I'm not at doing the quoting things so I'll just say that I agreed with most of what LisztesFerenc had to say.

I think comparing the Dolezal with Jenner is very much related.  Bruce Jenner has been a man pretty much his whole life.  He might have said that he has always felt he was a woman but up until a few years ago he was living AS a man.  Everyone seems to be very accepting when it comes to Jenner.  I personally don't care, it doesn't bother me in the least that Bruce Jenner now identifies as a woman, I don't care that he lived most of his life as a man.  If he identified as a horse next week it wouldn't bother me either.. He is an adult, his actions really aren't affecting me, or hurting anyone else.. So.. He should have the right to identify as whatever.

The same standard should be applied to Rachel Dolezal.  Her actions aren't really hurting anyone.  She isn't a racist.  She identifies as a black person, and has actually tried to help black people.  Is there now some kind of rule that you can't speak for black people unless you're born black?  Personally I don't think its important for her to have experienced the life of a black person to identify with a black person. 

There seems to be some kind of weird double standard where people accept one kind of transition and not the other.  I also don't understand what it is she has done wrong.  As people I think we hide a lot of things about ourselves for various reasons.  Some things we want to hide because we're ashamed of them, or its just a personal preference..   I also don't understand what she is supposed to do.  "Oh I know I now look black, though I identify as a black person, you should know that my parents are actually white"  It isn't exactly the kind of declaration we ask of anyone else.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2015, 11:12:10 PM »
Running around in blackface and lying about your life and things that have happened does not make you a good person. She's on my shit list. She went through life trying to act like she experienced the amount of racism and discrimination that melaninated people experience. She will never know what it means to be black, it doesn't matter what she's trying to do or learn. She's fake, she's a liar, and I do not care for her.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2015, 11:20:20 PM »
la dame en noir, I understand your point of view, but you could use that EXACT same argument for Bruce Jenner, and just substitute black for female. 

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2015, 11:26:47 PM »
No I can't, because I do not believe thats a choice. You can't feel black. Black is an experience. I don't know how else to explain to people who aren't black.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2015, 11:29:40 PM »
Caitlyn Jenner can't suddenly decide 'Whoops, I don't want to be female any more' and then go back to the way it was.  In fact, Caitlyn Jenner probably went through a great deal of psychological counseling before the topic of transition was even broached.  Rachel Donezal can stop using the tanner, comb her hair straight, and be back to being a white female over the course of two weeks tops.  I can guarantee that she did not go through any kind of psychological counseling before setting on this course of action.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2015, 11:32:45 PM »
la dame en noir, again... That is no different than a woman saying "Because I do not believe thats a choice.  You can't feel like a woman.  Being a woman is an experience.  I don't know how else to explain it to those who aren't women" while referring to Bruce Jenner.

Oniya, So by that logic, A man who identifies as a woman, but hasn't gone through the  operations and surgery to make him a woman, isn't a woman.  Thus has no right to pretend to be a woman, and because at any point he can just decide to just dress/act like a man again, he doesn't have a right to feel the way he feels?

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2015, 11:34:26 PM »
Officially done. lol

Transracial is a thing. Blackface is now back in style.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2015, 11:37:55 PM »
Question:  when did Dolezal first describe herself as African-American? 

Related question:  and why did she do that?


Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2015, 11:41:50 PM »
Apparently she's been doing it for 37 years. She was raised by her white parents, but they adopted a few black boys and I don't know what during that time when she decided that wasn't white, but black. I feel bad for her parents for her to just ignore her lineage and family. I don't know why she did it...

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2015, 11:51:11 PM »
She was accepted into Howard University on a full-ride scholarship as a black woman, so at least that far back.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2015, 11:51:48 PM »
la dame en noir, again... That is no different than a woman saying "Because I do not believe thats a choice.  You can't feel like a woman.  Being a woman is an experience.  I don't know how else to explain it to those who aren't women" while referring to Bruce Jenner.

Oniya, So by that logic, A man who identifies as a woman, but hasn't gone through the  operations and surgery to make him a woman, isn't a woman.  Thus has no right to pretend to be a woman, and because at any point he can just decide to just dress/act like a man again, he doesn't have a right to feel the way he feels?

You missed the bit about the psychological counseling, didn't you.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2015, 11:55:15 PM »
People do a lot of things that they don't HAVE to do and we don't nit pick those things.  I believe Jim Morrison referred to his parents as being dead even though they were alive and well, so people distancing themselves from their parents and even their heritage isn't a new thing, so I still don't see why Dolezal needs to be singled out.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2015, 12:02:38 AM »
Oniya, I came in on the tail end of the conversation and I might have missed the psychological counseling thing.  I still think that a person has a right to identify as whatever they want, be it race, or sex.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2015, 12:05:01 AM »
* casts summon cooldown *


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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2015, 12:07:51 AM »
People do a lot of things that they don't HAVE to do and we don't nit pick those things.  I believe Jim Morrison referred to his parents as being dead even though they were alive and well, so people distancing themselves from their parents and even their heritage isn't a new thing, so I still don't see why Dolezal needs to be singled out.

Well yeah, and I think Bob Dylan claimed, very early in his career (before he had got a record contract) that he had been taught to play the guitar by a wandering black bluesman or something very similar. But those hyped stories by Morrison and Dylan were not as central to their "career narrative" as Dolezal's claim to be black, and nor did they involve as much fabrication to support them as true. Like, the photograph Dolezal used to imply that her father was a black man when in fact the guy was somebody else and no relative neither of her nor of her adoptive parents.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2015, 12:10:32 AM »
*laughs internally*

Explaining why this hurts the black community, especially black women is difficult. Especially when people are basically saying "They did good, so be quiet and stop complaining. Be happy someone wants to help your culture."

It's bullshit.

:3

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2015, 12:26:32 AM »
gaggedLouise, I can't really condone the lying.  I also read that she claimed her father was black.  It makes her guilty of lying sure, but I still don't think that means people can tell her she can't feel the way she feels.

la dame en noir, honestly I don't see how it affects anyone other than Dolezal.  I mean it doesn't affect me.. I don't see how it would affect you either, or anyone else.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2015, 12:29:25 AM »
Are you black? Do you know anything about the black community in detail? Do you understand the kind of psychology that the black community goes through? Do you understand the types of discrimination that many of us are faced with daily while living this country?

If the answer is no

Then don't question why it affects people like me. If it doesn't affect you, then good for you. But, it messes with my community, my culture, and my people. I'm done explaining.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2015, 12:51:20 AM »
la dame en noir, my race is kinda irrelevant.  I don't have to be a particular race to understand the plight of that race.  You said it messes with the black community, culture, and black people as a whole.  I genuinely don't see how.

I also don't understand how someone comes to drawing that line about what a particular race can or can not do.  Since you're not explaining any of your points I'll try to explain mine.  Rap music for example originated in black culture, and even if it didn't it is something that is pretty big in black culture, does that mean that people who aren't black shouldn't write rap lyrics?  That somehow Eminem doesn't have a right to make rap albums because it is a black thing, a part of black culture and that he has no right to partake?

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2015, 01:00:16 AM »
Everyone wants to be black, but no wants to be black when its time to fight the right things. People want to pick and choose my culture what they like, but want to shame us for embracing it. Non-black people want to have kinky hair and wear the styles that are protective for our hair because its cool, but black women and men lose their jobs because they don't look professional unless their hair is straight.

I'm not explaining myself or my people to you. Have a nice night.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 01:01:55 AM by la dame en noir »

Offline NubianLegend

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2015, 06:31:02 AM »
It's kinda sad and telling people are willing to give a lying pathological person the benefit of the doubt, even if there's little proof she did any good at all.

I saw the writing on the wall when she disavowed her own family. How can you trust someone like that? She comes across as the type that doesn't care about black issues, so much as she cares about her status within the community. People like that tend to be very dangerous because they're willing to go to any lengths to protect their lie. What she wanted was to be in position of authority I believe. She didn't want to work beside us, she wanted to lead us like most mighty whites who go native tend to think it's their right to do. In some respect, she's no different than any other white supremacist. You can't lead me into my own battle or teach me how to be myself, it's insulting. Liberation has to come from within, stop seeking it from your exploiter. John Howard Griffin did the nation a favor when he went undercover as a black man and wrote a book about his experience, this lady however is just a nutter who made a mockery of black people/black institutions. Though I would hardly consider the NAACP of any real worth or relevance these days. They seem to be co-opted by people who hate black people and people like Ben Jealous and Mrs. Dolezal, who I wouldn't check in the colored box anytime soon.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 06:34:23 AM by NubianLegend »

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2015, 02:11:21 PM »
Caehlim, it always bothers me when an organization is known for helping people yet they have all these underhanded tactics where they contribute to a lot of terrible causes.  The salvation army for example has a long history of being anti LGBT, some of it is actually quite depressing.

Example:

"1998 — The Salvation Army of the United States chose to turn down $3.5 million in contracts with the city of San Francisco, resulting in the closure of programs for the homeless and senior citizens. The church backed out of these contracts due to San Francisco's requirement that city contractors must provide spousal benefits to both same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners of employees. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Love stated:

    'We simply cannot agree to be in compliance of the ordinance.'

In 2004, the Salvation Army in New York City also threatened to close down all of its services for the city's homeless due to a similar non-discrimination ordinance."

This link has a ton of other examples. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zinnia-jones/the-salvation-armys-histo_b_4422938.html

To me an organization looses almost all credibility when they pull stuff like that.  I can totally stand behind the concept of the advert that Beorning posted, however when you find out that same organization is anti gay/anti lgbt, you realize that they don't really care about the issue of women, they're just trying to push their agenda.


 
NubianLegend, I think the whole Dolezal issue is a complicated one.  In my opinion she did a lot of things wrong, lying about her father for example.  I talked about this earlier in the thread so I'll try not to go over the same points.  I don't think its fair to compare her to a white supremest.  I also think its laughable how people are completely ignoring the fact that she was trying to help the black community and not hurt it.  I really haven't heard a SINGLE thing about people being against the work she did while at NAACP, all the outrage seems to be about her being born white.  "Oh if she was a black woman everything would be fine".

I caught the glimps of her interview with Matt Lauer (sp) on CNN this morning where she talked about identifying as being black, that while she was as young as 5 she was making drawings of herself and coloring herself with darker shades.  Of course hre parents deny that completely, which doesn't surprise me given the bad relationship they have.  The way I look at it..  A lot of people who have identity issues have a hard time and coming out.  A lot of the time its hard enough for them to admit to themselves let alone family or friends.  Now people might try to argue that I'm somehow diminishing the struggle that gay/lesbian/transgender people go through by comparing the two, but to me it really isn't THAT different of an issue.

Every SINGLE argument I've heard against Dolezal I've heard being used against people who identify as LGBT.  The internet has a thing for these catchphrases and since this Dolezal thing I've heard the term 'trans-racial' being thrown around.  Even in this thread people have used the term condescendingly, much like the way people mocked the term 'transgender' less than a few decades ago.  An article written a few days back said " the reason Dolezal’s famous this morning isn’t because she’s a white woman who led a chapter of the NAACP, it’s because she perpetrated a bizarre fraud about her racial identity."  I could very easily see the same type of words being used to describe a man who believes himself to be a woman.

I'm straight, I'm male.  I don't personally identify as LGBT, but I still see that people should have the right to express themselves however they want, especially if they're not hurting anyone.  Now people in this thread have said how what Dolezal did affects the black community, affects black culture, etc etc... However no one can exactly say WHY, or HOW.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2015, 02:13:38 PM »
Would it change your mind to know that she once sued Howard University for discrimination against her, because she was not black?

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2015, 02:25:19 PM »
Would it change your mind to know that she once sued Howard University for discrimination against her, because she was not black?

  About her? Yes, probably. About the potential issue of how valid the concept of being trans-race is? No. I would still argue it is too early and more information is needed before I come to a definitive conclusion.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 02:31:05 PM by LisztesFerenc »

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2015, 02:37:40 PM »
Oniya, I remember hearing about that a few days ago, and honestly it doesn't change my views.  I mean with the same argument you could argue that Bruce Jenner lied to everyone in his life all those years he was a man, that he lied to the America as well as the world when he competed in the Olympics AS a man.  That somehow people who come out as gay half way through their lives are wrong in doing so. 

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2015, 02:43:12 PM »
It somewhat belies the claim that she 'was considering herself black at the age of 5'.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2015, 03:22:06 PM »
Oniya that is a perfectly reasonable argument, one of the few I've heard against Dolezal, however ultimately it still brings me back to my earlier point.  Just because it doesn't make sense to you, means she can't express herself how she wants?  There are pretty much two arguments I can see being used when talking about the Howard University thing 1. She is outright lying, or 2. She is just 'confused' and is really just white.  Problem is I've heard the same arguments in the past when people are trying to be dismissive of people who are gay.  "She isn't really gay shes just lying about it" or "He isn't really gay he is just... Confused.."

I'm not saying that this woman's decisions have to make sense, or that they even make sense to me, just that she should have the right to make said decisions. 

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2015, 03:27:07 PM »
Is the question: does Dolezal have the right to identify herself as African American?

Or is the question: did Dolezal lie about being African American to gain an advantage (getting into college, or obtaining a scholarship, or landing a job)?


Because I'm not sure everyone discussing this topic is responding to the same question...


Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2015, 03:34:42 PM »
IntensePlayer, there's a key point you're kinda missing here: Trans identity and sexuality are internal. Race is societally-defined and externally-imposed. Further, she isn't just identifying as black - she's trying to speak for black people, which has a very very ugly history she really should be aware of at this point. If what Oniya says is true, she's managed to avail herself of resources intended to offset privilege and the privilege it was meant to offset at the same time - taking those resources away from someone who didn't have access to that privilege. So yeah. Her actions are harmful, full of ugly racist connotations, and depend on an argument whose fundamental assumptions are flaky at best for their justification.

And for the record, the false equivalency to trans issues, especially as a vehicle to question trans legitimacy, is ugly and hurtful. You act like trans people never have to prove their legitimacy, when the reality is that it happens all the time.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 03:58:35 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2015, 03:36:25 PM »
Or is the question: did Dolezal lie about being African American to gain an advantage (getting into college, or obtaining a scholarship, or landing a job)?

This is the one that I've been primarily questioning.  There's also a third possibility:  Do her claims have nothing to do at all with either 'gaining advantage' or 'self-identity'?  She may be someone with a 'victim complex', making claims with little basis in reality in order to elicit sympathy.  This would fit with the suspicious circumstances regarding the 'hate crimes', as well as the claims of discrimination and other things that have come to light.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2015, 04:01:00 PM »
Ephiral, since I started discussing the issue here I've been trying to follow the news about it, and have been looking up information as I find it. I read just earlier that according to her parents she got a full scholarship because the University thought she was black.  I don't know if its true or not, but if it is I can definitely see that as a valid point as to her being in the wrong, and her doing something that actually hurts the black community as she took the scholarship away from someone that could have used it, especially since it looks as if her real parents are relatively well off.  It is a valid reason and one that I couldn't, and wouldn't argue.  Trans identity and sexuality might be internal but they can still dress a certain way to express themselves externally. 

She grew up with black adopted siblings, and is even raising two or three black kids at the moment I believe.  She may in fact identify more to the black race than white.  I'm not trying to legitimize trans racial, or whatever people want to call it, nor am I trying to offend anyone or be hurtful to anyone.  To me its just about freedom of expression.  Should she have misled a university to believe she was black so she could get a scholarship?  Absolutely not.  Does she have the right to express herself, be it internally or externally how she sees fit?  I believe she does have that right.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2015, 04:32:40 PM »
Ephiral, since I started discussing the issue here I've been trying to follow the news about it, and have been looking up information as I find it. I read just earlier that according to her parents she got a full scholarship because the University thought she was black.  I don't know if its true or not, but if it is I can definitely see that as a valid point as to her being in the wrong, and her doing something that actually hurts the black community as she took the scholarship away from someone that could have used it, especially since it looks as if her real parents are relatively well off.  It is a valid reason and one that I couldn't, and wouldn't argue.  Trans identity and sexuality might be internal but they can still dress a certain way to express themselves externally.

I may have expressed myself poorly, as it seems you didn't get what I was trying to convey. By way of illustration: A trans person isolated from human contact would still have that trans identity welling up from within. Racial identites, however, appear to me to be defined entirely by external social factors - culture, racism, societal definitions, and the like. In the same isolation, it wouldn't be an issue.

She grew up with black adopted siblings, and is even raising two or three black kids at the moment I believe.  She may in fact identify more to the black race than white.  I'm not trying to legitimize trans racial, or whatever people want to call it, nor am I trying to offend anyone or be hurtful to anyone.  To me its just about freedom of expression.  Should she have misled a university to believe she was black so she could get a scholarship?  Absolutely not.  Does she have the right to express herself, be it internally or externally how she sees fit?  I believe she does have that right.
Boiling it down to "freedom of expression" strikes me as useless; sure, she has the right to say "I'm black!", and everyone else is free to treat that claim as seriously as they did Mindy Budgor's claim to be a Maasai warrior (and take the same amount of offense).

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2015, 04:38:43 PM »
I may have expressed myself poorly, as it seems you didn't get what I was trying to convey. By way of illustration: A trans person isolated from human contact would still have that trans identity welling up from within. Racial identites, however, appear to me to be defined entirely by external social factors - culture, racism, societal definitions, and the like. In the same isolation, it wouldn't be an issue.

  But in isolation, sexual orientation would likely be meaningless too. Its an interesting point you raise, but I do wonder how relevant it is. Still, its good, because this is the first time someone has actually been able to put into words why race and gender are not the same.

  Don't take this as me attempting to dismiss the LGBT crowd, or insisting that they should add an R to their name. I'm just trying to cover everything, and make sure I am satisfied with the conclusion I reach because I believe in the argument, and not just because other people said so.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 04:40:23 PM by LisztesFerenc »

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2015, 04:58:19 PM »
Ephiral, first of all I want to say I've tried doing the quoting thing and I just can't seem to grasp how to do it so I resort to copy/paste when quoting someone, so apologies in advance.  I agree with what LisztesFerenc said where in isolation sexual orientation would also be meaningless.  You did make a good point though, race and gender ARE different, however on that same note I also believe that sexuality is also different from race and gender.  Being gay isn't the same as being a lesbian or bi.  Being gay isn't the same as being transsexual.  Each have their own struggles, LGBT fights for all their causes but it doesn't pretend that they're all the same

As for what you said about freedom of expression, I half agree with you.  She DOES have every right to say she is black, just as others have the right to say its offensive/hurtful.  However just because you can do something doesn't make it right.  Gay marriage for example, there are a lot of people who are vocally against it, and that is their right.  Not everyone in the world has to think the same way, however in my mind the problem starts when those people try to actively stop or outlaw gay marriage.  Dolezal resigned from the NAACP, so at the moment shes just some white woman who identifies as black.  I think conversations/debates like these are healthy.  It seems my opinion is very much in the minority here, which is perfectly fine.  If everyone in the world thought the same way and did the same things, we'd have a very boring world. 

Whenever I'm in the position to do so I have been very pro LGBT, that being said I don't consult with LGBT every time I have an opinion that I think might conflict with their views.  This whole Dolezal thing, I just happen to see a lot of parallels between what is happening with her and the Bruce Jenner thing.  I'm sorry if that analogy offends some people however the way I am speaking isn't disrespectful.  Just because I see similarities between the two doesn't mean I'm stating they're the exact and same thing.

Online gaggedLouise

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #45 on: June 16, 2015, 06:01:09 PM »
Extensive extended discussion and debate about a specific topic should probably warrant its own thread.


Seconded - I have a feeling the Dolezal/ trans-race/"blackfacing" discussion would benefit from getting broken out to its own thread here (and moving the bulk of the posts on the topic from this catch-all news thread to the new one).

EDIT: Happened sooner than I thought it would - ta-da!  :D
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 06:13:43 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #46 on: June 16, 2015, 08:48:07 PM »
Someone may have already said this, but there's something I'd like to ask. Does anyone who's considering backing Dolezal considered how screwed up it is that people born black get hit with all manner of institutionalized racism, get forced to navigate a system that's aligned against them, and have their culture mocked and met with attempts to destroy it and there are people who think Dolezal should be able to just put on some dark make up with all her white privilege and without the experience of being black while people born to black parents have to fight for their right to just be themselves in this society? Society would allow her to shrug off her self proclaimed blackness while punishing people who are born with darker skin and have lived it just because their skin isn't pale.

Also, it's been said by several other people, but gender is not the same thing as race. Different kinds of oppression such as transphobia and racism may have parallels but they are not the same. Then there's the special kind of bigotry clusterfuck that strikes up when two or more marginalized identities overlap... There could be an entire thread on that alone.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 08:53:00 PM by Lux12 »

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #47 on: June 16, 2015, 09:30:59 PM »
Lux, I pretty much agree with all the issues you mentioned in the first half of your message.  Black people have a lot of very real obstacles stacked against them that white people simply do not.  All those things you listed are very REAL problems.  Dolezal however... Is not contributing to a single one of those things.  Even people within the NAACP have said that the work she has done while at the NAACP has been commendable, but that is besides the point.  The way people are acting is as if Dolezal is the worst thing to happen to black people since the KKK.  I've been at my laptop most of the evening and have had CNN running in the background.  Pretty much the ENTIRE evening they have been talking about Rachel Dolezal.  Erin Burnett talked about it with a panel, Anderson Cooper did the exact same thing an hour later, then Don Lemon who is himself black and gay talked about it during his show for an hour with a panel. 

Is Baltimore no longer an issue?  What about that 12yo black kid that got gunned down by 2 cops even before the squad car came to a stop.  All of which was captured on camera.  on top of all the things you mentioned that black people have to deal with.  This is just an internet forum, we say our piece, debate with one another, but only a handful of people even read these threads.. There is no real influence here.. No real change..  However National Television is something different altogether.  Why is it that a white woman who choose to be black is a story worth days and days of headline news when real black issues get pushed aside?

Lastly, the world is filled with hypocrisy.  During the 2008 election there was an amendment called Prop 8, basically what it meant was if it passed California would only recognize marriage between man and woman.  Of course it passed, though it wasn't a landslide or anything.  Apparently black people overwhelmingly voted for it.  You'd think that a race of people that have overcome so much adversity, so much racism and discrimination that they'd be sympathetic towards another group outside of their own.  But..  Apparently not.  So I definitely agree with what you said about there being a clusterfuck when certain identities overlap and the bigotry that surfaces.   

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2015, 09:52:21 PM »
I look at it like this.. there was a comic movie back in the eighties with C. Thomas Howell playing at being a black guy to get a scholarship.. one line stuck with me at the end when he was talking to his professor (Played by James Earl Jones)

JEJ: "You know what it means to be black.."
CTH: "No, I don't.. I knew that I could always undo things.. you can't."

Point is. She misrepresented herself. Odds are she'd have gotten a job with her family upbringing and talent.

I had a friend get stopped while I was sleeping in the back of his Jag. We were driving back from a det site.. as far as I can tell, his only crime was driving while black.. the cop asked me (the guy in the crap tastic shirt, squadron hat and jeans) if the car was mine.. not the man in the slacks, shirt and jacket with the rolex.

There are soo many intangibles that I'll never experience that he does.. I got the barest glimpse of it.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2015, 09:53:50 PM »
Black people have a lot of very real obstacles stacked against them that white people simply do not.  All those things you listed are very REAL problems.  Dolezal however... Is not contributing to a single one of those things.

Uhm.  If she lied about her ethnicity to get a scholarship, then actually, she did contribute to the problem.


Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2015, 10:08:25 PM »
      I understand a little about the historical use of "blackface" in the media to belittle and marginalize Black people/culture, but I'm not clear that there's evidence that what Dolezal has done is similar.  However, I am really just getting started peeking into that.  A bit distracted, lately.

      I imagine it's possible that she has won some tangible benefits through deception if indeed she has deceived the University (based on the terms of its own requirements) and so on...  But I also think part of the problem marginalized groups generally face is attempting to confront existing terms with personal experience.  Some people see this as an affront to contract law, and others see it more as an assertion of self-identity by people who may not have any place to "honestly" legally go in the way law and society operate today.  And probably some of the critics of people in such situations, would change their own minds in other very comparable cases, if just one or two factors changed which they aren't used to considering. 

     I don't think it helps much to insist upon a long history of expressed self-identification, "being out", "passing," precisely identical suffering (as if one's broken toe hurts "less" to them than the other's smashed face to the other?) or some arbitrary level of sacrifice.  To me, identity doesn't boil down to tracking people over long time frames.  It isn't that simple and I don't really believe it should be.  People change, people get confused, people experiment.  And society and the company we keep changes too.  Look at who does and doesn't get "read" as Black (I mean people currently, popularly considered ethnically Black, who aren't attempting any sort of conscious transition project), see how many ways they can change-nuance-flavor it and how many ways it changes depending on the company they happen to be with even among Blacks (conversations about who/what is "most" Black or what kind/style of Black anyone?). 

Note that isn't limited to Blacks: All communities do it, and it can be ugly or it can be just a low background growling.  With the more marginalized people, who sometimes really have no place with a label that anticipates them at all, often sulking silently or getting branded cheats and wannabes.

       If when we generally discuss and argue about what's going on in the world:  We wish others would change their politics, their affiliations, their ways of living, and we want them to consider living in others' shoes seriously...  Then, what is with this simultaneous demand to pick a "side" and stick with it or else you haven't paid your dues long enough so shut up?  If people aren't allowed to participate, and/or to honestly attempt to explain how they understand another community to the best of their knowledge, mainly on the basis that they haven't "behaved [whatever is locally, normally]" for whatever group long enough (and long enough is often a very long time -- like since childhood in this case?)...  Then is it any surprise that when they adopt whatever slice of another identity or experience, they get branded as mistakes or interlopers?  And that goes for many of the communities involved.
 
      Is what Dolezal in particular has been up to at any particular time very ethical?  Has she been consistent or changed through whatever durations and episodes?  I really have no idea yet.  But the language and requirements and demands tossed at some of this?  Yes, they do remind me of stuff transgender and queer often face.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 10:16:39 PM by kylie »

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #51 on: June 16, 2015, 11:25:03 PM »
Kylie, that was actually a lovely post and I think you articulated your points a lot better than I've been doing.  It was also refreshing to see someone making points similar to the ones I've been making.

Cycle and Callie Del Noire, I said earlier in the thread that I didn't necessarily agree with Donezal getting a scholarship under the pretense of being a black person.  If we're going to characterize her in a negative way I suppose you could say at best she is someone who has mental issues.

As far s how much damage she has done to black people and the black community.  Lets try to look at it objectively.  It has been said that she did a lot of good while at the NAACP, however for the sake of argument lets dismiss that and say its not important or it doesn't matter because shes not really black.  You could say she stole a scholarship from a black person who 'deserved it'.  So in reality she affected one black person.  Unless there is some kind of epidemic that I'm unaware of where white women in hoards are pretending to be black so they can steal black scholarships. 

So all this boils down to one woman who at best took a scholarship from one black person.  Now think of all the media and social 'outrage'.  As I mentioned earlier I watched close to 3 hours of CNN tonight where the majority of discussion was about Donezal.  That isn't mentioning the weeks that the media has been harping on this.  Is the level out outrage and reaction proportionate to the damage that Donezal has done? 

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2015, 11:47:13 PM »
So you concede this statement is wrong?

Dolezal however... Is not contributing to a single one of those things. 


Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #53 on: June 17, 2015, 12:38:20 AM »
Cycle, I've already said a few times now that I don't necessarily agree with her getting a scholarship by leading the university to believe she was black.  Do I concede my point?  No.  It is something that affected one person.  I'll give you an example.  Just because a black man steals from a store that happened to be owned by a white man doesn't mean that the  ENTIRE white community is being negatively impacted by the existence of that one black person.  It was a crime that was committed by criminal.  Not everything that happens needs to be this great racial and social cause.  Sometimes messed up things just happened, and at best that is what this is.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #54 on: June 17, 2015, 02:00:10 AM »
Two thoughts I'd like to offer to the debate:

One, concerning any parallels between Ms. Dolezal's case and trans people: Those analogies may hold water, but only up to a point. If someone feels they are a different gender inside than what their body looks like that's about them, and them alone. If someone who is white feels like a black person inside that is, again, about them alone. But if someone tells people for a fact that they are of African-American heritage they are not just making a statement about themselves. It is also a statement about their family and ancestors and while Ms. Dolezal may feel black inside, that does not give her the right to misrepresent her parents' ethnicity.

Two, I find the way she dealt with the whole furore rather annoying, based on this statement she made some days ago:
Quote
KREM 2 News asked to address the public sentiment that she misrepresented her race.

"I can understand that. And like I said, it's more important to me to clarify that to the black community, and with my executive board, than it really is for me to explain it to a community that I quite frankly don't think understands the definitions of race and ethnicity," said Dolezal.
Source

I am tempted to applaud her for setting priorities for herself and saying that she doesn't have to explain herself to everyone and their grandma. She really doesn't. It's her life and the media furore strikes me as rather overblown. But To justify not explaining herself by saying that a certain community doesn't even get the definitions of race and ethnicity? That's a bit rich. White people not really getting what it is like to be black? That I could accept. But just saying that people outside the black community are not capable of even understanding the definitions of race and ethnicity? I find that rather insulting and being quite contrary to what I feel a person in her position should actually try to achieve, i.e. a better understanding of these terms and related problems in the general public.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 04:31:21 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #55 on: June 17, 2015, 09:54:09 AM »
As a side note Ms. Donezal is now saying that she's not certain that her parents are actually her parents on account of never having seen a DNA test proving it.

On a more relevant point...

One of the points mentioned here that I largely agree with is that regardless of how someone feels inside or what race they think they should be they haven't lived or experienced life as that race, both positively and negatively. If someone who is white as the driven snow starts to identify as black then while they may well feel black on the inside (whatever that means) they can't really talk about the "black experience" as they haven't lived it; one can't exactly talk about one's experiences living as a person of colour when to the world at large you appear white and will be treated as such.

I'm just not sure that really applies in this case.

Mz. Donezal hasn't just declared that she feels "black" (whatever that may be) but has taken steps, deceptively or not, to appear that way. It's unclear exactly when that started; she claims she's identified as black since she was about five but considering she sued Howard University for discriminating against her on the basis she was white that looks somewhat unreliable. More likely it started later and became far more open when she moved to Spokane in 2011 and started a new life in pretty much every sense of the word (including the new "father"). I don't think anyone disputes that she grew up deeply immersed in African American (although she doesn't identify as African American but as black) culture and since 2011 has presented herself as being black; if before this whole controversy broke someone posted up a picture of her and said "she doesn't look black to me" I imagine that person would have been rounded on and criticized for doing so. Perhaps she could be said to have "pale privilege" (or whatever the term may be) on account of a somewhat light complexion but that would also include a lot of people who are not being deceptive about their race, were born to black parents but have lighter skin.

So I guess the question reverts back to the most basic one.

What is race and how and why is someone of a certain race?

If someone identifies as black, is immersed in black culture, has changed their appearance so they look black and thus has lived as a black person (with all the good and bad things that come from it) for years have they become black? Can they become black? If race is about culture, treatment and perception then is someone who is perceived as black, treated as black and living that culture black?

Beyond that, what is "black" as opposed to "African American"? Obviously the life experiences of someone with black skin living in say Ethiopia or Kenya will be massively different from those of someone with black skin living in the USA. Ms. Donezal's been careful not to say that she's "African-American" but to say she's "black" and it strikes me as very US-centric to conflate the two. Is there a difference? What is that difference?

On another side note, the point about suing Howard University seems to blow another hole in the story about her getting a scholarship reserved for African-American students. From what I understand while she did get a scholarship to go there it was not one awarded on the basis of race; questions as to racial identity were not asked. Considering that she attended Howard University at roughly the same time she got married (and looked like this) I think the first day she walked onto campus serious questions would have been asked if the scholarship was awarded on the basis of race.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #56 on: June 17, 2015, 10:16:21 AM »
Two thoughts I'd like to offer to the debate:

One, concerning any parallels between Ms. Dolezal's case and trans people: Those analogies may hold water, but only up to a point. If someone feels they are a different gender inside than what their body looks like that's about them, and them alone. If someone who is white feels like a black person inside that is, again, about them alone. But if someone tells people for a fact that they are of African-American heritage they are not just making a statement about themselves. It is also a statement about their family and ancestors and while Ms. Dolezal may feel black inside, that does not give her the right to misrepresent her parents' ethnicity.
     
       Again I don't know a whole lot about this story.  I'm just picking up bits and pieces here and there.  But I'm very curious about the sorts of boundaries and definitions that get trotted out in the arguments.  What is "heritage," or what part of the story are you pointing to exactly?  Heritage can refer to parents' practices, or family history.  Or it can refer to practices people adopt and identify with.  A person saying they themselves belong to a certain heritage is not necessarily always a claim to a family history, so much as a claim to belonging with, adopting, and continuing certain affiliations and practices.  This is one of those words like "culture" or even "ethnicity" which has more than one side.  It's often very elusive and too often others assume that it just must refer to the one facet they happen to have in mind, without checking.

    I don't see very much in the article you linked below that regarding what she has said about her parents.  My first reaction was, was she perhaps talking about who is and isn't her parents more in the way we speak of chosen, as opposed to biological, families and communities??  But even if she has deceived people in the common sense of the word...  I think it's also possible to argue that there comes a point when most identities involve a certain level of deception, if often by omission and allowing others to go on thinking whatever they comfortably assume.  Is a trans person really obligated to inform everyone who asks about their whole history and perhaps what degree of surgery or chemical changes they have had?  Even if people say yes, I believe that in practice, with most identities, there is a point where this all ends.  There are times when people just shrug and smile or make cute quips and very indirect, guiding hinting vague comments about life.  We, I mean most people at some point, often do not give full disclosure of everything people want to know to pick at our "bona fides" endlessly throughout life.  And it's very often understood that doing so is good for keeping one's job, keeping one's dignity rather than being excluded or laughed at, avoiding conflict in one's home, having a better chance to be elected to leadership, and staying out of harm's way when sometimes people are simply clueless or viciously nasty about those questions. 

     So while I understand the sentiment that some types of information are important to verify from certain angles...  I'm wondering a bit whether we should be so quick to jump on people if they have used something like a plausible story about family history to get in a position to live and get things done.  I can see at least some scenarios -- quite many, really -- where one white lie about family history saves a whole lot of fuss.  How different is that in practice from all the things that so many of us let others "just go on believing" or "refuse to answer" or know "just what to say" to avoid trouble but don't tell everyone what they really would like to pick at?? 

     Now, what exactly Dolezal herself has done after that, or what she has done with it?  If people have problems with that, then that might be something to pick through.  But simply having deceived people about one facet -- what is the obsession with family as a marker?  "Are you a natural blonde?  Tell me now or you are lying to gain advantage!  How many cups of coffee do you drink every day -- tell me the truth, are you an addict?!  What did you weigh ten years ago?  I want pictures!  Did you ever smoke marijuana?"  I think it's very interesting where people draw the lines on this stuff.  As if there must be some sort of particular misdirection which is automatically worse all the others.  I would be more worried about what exactly is the misdirection for and what becomes so notorious there.
     
     One thing that strikes me about the "biracial" claim and Dolezal's imagery is that she has apparently passed for some time by so many other common measures.  She rose to the head of an NAACP chapter at least partly on her visual appearance, if not (I'm not yet sure yes or no) on that sort of family history/blood claim.  If anything, I think there must be some bitterness that this also exposes how some "acceptable to the mainstream" ideal of beauty and skin tone is so likely to be in positions of leadership and granted the opportunity to be taken seriously as a public representative.  And there are parallels with many communities here: The gay rights movement is eager to put forward supposedly "middle class," clean ethnically (dress, mannerisms, ideal job as much as race) "whiter" couples (even in some places like Hawaii where in fact that mix doesn't line up so well with the local demographic range). The trans community often wants people who are transitioning, ideally people who pass. The BDSM community fairly often does too, if you get down to how many inside respond to those trans/GQ who aren't so committed to immediately transitioning. 

       So I can't help suspecting that at least part of the upset with Dolezal could spring from her exposing the fact that a widely accepted "ideal" public face of diversity is often, something more "mixed" and "ambiguous," a step closer in this case to White than to darker tones and a step closer to white collar imagery than to "street" or what have you.  And then, who wants to admit that Eastern European features are considered "exotic" in the popular imagination in many ways that overlap with how Black is...  Maybe once "exotic" becomes chic and chic becomes a route to a more public voice, anyone under that broader term "exotic" can easily pass.  And that's not inclusive for everyone in an ethnic group, and it's not comforting for those who want to assert a "uniquely unique" experience either (echoes of how Japan rambles about how only Japanese blood lets anyone "get it").

Quote
But To justify not explaining herself by saying that a certain community doesn't even get the definitions of race and ethnicity? That's a bit rich. White people not really getting what it is like to be black? That I could accept. But just saying that people outside the black community are not capable of even understanding the definitions of race and ethnicity? I find that rather insulting and being quite contrary to what I feel a person in her position should actually try to achieve, i.e. a better understanding of these terms and related problems in the general public.

       Eh...  I suppose people may find it insulting, but then I think lots of people are easily insulted by people pointing out stuff that's true.  Which things require "more tact," and which things can be said nicely without being missed or brushed off completely?  In fact, I believe many Whites don't understand race and ethnicity functionally, in the sense that they haven't had incentives and interactions to see/feel too concerned with many ways it works.  How many people insist there is no such thing as race anymore?  How many are unaware of institutional racism like redlining and employer address checking?  How many believe that everyone only really can have one race, let alone one racial identity?  In shorthand, I think it makes some sense when she says they don't know what it is.  And what's more?  I think minority communities also sometimes work to deny ways that some of their people identify and experience and believe how race plays out.  It isn't a problem limited to Whites, though it does have different particulars for different groups and different questions.  There are some distinct ways many Whites don't get it and they may just shrug or try to contain it, and then there are ways minorities try to shape and frame and control it (and some seem to just not get it?), as well. 

      The real messiness is that so godawful many people leap to call that simply a "definition" problem, as if looking it up in one perfect dictionary would instantly clarify everything for the uneducated.  It's more of a theory problem, a lack of ability to compare and notice similarities beyond the label on each community's fence, and a political philosophy problem.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 10:33:30 AM by kylie »

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2015, 03:13:57 PM »
Kylie, once again you made some great points, and once again I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. 

I just wanted to add that I think a lot of people take public opinion into how the feel or how they judge a situation.  Even in this thread there have been a few people who have said race identity is totally different than sexual identity, how it is 'hurtful' to have people compare transgender with what is happening with Donezal.  Now I've never said that they're the same issue, but I don't really see it as a sexual issue, or even a racial issue, but more of a human rights issue.  People who are transgender deal with all sorts of discrimination, prejudice, and sexism just for openly trying to be who they are.  I would have thought that on some level they would have been able to sympathize with another human being who is also just trying to express herself and is just being brutalized by the media, social media, and popular opinion.

Kylie you also mentioned Japan briefly, and honestly I think that in itself is a very interesting discussion, and in part it relates to what I've been saying.  Popular opinion does influence how people judge a situation.  For example in Germany when they teach history and about the war, they talk about the Nazis, the things they did and give a clearer view of what happened.  Not only that but Germany as a whole has apologized for what the Nazis did many times over.  Not only that but a lot of nazis were tried for war crimes.  Not to mention there have been numerous movies about the holocaust, so in terms of what the Nazis did, most of the world is on the same page (I say most because there is still a minority who are holocaust deniers).

Now..  When we think about Japan usually the thing that comes to most people's mind is Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.  The bombs being dropped on a civilian population was just.. A terrible terrible thing, and since then America has acknowledged and apologized for it many times.

Japan actually has a very dark past, some of the atrocities they committed put even the nazi's to shame, not to mention they can be very openly racist as a culture.  The problem is most people seem to whitewash these things because "Well... My Anime comes from there, and I really like anime" or "I love my playstation, and playstation comes from Japan."  In terms of popular opinion Japan is a pretty cool place.  The reality is that there is a lot wrong with japan.  You had briefly mentioned how some Japanese go on about 'Japanese blood'.  The level of open racism there is pretty crazy.  To this day they have 'Japanese only' establishments in japan.  That would be like stores in the states that were for 'Whites only'  I have a friend who lived in japan for a few years since, he was in the military and is actually married to a half Japanese woman, and he experienced a fair share of open racism just because he was white.  It wasn't even an issue since its just one of those things that is the norm over there. 

Pretty much every nation in the world has apologized for their atrocities except Japan.  Sure they have put out general statements but they've never talked about specifics.  They've never officially apologized for Nanking.. Hell, just in the last decade or two alone there have been people in Japanese parliament who have made public statements about 'the Nanking hoax'  Everyone knows about what the Nazi's did but most people have no idea what Unit 731 is.  Basically it was biological warfare on human beings.  Things like exposing people to antrax, various other viruses and disease.  Exposing pregnant women to viruses like that to see what happens to the child when the other is dying, as the mother is dying, after the mother is dead.  Doing all sorts of brutal experiments on people and children without anesthesia.  (Here is a link for anyone that is actually interested in finding out more about it.  Just be warned it isn't easy to read, Unit 731 is one of those things that I wish I could unlearn. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731 ) They killed something like 12,000 men women and children, all under some of the brutal conditions I mentioned earlier.  70% of the victims were Chinese, around 30% Russian and there were even a few Allied soldiers in there.  My point is that Japan has never acknowledged or addressed this.  When they teach WW2 history in Japanese schools they acknowledge Unit 731 but pretty much gloss over what they actually did.  Worst of all not a SINGLE member of Unit 731 were tried for war crimes.  After the war ended they just... Went home.  I've seen documentaries that have interviewed some of the members of Unit 731 and they pretty much all said how they don't see anything wrong with what they did because it was 'for the country' and if given the chance they'd do the same all over again.  Now I don't want to imply that there is NO remorse.  There have been soldiers who were involved who have openly apologized.  I remember reading about a Japanese Soldier who publicly apologized for his role in Nanking.  Japan as a whole however has never addressed that issue, or even Unit 731.  I mean can you imagine if the Nazis who were involved in the holocaust were were just allowed to go home and live their lives without any repercussions?  The world would be in an uproar.

A few years back I actually believe there was a Hollywood movie about Nanking.. I believe Christian Bale was starring in it.. Though for the most part the movie itself was ignored.  Which circles me back to the point I was making earlier.  People have a harder time being critical and objective about things they have an affinity for.  Japanese pop culture in America is pretty big these days.  Majority of the numerous 'cons' that happen all over the country are enriched with Japanese culture.  Of course there is nothing wrong with that, I do believe that Japan has a unique and interesting culture, but just because it does doesn't mean that they can just ignore all the atrocities they committed.  Nanking for example is still a very sensitive subject, not simply because it happened but because there has really been no real closure or acknowledgement of it.  Why don't people speak about this?  Because it isn't popular opinion, so people just let it slide.  Even though Donezal is one person who for the most part has actually had a positive impact on the black community, its just not popular to voice an opinion that supports her.  Even in this thread I believe I've mentioned that I'm for racial equality, and sexual equality, and am pro LGBT, though my opinion on this particular subject seems to go in the opposite direction of popular opinion, and as such I've been accused of not understanding racial issues, my own race has been brought into question even though it has nothing to do with what I'm saying, and its even been implied that my opinions are hurtful to the LGBT community simply because I see similarities between Donezal and Bruce Jenner.  So far I don't believe I have said anything that is anti black, or anti LGBT, all I have done is try to defend a person's right of choice.  I'm not even saying I agree with her choice, just that she should have the right to make it.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2015, 08:06:26 PM »
I think the issue of identifying as a race that differs from one's physical bloodline needs to be separated from Donezal's specific case. Donezal appears to be guilty of fraud and should probably be arrested and thrown in jail if it can be proven that she did in fact steal resources that she was not entitled to. At minimum, she should be made to pay pack what she stole along with a hefty fine. Her belief that she is black however, is not a crime. It's her right to hold her own identity whether others agree or not.

With regard to white people identifying as black, what is the exact critera that allows a person to identify as being black,  and do all black-skinned people meet this criteria? Does having dark skin qualify a person, or must they also be blood relatives to black people who were once enslaved in the United States? This question is intended to illustrate a flaw in the argument that only black people may identify as being black.

Offline Juggtacular

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2015, 08:38:05 PM »
I haven't read all the comments on here, but as a black man I'd like to give my 2 cents.

Firstly, she is simply wrong. Whether she lied about being black, hispanic, asian, etc... The fact is she lied to official people and took money not for her. And her family has mentioned several times they were never hurting for money. In fact her own adopted brothers said she was very privileged growing up.

Secondly, this entire situation is as much the NAACP's fault as hers. I've seen mixed races of all kinds before. Grown up with them, gone to school with them, worked with them, made friends, lovers, etc... And she is a white lady with processed hair and a bad tan. There is no way anyone without cataracts or total blindness can look at her and tell she's not even a tiny bit black. The man who's position she took over said "He took her word" for it. She showed him some pictures and apparently that was that.

Third, the way she has used and manipulated her family is also just indication that no matter what her mental state is, she's not a good person. She somehow coerced her brother into pretending to be her son, and told him as well as another brother not to "blow her cover". Seems like she was treating this like mission or something. Also she's mad her parents did he right thing and ousted her for her actions? She's mad they did their job? It's literally become meme worthy.



And beyond all that, the heart of the matter. She identifies as black. When asked about her race she constantly danced around the question like she was ashamed of being white. And even when admitting it, wouldn't fully admit it. The way I see it is that no matter what she identifies with, what she is is a white woman. I had this conversation with someone else who asked what the difference was between her feeling like she was black and a man or woman feeling they're not the right gender. Because clearly these issues have parallels. You're born this way, but feel you should be another for whatever reason.

  Well while I have no problem with anyone in the LGBT community(I know it sounds cliche but I have a ton of gay/lesbian friends and know 2 undergoing gender corrective surgery at the moment, one mtf and the other ftm).  As gender is simply man vs woman, it's a bit simpler than the race issue. The scientific/biological fact is that despite what you feel, you were born a certain way.  A man who becomes a woman through surgery is still not a woman in anything beyond looks as he can't birth children or produce breast milk. A woman who transitions is not truly a man as she can't produce sperm and impregnate other females. It makes you feel better, makes you feel more natural, but it's only cosmetic. And that's just gender. When it comes to race it's a similar, yet entirely different beast.

She was born  and raised as a privileged white girl, until suddenly she just felt like being black. Well getting a nose ring, kinking your hair, and getting a bad spray tan doesn't make you black. Pretending your adopted black brother is your son doesn't make you black. Taking a picture with a black guy and claiming he's your real father doesn't make you black. Remember Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr. was an extreme method actor who went under the knife to get black pigment in his skin to better portray a black character? It was  pointed out several times by an actual black guy(it was one of the main side running plots in the movie) that despite what he looked and acted like, he wasn't black and he needed to get that through his head.

 The same goes for her. Putting on face paint in the form of a tan doesn't suddenly bring you into the black race and culture. She still never had ancestors suffer such indignities. She apparently had nooses left on her door or something, but a noose was never used on her family. It was used on the people she's trying to imitate and assimilate with. She still doesn't have to deal with systematic abuse and oppression by the American system like black people do. She could just get rid of the tan and go back to being white if she ever go in trouble by someone dumb enough to think she was black. Because she only kinda sorta looked black, but she wasn't.

Because it just doesn't work that way. As I said, I'm black. If I put on powder makeup, and a blond wig and call myself Johnathan Hermitage or something, it doesn't suddenly mean I'll stop getting harassed by police. It doesn't mean I'll suddenly get preferential treatment. It doesn't mean I can get away with doing stuff a black guy would never get away with. It doesn't mean I'll suddenly come from old money. Because under all that acting, I'm still just a black guy.

She can want to identify with black as much as she wants. She can listen to hip hop and old negro spirituals, she can protest, she can fight for civil rights, she can go down to the corner spot to get some hot cheetos and a scratch off ticket. She can do any stereotypical or non-stereotypical, any proud or shameful "black" thing she wants. But she's not black, never was, never can be, never will be. Because the simple fact is when both your parents are white, and all of their predecessors on both sides of your family have been white...you're white. Plain and simple. In fact, I think her mom said she was German. So she's even further from black.


Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #60 on: June 17, 2015, 08:49:20 PM »
What is "black"?

Someone asked.

Black is a very vague term that has been used to describe people of Sub Saharan descent and share facial features that are typically associated with them. In America, being "black" is about sharing the same ancestral history, traditions, and culture that has come with being separated from our ethnic roots and re-creating what are ancestors knew and were forced to conform to. You can't just wake up one day and say that you're black. Being a black American is an experience and doesn't even necessarily apply to people in Latin America who share the same ancestral background. However, its very easy for us to identity for say (examples) a black person from Brazil, Panama, Cuba, etc. Because our ancestors were on the same boats, stripped of same cultural similarities and forced to learn a new language and culture and build from that.

It offends me that someone would just say they're black to find the very few benefits that I receive for being a black person in America (which isn't a lot). Its fine to appreciate a different culture, integrate, learn, and accept, but its not beneficial to them.

It's taken a lot for black American's to find a culture, a voice, and a meaning. Its not something you can just feel, its something that is an experience and birth. There are a lot of hardships with being black and I'm pretty sure no one wants to just have those issues for no reason, its insane. As I've said previously, its always trended for a white person to nap their hair and wear it how we would, but never get the same ridicule like we do for having the hair we were born with and having to wear it certain ways so it won't fall out. A lot of black people get fired or asked to change their hair to a more professional appearance because apparently keeping it braided, dreaded, or natural isn't professional and seen dirty. It's okay for a white person to tan to darken their skin, but dark skin on someone who can't help it is considered ugly.

I can go on and on about how America has stripped black people of identity, culture, language and taken it and changing it into something different to where as if we even try to claim it, we're called names (especially racist).

And let me get something clear with people who are trying to define my culture and people. The difference between black in Africa and black in America/Latin America is because there are so many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds that it is very easy to differentiate who we are and how different we are from black Africans. Black people in Africa don't need to say that they're black because they have countries and tribes to associate themselves with that makes them different, we don't have that. It's also pretty rare that a black American can trace their lineage to a specific group without the money to take the DNA test and even then, its all over the place.

Most Africans(even though they are plagued with European colonialism) don't need try and remember their culture, language, or traditions because they have lived that life without many problems (even though I have a problem with a lot of them being Christian, that's for a different topic). So yes, there is a difference between those that are ancestors of the ones that were not sold and forced onto boats, killed, raped, stripped of rights and humanity and those that are the product of rape and a terrible past. Many of us are trying to do well and a lot of what we do well is Music, dance, poetry, etc, etc and America has done one hell of a job try strip us of what is positive about our culture.

Another issue I have is that the American educational system does not do us a favor with history classes. They do not tell the truth and they skim over everything. To actually even learn about black American inventors(not the one about peanut butter) but the one that performed the first open heart surgery successfully, air conditioning unit, blood plasma bag, door knob, elevator, gas mask, typewriter, etc etc that wouldn't teach kids because we're the tragic group of people that went through slavery and had to get lots of help to have rights. Keeping the real information away is why we have things like "black history month" that people get so agitated with...even though I can name plenty of other months that honor different cultures(but somehow everyone has a problem with Black History Month). This wouldn't be a problem if America wasn't so fucking afraid of our existence and stopped acting like my ancestors didn't contribute to this society.

inventions
Inventors

Its easier for society to think that we're a bunch of uneducated fools looking for handouts, rather than to come to terms that we're human beings that are very capable.

So yes, its very annoying and disrespectful when a white person born of immediate privilege decides that my culture, history, and hardships are now theirs because we're "cool".

Now apparently she's bisexual
http://www.people.com/article/rachel-dolezal-talks-caitlyn-jenner-reveals-bisexual?xid=socialflow_facebook_peoplemag

Please tell me you don't think this woman is out of her mind.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 09:28:06 PM by la dame en noir »

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2015, 10:22:11 PM »

Kylie you also mentioned Japan briefly, and honestly I think that in itself is a very interesting discussion, and in part it relates to what I've been saying.  Popular opinion does influence how people judge a situation. 
      I was concerned with the notion that blood/ancestry gets taken to somehow be the fount of understanding and authenticity as a member of some culture.  Which is rather big in Japanese education and politics.  I do believe public opinion and trends in what is in fashion play a role, yes.  But beyond that, I feel like you've painted this with a pretty broad brush (perhaps just overdramatic choice of words though?)...  And I didn't personally intend to argue quite what you seem to be arguing about 'Japan writ large.'  A bit of a digression I know, but I don't care to be credited with "starting" some of these particular arguments if that is what you're guessing. 

     To make the explanation quick:  I would say that there are a lot of claims that blood somehow creates a "uniquely unique" experience in Japanese politics and sometimes, these have held sway in certain institutional choices.  I wouldn't call that "Japanese culture" really --- if anything, I'd call it a factor that holds weight to different degrees in Japanese society.  It's more about what language is available to discuss certain issues and what arguments seem to work as trump cards. 

     For instance, several times a good portion of the Japanese legislature has attempted to pass resolutions apologizing for war attrocities, and then a few rightists will pipe up and huff about how it's A) a betrayal of soldiers' sacrifice (I half agree with them at least -- Seriously, insisting no figurehead can visit a military grave site?) and/or B) a forgetting of how Japan was isolated and exploited historically 1) when the Americans arrived forcing unequal treaties with the Navy and 2) once again just as Japan became a serious naval power (which IS quite significant in and of itself and many in the West especially are not aware of that backstory or tend to brush it aside)...  But the problem as I see it,  is that this sort of "circling the wagons" seems to cause enough threat and disruption that apologetic government statements rarely get passed...  And some is also tied to plain criminal intimidation rackets in certain cases, not "culture" if by that you mean what do most people really think of the issue.

      So perhaps I'm being fussy about terminology, but it feels a bit strong to me to say something like oh, 'Racism is simply endemic to Japanese culture.'  There are many ways to break a "national culture" down (could also add, an ethnic group's standing fads of who is "most" Black, White etc. down) and instead say what groups or interests are using the language of exceptionalism to claim what.  Dragging it all back on topic:  What nags me about the rhetoric of uniqueness and opaqueness, is that it becomes a way to deny any commonality between the politics of various ethnic groups/other communities and throughout history. 

     I'm talking about the rhetoric that goes basically: 'If you're not Japanese, or not Black, you just don't get it, shut up or get out, and for heaven's sake don't even imagine you can experience any portion of what we do/have/had with any overlap to our experience whatsoever.'  I'm sorry, but socially speaking that's a bit much for me.  Let's talk about particular issues or particular things that haven't been touched on or have been distorted, sure.  What's actually happening and does it even match the theories of oppression and are we all talking about the same thing.  That's useful.  But the knee-jerk 'must've been gunning for advantage because White, crossed with look what those really pernicious Whites have done already in broad strokes and well she (Dolezal) might go back,  and then couldn't possibly say anything meaningful because lacks the family history...'  Now there, it's not much better than well, Asian uniqueness demands that Japan claim NO fault whatsoever for Nanking or Singapore must isolate and whip anyone who speaks against the government.  Because difference!  Because you guys already did something bad to us and now you don't get to talk even in good faith, none of you.  That's just a mean silencing reach for a trump card.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 10:33:11 PM by kylie »

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2015, 11:18:53 PM »
What is "black"?
Someone asked.

Black is a very vague term that has been used to describe people of Sub Saharan descent and share facial features that are typically associated with them. In America, being "black" is about sharing the same ancestral history, traditions, and culture that has come with being separated from our ethnic roots and re-creating what are ancestors knew and were forced to conform to. You can't just wake up one day and say that you're black.Being a black American is an experience and doesn't even necessarily apply to people in Latin America who share the same ancestral background. However, its very easy for us to identity for say (examples) a black person from Brazil, Panama, Cuba, etc. Because our ancestors were on the same boats, stripped of same cultural similarities and forced to learn a new language and culture and build from that.
     That's one, I think quite popular definition --- and I suppose many people would say something similar for White and others, about having to point to some family history if anyone were to challenge it.  And then, quite a few people tacitly still also adhere to the "one drop rule" where in their thinking, any touch of African or Asian blood (and more commonly, appearing any part African/Asian to others) might make people "less" or even "not really White" too...  And by your definition above could argue that anyone who didn't have family on the slave boats, is not really Black.  And a still all-too-large portion of the White community might suspect anyone who either reveals or "looks like" their family was somehow not really White either.  And if those people seriously endeavored to be and understand [insert target community] and wanted money to go to college, whoever could they legally turn to?  Do they have a nice community that is designed for where "their" people were over a hundred years ago?  Or are they just undocumented/other in terms of race, if these are to be the sort of definitions we employ?  For that matter...  Do US government and private foundation definitions of Black really often demand that college applicants trace history all the way back to slavery?  That would surprise me if so, but it's an honest question. 

     It gets more complicated when in most of the country, the states insist that everyone must pick one or two race categories, but I believe in Hawaii they are allowed to pick even more.  Who is right?  Do people become "less Filipino" because they move from Hawaii to the East Coast and well, they were 2/3 White and only 1/3 Filipino?  What might we do if family history is to be the deciding factor in who "belongs" in what group?  Ask whether they had family among the less educated generation of Filipinos brought in as cheap labor by the state in the 60's-70's?

     None of which makes Dolezal able to satisfy either your definition or, I suspect, the government's when it comes to checking a box and receiving a scholarship.  Although it's possible that she could honestly identify as something that doesn't have a neat box, but many people would call it closer to Black -- at least in terms of practices and appearance.  What if it's like, changing your citizenship?  The US nukes oh, say, Sudan after a terrorist attack and some people decide to discard their American citizenship in outrage...  But what if no country accepts them as fulfilling their terms?  What if they want to go to I dunno, Liberia and the Liberian government were to say, "Sorry your family wasn't one of these bloodlines, you can't be one of us even if you gave up being American and did your damnedest to look like you might belong here."  Now what?  Are these people American? Are they Liberian?  Are they even African?  If everyone says no, not good enough, what should they do??  Call themselves the Exiles?   Live on a raft at sea, just to be "honest" according to the terms of all these places that never planned for them?

      I suppose you might think referring to the "one drop rule" which has otherwise been clearly used in racist projects is distorting what you are trying to say for your own part.  But I do think all this is relevant and not intending to be nasty.  The point is that race is also a social construct when we get down to saying who is in, and who is out.  I gather that by your own choice of definitions many Africans in the US could not be accepted as Black among Blacks, so now in order to capture a range of people many Whites imagine are all simply "Black" we would have to say "Blacks and" what, are they African-Americans if they have citizenship or are they just "Africans" in that system where Blacks must be descended from slavery?   

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It offends me that someone would just say they're black to find the very few benefits that I receive for being a black person in America (which isn't a lot). Its fine to appreciate a different culture, integrate, learn, and accept, but its not beneficial to them.
      I might follow better if you specified what sort of benefits you mean and again, for whom exactly.  Once you say it's not beneficial to them, are you referring to Dolezal or are you referring to people you feel are legitimately Black?  It seems to me that if the question were what Dolezal gets out of doing something, then that is up to her to explain.  I don't know how honest she is or not really.  But it wouldn't be the first time that different people attached different personal value to employing the same or somehow comparable, current community practices (even while many of those practices get marginalized in the broader society).

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It's taken a lot for black American's to find a culture, a voice, and a meaning. Its not something you can just feel, its something that is an experience and birth. There are a lot of hardships with being black and I'm pretty sure no one wants to just have those issues for no reason, its insane.
      Well I've spent a lot of time among people that enjoy testing their own limits -- though it's usually their sexual partner rather than the government or society at large driving them to do (at least some of them) very public, intense, painful things.  So I wouldn't presume to say how far people might choose to go.  And the fact is that if you look Black to the wider society, then you probably will encounter at least a share of those issues?  No?  Even if many Blacks think Dolezal shouldn't pass, I think quite a few Whites and maybe some others would read her as Black, and that ques the going prejudice and discrimination.

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As I've said previously, its always trended for a white person to nap their hair and wear it how we would, but never get the same ridicule like we do for having the hair we were born with and having to wear it certain ways so it won't fall out.
   
A lot of black people get fired or asked to change their hair to a more professional appearance because apparently keeping it braided, dreaded, or natural isn't professional and seen dirty. It's okay for a white person to tan to darken their skin, but dark skin on someone who can't help it is considered ugly.
     I get this last part, I think...  But it also seems to me, that part of the problem within the Black community becomes that people see each other differently depending on skin tone too.  No?  How do people see Blacks who are lighter toned?  Is the upset all because "No White should be able to look this way and call herself Black," or is part of it because some Blacks are more marketable than others and that itself causes friction?  I can see how people might imagine Dolezal just wanted to look profitably "exotic" by being closer to just the currently "ideal" mixed/exotic shade, but I also tend to think with her looks she would have received some jealousy and rejection even if her family were Black back to 15th century [insert one's favorite slave port in Africa here].  Or is there a claim that really no Black people thought she really passed?  I saw the one post that she didn't for him, but I'm doubting that was true for everyone.  And it's plenty common that after the fact (and better, "after the betrayal") more people are suddenly out shouting on the web about how "obvious" they "always" knew things were.

« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 11:34:54 PM by kylie »

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #63 on: June 17, 2015, 11:51:32 PM »
@Kylie: I'm honestly not sure what to say to you because I don't think you're actually reading to understand. I think you're reading to comment and that's where I become very frustrated. I was very clear in my post what i means to be black in America as a descendent of African slaves. I'm also not referring the one-drop rule that the white government made up, not the blacks because they were not in power and held very little voice back then. So, I'll just leave this one alone for the time being because I'm beginning to think that people that aren't black would much rather tell you how society is from their perspective, rather than actually try to understand where we come from as culture and people.

Another problem I'm having is you bringing up issues within my community as far as light and dark skin goes. This is deeply rooted in slavery where white men would rape african women and thus mixed children were born, the lighter meant that they would stay in the house and sometimes given special privileges(even owning slaves) because they were thought to be better because of their white ancestry. HOWEVER once black people were given freedom, it became a very dangerous game. The one-drop rule was created to separate pure blooded white Americans from those that had their unfortunate ancestry. People would be murdered because of this if it were ever found out. ( you can even watch Queen, a movie created by the man that wrote and helped make the series Roots).

As time went on lighter skinned people were favored. Eventually black people that were lighter with straighter hair became full of themselves and considered themselves better than their darker skinned counter parts(this isn't relevant to all black people). In European domination(we are not talking about Asian or Indian cultures with hierarchy) paler skin, straight hair, etc is considered more attractive. So the epidemic is that people of color (in Latin America, America, and Africa) is to try and get that look. That means having children with white men or women(not out of love), bleaching the skin and wearing fake hair or destroying the natural texture.

This light skin vs dark skin was used to put black people against eachother, making it easier for them to control them. But it is still deeply rooted in our culture and a sad part of our history that we're trying to get passed.

But again, this argument is suggesting that black people really don't have a right to be upset lol.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 12:11:07 AM by la dame en noir »

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #64 on: June 18, 2015, 08:26:44 AM »
@Kylie: I'm honestly not sure what to say to you because I don't think you're actually reading to understand. I think you're reading to comment and that's where I become very frustrated. I was very clear in my post what i means to be black in America as a descendent of African slaves.
     I don't think I actually missed so much of that.  Although I was trying to consider what the implications of accepting any particular definition as sacrosanct could be for anyone else who might "apply" to the label as it were.  People in search of a sheltering category, any label even in situations where it seems like most of the standing communities might reject them.  Which is what still very often happens to trans/queer and I at least wonder if it has happened in some measure to Dolezal. 

      Now, looking at it again, I do think I reached a point where I wasn't sure you were really dealing with that at all and I started to skim more.  And at that juncture, I missed the portion where you put forward a view on Black Africans.  I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced that it makes sense in the broader society to have so many readily confused notions of "Black" jumping around.  (In other words, does it not matter if Whites are generally confused about which "Blacks" many of your Blacks consider really (slave-descended) Black?)  I gather you think Black Africans have enough status, wealth, what have you but I wonder if their experience would generally agree that it doesn't matter if say, most Whites would label them "Black" and consider them more or less similar to descendants of slaves.  Granted I don't know enough about the numbers of each group -- I only lived in the urban South for a few years and most of the Blacks I spent time with in university didn't often raise arguments with me that explained the specifics or population percentages of African Blacks (you might even say I'm assuming you'd consider them, these other students Black given your definition; see now I just don't know but I imagine they might also be a little shocked if I were to ask, no?) ...
     
      I brought up the skin tone example not to assign blame (well, not to any side more than the rest), but to say it's still here and real and it's one more way that various communities -- Black, White and I believe still others, actually do draw boundaries in various ways among and between themselves (not always consistently in either case).  It's live and real too, as are ideas that any sort of difference makes people illegitimate and Other, which is the heart of the "one-drop" notion.  Where it started isn't my concern here.  My concern is, how often do people truly have an experience or identity which is erased by the demands of community and boundary setting -- and especially, how often do they find no community that recognizes or builds a place for what they truly aspire to or experience?

      I can understand that you have a particular definition of Black which serves useful protective and insulating ends...  Yet at the same time, I still feel that not only that, but many of the various boundaries drawn by various groups (and even across many with conflicting politcal views) about race in the US, are also likely to leave some people with no place to go.  Or perhaps some places to go are so small and painted so unimportant that I wonder who should want to go there.  And I'm not sure a nod to "privilege" is enough to make that okay.  There can be real suffering there, too. 

      Yes, I understand that people are upset -- but also, I worry that the upset tends to get channeled a bit heavily at times into even more insistence on rigid definitions and arbitrary boundaries.  More of these using more terms, and more and more people find they have no home -- especially if they attempt to take up practices seen as 'the purview' of one or the other community, or if they could be read as belonging to more than one community but anyone can find some detail to question how "full" their membership should be.  So I'm not sure I'd be easily convinced that a generalized fear of oppression or return to historical racism, absent an agreement about what consitutes a real evidenced threat to community perhaps (and is that the rub?), really makes that worth it in the case of this definition of Black you hold. 

     And that isn't the only racial definition I would say that about.  It's not your particular community boundary that worries me as such.  It's more the sum/product of them all (White included! Gender included!  And multiplied with each other, on and on.)-- for how very rigid and particular so many of them are.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 08:33:16 AM by kylie »

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #65 on: June 18, 2015, 09:07:42 AM »
Alright. I'm only going to say this once. Black africans do not call themselves "black" the whole black thing was something white people came up with in the first place. Africans know themselves based on their tribe and nationality. HOWEVER there is a global black awareness for anyone who is from Africa and the Americas to find commonality, because in reality a lot of Africans do not black people from America and blame us for our history and culture and often times think we have forgotten our roots. So there is a different identity and I honestly don't know why people like you have such a problem with black American's identifying how they want and how our history and culture means so much to us. It's actually incredibly hurtful.

If you don't understand, I don't have to sit here and try to make you understand where we're coming from. You would probably understand more if you actually looked through our history in depth and then tried to understand black history aside from the watered down American history version. Seriously, I don't know what you want and I don't think you're listening.

Black American's did not come up with black, white, etc...White American's did. They called my ancestors Negroes because they wanted to make them feel as alienated as possible. The only reason African-American is around was because black Americans were sick of being called Colored and wanted a connection to their ancestral homeland. This was part of the movement to find pride in their skin, hair, heritage, culture, and history that we call "black pride" and people think thats racist because they don't even know what it means. When you're punched down so much in your own goddamn country and have so much hate for the own skin you live in because another group of people are afraid of you or think lowly of you, pride needs to happen. There is Irish Pride, Hispanic Pride, Asian Pride, etc and no one raises an eyebrow. There is a massive difference between Black Pride and White power(because we are talking about America here)

If someone says "German Pride" I do not think racist, I think they're proud of their culture and where they come from. One other thing people should realize is Nationality vs Ethnicity. Your ethnic ties could be Chinese, but you were born in Scotland, you wouldn't really be considered Chinese-Scots because you were not born in China, but if you took a DNA test, your ties would be in China. So I think you think that black people don't want to be considered American and what is black and this and that and I've explained it the best that I can and you don't get it.

I've met Egyptian people that say "they want us to mark white, but we're not white - I consider myself a black African" and I do not find offensive or invading. White scientists have literally said anything above the equator is white and that's just fucking stupid because Africans, by no means, are white.

Thats for a different topic, I went on a random tangent and I just want to be done with this. Sorry you don't get it.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2015, 01:53:46 PM »
Alright. I'm only going to say this once. Black africans do not call themselves "black" the whole black thing was something white people came up with in the first place. Africans know themselves based on their tribe and nationality. HOWEVER there is a global black awareness for anyone who is from Africa and the Americas to find commonality, because in reality a lot of Africans do not black people from America and blame us for our history and culture and often times think we have forgotten our roots. So there is a different identity and I honestly don't know why people like you have such a problem with black American's identifying how they want and how our history and culture means so much to us. It's actually incredibly hurtful.
     I'm simply wondering what effects all these identity boundaries, not just yours, have on people who try to move around and seek out new places in the society.  It's like having a castle -- some things are good defenses from real threats, some things are nice symbolic markers to keep those inside feeling together and unique (irrespective of what ways they all are and aren't) and some things keep the excluded rabble out and presumably the rabble suffer from this, too.  So it's more to do with the trans comparison if you want some single thing to point out where this question came from lately...  But I'm just wondering if Dolezal could have a serious identity somewhere, however inconstant if you like, that just is rejected by everyone.  (You know, like the army food rations, Meals Rejected by Everyone.) 

     Lots of things mean a lot to a lot of people.  And at the same time, people can feel left out or rootless when they aren't allowed to get "too close" to the things associated with those people who define boundaries in such ways.  If Africans genetically get naturally frizzy hair (not sure that's just the right word or not), and some people like Dolezal want to style their hair that way, must there be some "tripwire" in doing that, or doing (pick and choose) some of any number of other things described as Black culture as well as genetics?  Must their picking up that appearance or that practice, automatically mean that in doing so, they are going to get accused of participating in the whole antiquated style of "Blackface"?  That seems awfully reactionary to me, for lack of a better word. Granted, publishers would also do some awful things with the notion of copyright, if they could get away with it... 

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If you don't understand, I don't have to sit here and try to make you understand where we're coming from.
     You don't have to do much of anything, but you seem to feel a duty to have some last word on this that is all about how wrong Dolezal "must" be and how she must be insane to what?  To claim her own identity if it has anything to do with delusions of Blackness?  Or is the main complaint that she was able to gain some money off it?  I admit that's more problematic, but before I throw out everyone who never told someone everything that might have swayed an interview and everyone who ever found themselves faced with a row of checkboxes that honestly didn't include them...  I'd like to question a little what exactly happened with her. 

     I may get laughed at cause I have probably read more indirect claims about the case here than I have read news article type about whatever she did so far....  But so far here in particular: I've heard a lot of 'she crossed a line' sort of arguments that don't seem too interested about how her internal experience might have actually worked.  The strongest thing you seem to have on her recently is resorting to "Oh she must be plain insane."   And I'm not sure she's been so terrible, or better yet really all so illogical, as to warrant that sort of dismissal yet.  Of course if what you mainly care about is to double check every Black American for direct ties to slavery and party line that no one else gets too close to "speaking for" that experience and then also, to keep race completely separate from social perceptions of sexuality (like, how could she switch to talking about bi, you seem to be asking though you don't go and analyze it much)...  Those things are not really talking about Dolezal very much anyway, are they?  You've got her crossing your "red lines" and it seems to me you're not really too concerned about why or how she got there, except it must be dangerous because oh "privilege" makes any such thing so.  No?

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You would probably understand more if you actually looked through our history in depth and then tried to understand black history aside from the watered down American history version. Seriously, I don't know what you want and I don't think you're listening.
     Possibly.  I wonder though:  Perhaps, you might understand more of what I'm picking at if you were willing to talk less about slavery and more about people on the fringes of the Black community.  Who is the least "in" and how did the community decide to put them there?  What happens to a person who can't trace their ancestry that far back?  Is someone who knows where some ancestors were traded off to, treated in any way different from those whose families stayed together in close communities over the years, or how about compared to those who have lost track of where some relatives ended up?  Basically I am wondering:  Is this really such an ideal community where everyone sits squarely equal happily in the middle?  Perhaps I am wrong, but I doubt that is likely.  If you have a range of who is more and less authentic and accepted like most communities (e.g. Native American communities like to trace their place on the land and ancestors way back too -- but some are still "more Native" than others when you look inside at how some talk)...  Then, how much more does it take to wonder if some outsider might be approaching some edge of that fuzzy border too?

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Black American's did not come up with black, white, etc...White American's did. They called my ancestors Negroes because they wanted to make them feel as alienated as possible. The only reason African-American is around was because black Americans were sick of being called Colored and wanted a connection to their ancestral homeland. This was part of the movement to find pride in their skin, hair, heritage, culture, and history that we call "black pride" and people think thats racist because they don't even know what it means. When you're punched down so much in your own goddamn country and have so much hate for the own skin you live in because another group of people are afraid of you or think lowly of you, pride needs to happen. There is Irish Pride, Hispanic Pride, Asian Pride, etc and no one raises an eyebrow.

     No one?  Somehow, I think there are some who don't think certain other minorities in the US should be all too prideful, either.  Sure Trump is a rather extreme voice by himself, but I do believe he's just one example of many (thankfully often many smaller and more restrained/even less popular) outbursts (but then there is Rush Limbaugh,, to begin the list again...anyway) against other minorities.  And personally, as far as varieties of shall we say "Caucasian" pride such as the various flavors of Euro cultural pride, I think it's fairly viable to ask what many of them exclude from their neat festival imagery and whitewashed histories for the masses, too. 

     Maybe what's confusing you here is I'm not simply picking at the effects of the definition of Black on Dolezal.  I'm picking at the rigidity of ethnic definitions on everyone.  I'm not saying we can have a society that doesn't have race anytime soon.  I'm saying the measures and shorthand of race we have, can also somehow become problematic.  Perhaps they become especially problematic when people actually get involved, however cleanly or messily, across community boundaries?  Suddenly someone feels the need to stand up and draw up lists of just what outsiders "should" and "shouldn't" do and be, but maybe those lists aren't practical to everyone's experience or politics or analysis.  And what if there is some messiness there, where the existing categories don't always suit the society of today or tomorrow.   

       I'm not saying atrocious abuse of peoples, historically and even now in some ways, isn't atrocious.  I'm wondering about ways that the present politics and divisions we have can also leave people floundering and get people in trouble when they try to behave "outside their ethnic box" or "across ethnic lines" as it were in various ways.  If we can't even ask about that without it being considered an attack and affront to the Black community and somehow more terrible to them than to everyone else it's implicating, then fine don't bother with me.  I am just inclined to think that doing so, is more of a knee-jerk defensive dismissal (yes, people are upset, but still) and less a serious consideration of why exactly Dolezal might have done things -- and maybe why exactly various people of various standpoints (including more than one uniform Black response, I dare suspect?) might be upset about rather different parts of it.

    Finally, you raise some China v. Scotland stuff...  I guess in some sort of response to the mention of Japanese rhetoric?? But I'm still trying to make sense of that because I'm not sure it's really comparable to what I was seeing from studies of Japan/a bit of experience there myself...  And I really don't see how it gives you inspiration for saying the next part:
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So I think you think that black people don't want to be considered American and what is black and this and that and I've explained it the best that I can and you don't get it.
     I never said anything of the sort.  When I talked about Asia, it was about examples of demanding that others not involve themselves in a community's experience/conversation/analysis of a situation, even when one might logically have some of those things in one's life already by virtue of personal background or efforts to adopt practices.  I'm kinda doubtful if you are actually familiar with the way Japanese leaders have taken to speaking of nationality as being linked to blood.  (Specifically, I am doubtful because at least in Japan, they actually do not limit how they claim to know a person's "blood," to doing DNA tests.  Far from it.)  Now perhaps I'm just clueless about Scotland, but the contrast you're attempting (is this supposed to lead toward, nationality must be spoken of as something completely different from ethnicity??) doesn't sway me yet.  Though I find the whole thing abrupt there, and I'm not at all sure it's even dealing with the same concerns I had.

     For myself: I was questioning whether it makes sense -- better, what are the effects really, when today people still insist that blood gives someone a "last word" on what is right and wrong in a political conversation.  Experience and legacy is pretty important and sources are important for evidence, but so is reason and perspective and so is -- well, the one I feel like you're effectively throwing away in brushing me off here --a comparative eye for things that pop up in many societies and many if not all different ethnic situations.  Places where the names and faces change, but well groups still slam people around, mark them as outsiders and refuse to let them in often quite regardless of those people's intent and personal orientation to questions of what race is for and what it has done to them in life, being whatever it is to others in that neck of the woods.

      However: I never said Black people don't want to be American and I do not at all intend to say that.  Heavens no.  Sounds extremely rare and unlikely, if you were to ask me to guess the frequency.  Now please don't try to box me in claiming that if I said something else above, that must be what I really want to say/mean.  If you honestly believe something I said must lead to that leap somehow, then perhaps you could explain how.  Cause this is all news to me and I believe those are your words, not mine. 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 02:02:55 PM by kylie »

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2015, 02:09:17 PM »
The thing that still concerns me is the apparent falsification of 'hate crimes'.  It is this that convinces me that Rachel Dolezal may have a tendency to embrace and perpetuate falsehoods.  This makes her inherently unbelievable and unreliable.  If she is willing to put a hate-filled diatribe into her own P.O. Box and report it to the police - which ends up wasting time and resources that could be used to investigate actual hate crimes where people (including those people that she claims to represent and care deeply for) are in actual danger - then what else is she willing to lie about?

Offline Iniquitous

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2015, 02:38:30 PM »
I am Swedish with a slight amount of Cherokee and a wee bit of Welsh (my ancestry) - born in Germany, raised in the US. According to la dame’s analogy, I should be German since I was born there. I’ve never said I was German despite my birth there.

So, how do I identify? American. It is where I live, it is the culture I have been raised with. It is what I know.

What irritates me is this desire to separate. German pride. Irish pride. African pride. Asian pride. Do you live in the US? You’re American. Deal with it. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage but you are no better, no worse than any other American just because your family ancestry is from somewhere else.

Do I care that this chic is claiming to be black? Not really. She could claim to be a purple people eater from Saturn if she wanted. Who am I to tell her she is not a purple people eater from Saturn? Not. My. Business.

Personally, now that she has stepped down from the position she held, I’d rather see her out of the news. Let the law deal with the legal aspect, but let it drop in the media. She is not important in the grand scheme of things and I feel like this is yet another attempt by the media to stir the racial pot.

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #69 on: June 18, 2015, 03:05:43 PM »
I wish I could contribute to this more than just the simple stuff. But heres my two cents. Race is not something you can just put on like a suit. Your offspring will carry on the genes of your race. Its a permanent thing, Miss Donezal is nothing more than a con artist who got a spray on tan to scam an organization and rake in the cash/ delude herself about her importance.

She's nothing more than an idiot, a fraud and a liar. (3 things I absolutely cannot stand) Just because you look like someone doesn't mean you fully understand them.

I lived in Puerto Rico till I was 11 but that doesn't mean I completely know what the people there go through and the hardship a lot of them face through poverty.  I can sympathize with them and have a basic knowledge of them that makes me more in line to be part of a group but I will never fully understand 110% know them as i know myself.

(I really wish I was as skilled at making speeches and presenting my point as you all, I feel like a child trying to talk in a room of adults with doctorates.  :-( )
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 03:12:46 PM by Lustful Bride »

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2015, 03:13:28 PM »
(I really wish I was as skilled at making speeches and presenting my point as you all, I feel like a child trying to talk in a room of adults with doctorates.  :-( )

I don't know what you are talking about, LB.  I've read your posts.  Here and elsewhere.  You are as eloquent as any.  More importantly, what you say is well reasoned. 

It's not how you say things, but what you say that really matters.


Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2015, 03:23:52 PM »
Because i'm one of two black people that responded and all i'm getting are people telling me how i should feel..react..and see this situation...i'm going to cease any comments directed to me because they're all rather insensitive and void of real understanding and just questioning. I have a right to be upset. Rachel used her white identity when she sued because it was convenient. She likes to play around and it's disgusting. So if anyone wants to continue to tell me how black americans should act..react...and feel. Please think twice.


@Kylie: You once again have shown me you're not listening, but making assumptions. Its funny that the two black people that came to talk about something very sensitive, are the ones getting questioned and poked at. So apparently we're doing something right.

The black community is very welcoming of anyone that wants to learn, accept, appreciate, and help our issues. HOWEVER, as I have stated pages before, she is a liar who most likely has very many mental issues and underlying issues that led her this direction. If someone comes up to me and says "I'm black" and blah blah and they don't look like what society thinks someone black should look like, I wouldn't say "are you sure?" "you dont look like it" because we live in America and I honestly expect most people to tell me that they're mixed in some way. What I find annoying is that through only having lived 23 years on this god forsaken earth, I have met plenty of white men and women who will say shit like "I have a black grandfather, so I can say this, wear my hair like this, do this, so shut up." because they want an excuse for being ignorant and prejudice. So don't think I'm just pulling this shit out of my ass.

I also can not speak for Native Americans, because despite my actual evidence of my native bloodline, it is not a bloodline I identify as and quite frankly - many of them aren't very welcoming of black people and are quite racist towards us.

If you have FB, you can read what Montel had to say about this situation if you would like another black perspective.

I just find this entire conversation incredibly disrespectful, hurtful, and no one is learning anything.




I apologize to anyone who might be put off by me now, but this is incredibly close to home for me and I hate having to explain history and present as to why things are they way they are and why my people get up in arms when anything has to do with our community. Because whenever we try to discuss this civilly, no one really cares to understand, they just want to tell you how you should handle it, react to it and most annoyingly - tell you to get over it.

Its rude.

Sorry.

So while she fabricated these so called hate-crimes against her as a "black woman". Shit like this is still real and happening. This has been the method of racist people against black people for centuries...killing black people while they're at church.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 04:11:56 PM by la dame en noir »

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2015, 03:31:06 PM »
Rachel used her white identity when she sued because it was convenient.

Nail on the head right there. This discredits anything Donezal has to say in defense of her actions. It proves shes nothing more than a hypocrite! She doesn't believe in anything other than furthering her own goals. She only got her race change because she thought she could get away with it and rake in that money. All it ever was was about furthering her own position.



I don't know what you are talking about, LB.  I've read your posts.  Here and elsewhere.  You are as eloquent as any.  More importantly, what you say is well reasoned. 

It's not how you say things, but what you say that really matters.



Thank you.   :-)

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2015, 03:38:18 PM »
For what it is worth, la dame en noir, I think you have every right to be angry at Dolezal and this situation.

To me, what is happening is pretty clear.  Dolezal lied over most of her life to gain advantages (financial assistance, higher education admission, jobs, a semi-political position).  Her doing so is not just morally wrong (i.e., lying is morally wrong) but it also deprived others of those advantages. 

I really see the whole "I identify as ***" argument as a defense mechanism that she employed to deflect attention away from her lying.  Unfortunately, it sort of worked.


Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2015, 03:49:28 PM »
Kylie, I think I went a little too off topic with the japan thing.  It is a very complicated issue that is for sure and I have some strong views on it, however that really is a whole different discussion.  Everything you've said on the actually subject though I still agree with.

Juggtacular, the first thing you mentioned in your post is that she is just plain wrong, and you went on to explain that is because she lied to some people, and is white, and came from a family that had money.  You went on to list things that in your mind makes her a bad person.  I'm still not judging her character, there are some things she had done that has come to light that I think she is way off on.  However I still don't think you listed a valid reason for why she is wrong to say she identifies as black.  Just because she is white means she has to live her life a certain way?  Just because her family has money means she has no issues in her life and should just be happy because there is money in the family?

You wrote something further down that actually bothered me, and I'll explain why.

"A man who becomes a woman through surgery is still not a woman in anything beyond looks as he can't birth children or produce breast milk. A woman who transitions is not truly a man as she can't produce sperm and impregnate other females. It makes you feel better, makes you feel more natural, but it's only cosmetic. And that's just gender. When it comes to race it's a similar, yet entirely different beast."

I read that.. Then read it again, and read it a third time.  At first I wasn't sure if you were serious, but I think there really is only one way to take it.  What I'm curious about is your definition of what a man is and what a woman is, does that exclusively apply to those who transition from man to woman, and woman to man?  If you believe that what makes a man a man, and a woman a woman is the ability to reproduce... Then I think there are a lot of people who were born into their gender that don't fit your criteria.  I'll give you an example.  I'm married and my wife can't have children.  Now she was born a woman and will die a woman, but she will never be able to have children... So.. Since she can't reproduce, does that mean by your definition she'll never be a real woman?  I myself don't plan to remarry or have sex with anyone else, which pretty much means I won't have any children either.  Just because I'm not going to reproduce does that mean I'm not a 'real' man in your point of view?  What about a woman who has ovarian cancer and has to have her ovaries removed, she'll never have children.. Does that mean she'll never be a 'real' woman either?

You said later on in your post that Donezal had nooses left on her door, but then you take it back by saying that it means nothing because nooses were never used on her family.  You do know that she has black children and had black siblings growing up right?  Or do they not count as 'family' since they were adopted?  "My husband is black, my children are black, my brothers are black, all of whom I love.  The nooses must be meant for them.. But hey I'm white so I'm in the clear, nothing at all to worry about in terms of that noose at my door"  Are you implying something along those lines?  She may not have been born black, and may not even know what it feels like to be a slave (for that matter you wouldn't either), but it seems to me that she has already experienced some discrimination that black people face.  Though in my opinion that still doesn't make her any more, or any less justified in what she identifies herself as.  I really don't believe there is some external text she needs to pass in order to have the right to say 'okay I identify as black'  Just like I don't believe a trans person needs to fit your criteria of what a man is, or what a woman is, before they are allowed to define themselves. 

la dame en noir, you've also made a lot of points though Kylie has addressed most of them, that and I don't want you to feel ganged up on so I'll try to make separate points.  In one of your earlier points you dismissively said "Now apparently she's bisexual" as if even that contributes to her harming the black community.  So what if shes also bi?  Is bisexuality a problem with the black community as well now?

Ultimately here is what I don't understand.  In you posts you've made it clear that you think this woman is just crazy.  How can one 'crazy' woman have such a HUGE impact on the black community and stir so much outrage?  Does the black community not have the capacity to say "Okay... This woman is clearly out of her mind, now lets get back to the things that are actually affecting our community instead of giving this crazy lady more attention"  Even though I don't agree with it, to an extent I could see why this was an issue when she was part of the NAACP, since then however she has stepped down.  She has.. No influence anymore.  It wasn't until after she resigned that she made the statement 'I identify as black'.  There really is NO reason for her to do so.  You've talked about all the disadvantages, trials and tribulations that black people go through, so there is no real advantage in her saying she identifies as black especially since now she doesn't even hold any position of 'power' within the black community.  Yet...  She is still being talked about, as if she is this big stigma to the black community.

Lastly I just wanted to say, you're perfectly entitled to feel the way you feel about this situation.  No one is saying you can't, however I can just as freely comment on it, as well as comment on my views about the black community.  Just because this issue doesn't affect me doesn't mean I don't have any right to share my opinion.

Lustful Bride, your point would make sense if Donezel decided to go back to being white after she stepped down from the NAACP.  She is no longer in any position of power.  Because of the ridicule she faced she already resigned.  There is no benefit in her STILL claiming to be black.  Yet that is exactly what she is doing.  In claiming to be black the only thing she opens herself up to is further ridicule, so no.  I don't believe the only reason shes doing it is for money.

Cycle, its already been established that she had a family with money..  If all she wanted to do was gain an 'advantage' she could have done so in NUMEROUS ways as a white person.  If you want go with the argument of 'she stole the scholarship from a deserving black person' then that argument would mean that she affected ONE person.

If you're going to use that argument I can very well go back to Bruce Jenner.  He has claimed that for a long time he identified as a woman.  Yet when he was younger he was in the Olympics AS a man.  Does that mean that he stole a position from an ACTUAL male who was more deserving?  Instead Caitlyn 'lied' about who she is and took advantage of the situation? Hell, maybe we should petition for him to give back his medal.  He claims to be a woman now, but can't still take credit for something he did while pretending to be a man right?  (You may think I'm joking but there are actually people out there who are petitioning to have Jenner's medal revoked. http://www.outsports.com/2015/6/3/8725393/caitlyn-jenner-transgender-petition-olympic-gold-medals )

I still see this as an issue of discrimination, people apply one set of standards to Bruce Jenner, yet when Donezal is dealing with some similar issues, suddenly she is subjected to a whole new set or rules that would be considered bigoted if applied to Jenner. 

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2015, 03:51:28 PM »
I really see the whole "I identify as ***" argument as a defense mechanism that she employed to deflect attention away from her lying.  Unfortunately, it sort of worked.

  Possibly. I can't speak for overs, but I am now mostly satisfied that she was indeed a fraud.

  However to me at least the larger issue of to what extend race is self defined is more interesting. Its purely theoretical without a second Donezal (and even if there was someone who "legitimatly" identified as another race, they probably aren't going to let anyone know after how the media and public reacted to her), but I find it interesting. And with the theory that the birth rate of mixed race children will skyrocket in the next few generations, its very likely this debate will return, with a lot practical application in the near future.

  But that is becoming a discussion for another thread, as this one was made with one specific individual in mind.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2015, 03:56:16 PM »
Intense, I already asked you not respond to me. So let me fix something for you.

When I mentioned she is bisexual, I was mentioning that she is trying to find some link to Caitlyn and is desperately looking for attention wherever she can find it. I am black bisexual female, I find it highly annoying that not only did this woman claim to be black for whatever insane reason, now shes claiming she likes women as well?

NO

She is a pathological liar and I'm not falling for it. Sorry that you're great a making assumptions instead of seeing the bigger picture.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 04:15:00 PM by la dame en noir »

Offline Avis habilis

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2015, 03:58:16 PM »
I still see this as an issue of discrimination, people apply one set of standards to Bruce Jenner, yet when Donezal is dealing with some similar issues, suddenly she is subjected to a whole new set or rules that would be considered bigoted if applied to Jenner.

Except they aren't even remotely similar, as explained quite thoroughly here, here, & here.

Offline Lustful Bride

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #78 on: June 18, 2015, 04:01:21 PM »
There is no benefit in her STILL claiming to be black.  Yet that is exactly what she is doing.  In claiming to be black the only thing she opens herself up to is further ridicule, so no.  I don't believe the only reason shes doing it is for money.

In my opinion its because she got caught in her lie and has decided that itd work best to stick with it. Lets not forget that she also sued Howard University for discriminating against her for being white...seems very hypocritical in my opinion on her part.

''Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave , When First We Practice To Deceive''

She built a career upon her web of lies and now its all coming down around her.

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2015, 04:05:11 PM »
Except they aren't even remotely similar

  If they weren't remotely similar, you wouldn't need to link three separate article to articulate the difference. This is a complex issue, and insisting its clear cut is insulting to those people asking questions and not jumping to your side.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #80 on: June 18, 2015, 04:22:43 PM »
you wouldn't need to link three separate article to articulate the difference.

Good thing it wasn't a three part explanation then. It was three different explanations of the same basic principle.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #81 on: June 18, 2015, 04:23:27 PM »
Can I point out that;

1. White men and women have been apart of the NAACP since its foundation - she didn't have to be black to get a leading role.

2. Most black people could care less about the NAACP because they actually don't do much for the black community.
3. After they found out about her lies, she stepped down - even though she still called herself black afterwards.
4. She fabricated hate crimes
5. Now she's trying to receive sympathy and is now claiming to be bisexual (I'm not even going to go into how unaccepting most of the black community is about LGBT people)
6. She then sued Howard University for discrimination as a white woman (but I thought she was black, hmm)


Rachel gains nothing from pretending to be apart of an oppressed group. She could go to a black college as a white woman, she can get a degree in Black history as a white woman(my black history professor is white), she can join the NAACP - hold a leadership role as a white woman (and thats great because we need diversity), and she can do whatever the hell she wants to her hair (even though synthetic braids on straight hair and perms are very damaging).

The reason I got so mad about the hair is because its always trendy when a white man or woman does, but filthy - nasty - animalistic - unprofessional, when someone black wears their hair naturally.

SOO

Point is

She's insane

something tragic must have happened in her childhood
she seeks attention
she's a pathological liar

Anyway questions as to why I am mad as a black female?

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #82 on: June 18, 2015, 04:27:29 PM »
Good thing it wasn't a three part explanation then. It was three different explanations of the same basic principle.

  So this obvious principle needs a three part explanation? That doesn't obvious. But this is getting nick picky. Just a pet peeve of mine.

Offline Sho

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #83 on: June 18, 2015, 06:59:49 PM »
If Africans genetically get naturally frizzy hair (not sure that's just the right word or not), and some people like Dolezal want to style their hair that way, must there be some "tripwire" in doing that, or doing (pick and choose) some of any number of other things described as Black culture as well as genetics?  Must their picking up that appearance or that practice, automatically mean that in doing so, they are going to get accused of participating in the whole antiquated style of "Blackface"?  That seems awfully reactionary to me, for lack of a better word. Granted, publishers would also do some awful things with the notion of copyright, if they could get away with it... 

I think (and please do correct me if I'm wrong in this, in particular would love thoughts from la dame en noir on this) that one thing you may be missing, Kylie, is the issue of cultural appropriation. A useful quote, taken from this article (which I highly recommend you read, it's very useful and helped me, as a white woman, understand issues of appropriate a bit better):

"Cultural appropriation remains a concern for a variety of reasons. For one, this sort of “borrowing” is exploitative because it robs minority groups of the credit they deserve. Art and music forms that originated with minority groups come to be associated with members of the dominant group. As a result, the dominant group is deemed innovative and edgy, while the disadvantaged groups they “borrow” from continue to face negative stereotypes that imply they’re lacking in intelligence and creativity. In addition, when members of a dominant group appropriate the cultures of others, they often reinforce stereotypes about minority groups."

So to answer your question, Donezal's appropriation of traditionally black hairstyles designed to be protective (re: her box braids, bantu knots, and dreads) of natural hair to stop breakage is harmful. I liken it to white people wanting to use the n-word when they rap, or wanting to repeat it when they hear rap songs. In a perfectly equal society, would people be able to wear any hairstyle they wanted and use any words they wanted? Sure. The thing is, today's society isn't equal. Black people, particularly in America where systemic racism has been built into our daily institutions, still suffer. When a white person takes a style that is completely unnatural to their physical appearance and uses it for their own gain, it waters down the meaning of that particular symbol (be it music, hair, dancing, or things like spoken-word poetry) and makes it into a 'worldwide' symbol rather than an ethnic one.

The thing is, even if it seems like it should be, it's not okay for white people to take a traditionally black style. The primary reason that it's not okay is that these cultures, in particular black culture in America, have had to fight to have these styles and symbols acknowledged as 'acceptable' by mainstream white culture. In watering down the meaning behind hairstyles and music those things don't actually become more inclusive, they're simply robbed of their cultural meaning and instead become something 'white'. In short, it's 'cool' when Kylie Jenner wears dreads, but it's considered 'dirty' if someone black does it, and the difference is perception is solely based on their skin color. That's why it's so important not to appropriate things from cultures that we haven't lived in ourselves (appreciating is one thing, but appropriating is another, and it's a very fine and delicate line to walk).

I understand your point about people from various backgrounds struggling to find somewhere to fit in. That being said, I don't think you can apply that to this particular case (and I think that where people are taking offense is in using this particular woman's case to illustrate your point). Dolezal used white privilege when she sued her school, but then she also took a scholarship for being black. In doing that, she actually harmed the black community by taking an opportunity from another black person.

Additionally, I think the well-placed anger towards her comes from the fact that this white woman purported herself to be black and then stepped forwards to speak for the black community. Though she may be very invested in the black community and while she may want to help, it is an unfortunate but undeniable truth that because she is not black, she does not have the right to speak for that community as if she were one of them. She can offer support, she can offer opinions, and she can contribute to a larger dialogue as well as draw attention to problems caused by systemic racism. What she cannot do is take on the role of a black woman and speak as though she is a black woman. She can be an ally, but she cannot be black.

There are arguments that if someone is transgender that the concept of transracialism is possible. In the future, it may be (personally, I hope not). It's not right now. It certainly isn't alright that as a woman born into the most 'privileged' of races in America, being white, she 'switched' her race. People say that people who are transgender (I do hope I'm using the right terminology, and I sincerely apologize if I'm not) have different brain chemistry from their physical makeup. There isn't any proof to indicate that the same is true for race i.e. that if you are born a certain race you think one way rather than another.

Finally, Dolezal is so infuriating on so many levels because she's not sitting there saying "I feel I am this race and so I will present that way"; she actively leveraged that race (while lying) into opportunities that she otherwise would not have gotten had she not lied. She lied about who her parents were. She deceived the greater community and she gained access to privileged positions within the African-American community by claiming the kinship that comes with shared discrimination. It's akin to someone showing up at your doorstep and claiming to be a distant cousin, gaining your trust as if they were a family member, and then being caught in a lie and saying "well, I felt like your cousin so it's okay, because I've acted like one". In fact, the whole thing is a mockery of the black community in many ways because as a white person, she came up with a preconceived notion of what being black is and paraded around acting it out. The sad thing is that I genuinely believe she wanted to help the black community...but she hurt it instead, at the end of the day.

So, that's my two cents, at least.

Offline Sho

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #84 on: June 18, 2015, 07:00:47 PM »
Oh, and one more thing...I think her last name is actually Dolezal, not Donezal.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #85 on: June 18, 2015, 07:08:25 PM »
I believe you are correct, and that was my error in creating the thread title.  Taking care of that now :-)

EDIT:  And fixed.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 07:10:34 PM by Oniya »

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #86 on: June 18, 2015, 07:19:12 PM »
@Sho: that was what i was missing in my argument. Yours was so well put together and eloquent. That is one of the very reasons why so many black people are upset. I tend get very upset and lose all logic when talking about these issues. Thank you so much.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #87 on: June 18, 2015, 08:15:00 PM »
Okay, I stepped out of this discussion for a bit because it was getting to me. As a result, this comes from a while back, but it's important:

  Well while I have no problem with anyone in the LGBT community(I know it sounds cliche but I have a ton of gay/lesbian friends and know 2 undergoing gender corrective surgery at the moment, one mtf and the other ftm).  As gender is simply man vs woman, it's a bit simpler than the race issue. The scientific/biological fact is that despite what you feel, you were born a certain way.  A man who becomes a woman through surgery is still not a woman in anything beyond looks as he can't birth children or produce breast milk. A woman who transitions is not truly a man as she can't produce sperm and impregnate other females. It makes you feel better, makes you feel more natural, but it's only cosmetic. And that's just gender. When it comes to race it's a similar, yet entirely different beast.
The bolded statements? Also apply to a lot of cis people. As does pretty much any other litmus test you care to name. Can we please stop with this bullshit fallacy now? (This is exactly why I objected to the trans comparisons earlier in the discussion.)

Moving on to the more current discussion:

  If they weren't remotely similar, you wouldn't need to link three separate article to articulate the difference. This is a complex issue, and insisting its clear cut is insulting to those people asking questions and not jumping to your side.
People make the falllacious and insulting comparison a lot, it gets debunked a lot. The comparison is harmful to trans people, feeding the ongoing myth that we are lying about ourselves and therefore it is acceptable to kill us. As a white trans* person, I can assure you there is very little about my lived experience that comes anywhere near that of either a cis PoC or Rachel Dolezal. Please stop pushing this harmful comparison. And while we're at it, IntensePlayer, could you maybe please try to stop erasing Caitlyn Jenner's identity?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 08:46:53 PM by Ephiral »

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #88 on: June 18, 2015, 08:22:05 PM »
People make the falllacious and insulting comparison a lot, it gets debunked a lot. The comparison is harmful to trans people, feeding the ongoing myth that we are lying about ourselves and therefore it is acceptable to kill us. As a white trans* person, I can assure you there is very little about my lived experience that comes anywhere near that of either a cis PoC or Rachel Dolezal. Please stop pushing this harmful comparison. And while we're at it, IntensePlayer, could you maybe please try to stop erasing Caitlyn Jenner's identity?

  We've been over this in another thread: dismissing my honest inquiry as a "bullshit fallacy", is not going to endear me to your argument. Like it our not, I am drawing this comparison, because they seem similar to me. So if you want to explain why I am wrong (which is entirely possible. I am cis, and living mainland europe, so not a lot of minorities), you are going to have to be more respectful, because an arrogant dismissal leads me to defensibly stick to my current stance, not abandon it.

  I am sorry if my ignorance offends you, but I cannot help that. If you cannot help insulting me when you respond, maybe you shouldn't respond.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #89 on: June 18, 2015, 08:23:52 PM »
Oh, look. Tone policing. Not quite the least surprising development I've ever seen but close to it.

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #90 on: June 18, 2015, 08:28:40 PM »
Oh, look. Tone policing. Not quite the least surprising development I've ever seen but close to it.

  I am not questioning anyone emotions, nor placing the responsibility for my feelings on others. I am merely going over how people typically react to being insulted, which is very rarely "wow, you're right".

  Ephiral quoted me. That implies that on some level, they were trying to communicate with me. I was simply informing them how they could better do that. They are free to ignore it.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 08:29:43 PM by LisztesFerenc »

Offline Sho

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #91 on: June 18, 2015, 08:41:59 PM »
@Sho: that was what i was missing in my argument. Yours was so well put together and eloquent. That is one of the very reasons why so many black people are upset. I tend get very upset and lose all logic when talking about these issues. Thank you so much.

Thanks :) Cultural appropriation is something I've had to spend a lot of time studying because it can be a hard concept to understand, particularly when one (like me) is in the dominant group. It can be frustrating to be told "no, this is ours, you can't wear/do/say that", but once you understand the reasoning behind it, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #92 on: June 18, 2015, 08:43:03 PM »
Now we're ignoring the realism trand people face'

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #93 on: June 18, 2015, 08:54:22 PM »
  We've been over this in another thread: dismissing my honest inquiry as a "bullshit fallacy", is not going to endear me to your argument. Like it our not, I am drawing this comparison, because they seem similar to me. So if you want to explain why I am wrong (which is entirely possible. I am cis, and living mainland europe, so not a lot of minorities), you are going to have to be more respectful, because an arrogant dismissal leads me to defensibly stick to my current stance, not abandon it.

  I am sorry if my ignorance offends you, but I cannot help that. If you cannot help insulting me when you respond, maybe you shouldn't respond.

I accidentally inserted an extra copy of your post; my apologies. What I was referring to as bullshit was Juggtacular's litmus test for what makes a real man or woman, and I stand behind both my assessment and my anger.

I said that the comparisons to Caitlyn Jenner are fallacious and harmful, and I stand behind that as well. I touched on the reasons in my initial statement, but to elaborate somewhat: There is a very widespread myth that trans people are decieving others about their gender (see the extremely common slur "trap"). In many places, this myth is used as legal justification to murder us for the horrible crime of being attractive to transphobic people. By comparing someone who has clearly been deceitful to us in a clear "Why are they acceptable if she isn't?" argument, you reinforce this myth, and thus help make the world a little more dangerous for trans people.

Is this clear now?

Offline LisztesFerenc

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #94 on: June 18, 2015, 09:01:52 PM »
I accidentally inserted an extra copy of your post; my apologies. What I was referring to as bullshit was Juggtacular's litmus test for what makes a real man or woman, and I stand behind both my assessment and my anger.

I said that the comparisons to Caitlyn Jenner are fallacious and harmful, and I stand behind that as well. I touched on the reasons in my initial statement, but to elaborate somewhat: There is a very widespread myth that trans people are decieving others about their gender (see the extremely common slur "trap"). In many places, this myth is used as legal justification to murder us for the horrible crime of being attractive to transphobic people. By comparing someone who has clearly been deceitful to us in a clear "Why are they acceptable if she isn't?" argument, you reinforce this myth, and thus help make the world a little more dangerous for trans people.

Is this clear now?

  It is clear yes, but I don't agree with the interpretation. My argument isn't "Why are they acceptable if she isn't?", its the opposite. "Why isn't she accepted, when they are?". My stance and line of inquiry is all based on the premise that trans people are and should be, accepted members of society, and then extends this acceptance to the concept of somebody redefining their race, never to use that as a way to deny what little acceptance trans people have fought so hard to gain. It is possibly that someone could twist this line of thinking into a transphobic stance, but, well to me twist seems to be the operative word there.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #95 on: June 18, 2015, 09:40:33 PM »
In that case, I'm sorry; it seems I conflated you with a few others who have been pushing the inverse interpretation. I would argue that the reason is simple: We've got fairly solid evidence of deception from her. She "identified as black from age 5", except when she sued Howard University and (according to her parents) in childhood. She has blatantly lied about her parentage, and then applied a ridiculous double-standard when called on it. The parallel, if it exists at all, is a poor one.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #96 on: June 18, 2015, 10:35:04 PM »
There have been a lot of replies since my last post so I'm going to try and respond to each of them as best I can.

Avis habilis, I read through your 3 links.  Which I have to say... This is starting to become like some kind of essay or something however I'm trying to stay as informed and relevant as possible when responding to people who have addressed my points (Though I feel most of my points are being ignored entirely.)

In the first link you posted I picked up on "In attempting to pass as black, Dolezal falsely represented her identity. Trans people don't lie about their gender identities — they express their gender according to categories that reflect who they are."  I thought that was a somewhat contradictory statement.  Without any real proof the opinion implies that in being true to themselves people who are trans are being honest, yet Dolezal is lying.  The article did very little to convince me that there are no similarities between the two issues.  There was also "Amidst the many hilarious Dolezal-related memes" which are of course at the expense of Dolezal, the author of the post clearly has no problem with making fun of Dolezal while seemingly being 'offended' at a possible comparison between Dolezal and Jenner.

I read through your other link talking about how Jon Stewart addressed the issue.  He made some good points, one of which I actually made earlier on in the thread, which is the media's overreaction on the issue.  It really isn't an issue that deserves all the time they have dedicated to it given that there is real news that is happening, as opposed to the actions of one woman most people consider 'crazy'.  I'm a big fan of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show but I don't always agree with what he says.  The correspondent's view seemed to be that its okay for Dolezal to help the black community just not have the audacity to try and be a part of it. The exact words being "We don't need oppression cosplay.  We need allies, not replacements."  Which honestly sounded a tad racist to me.  For better or worse Dolezal has been passing as black for what.. Something like 10 years, who is to say she hasn't experienced life as 'A black person' in that time, and been 'judged' as a black person in that time.  If she managed to fool black people into thinking she was black, I'm sure white people would have also been fooled.  Regardless it seemed that the Correspondent dismissed pretty much EVERYTHING about Dolezal simply because she identifies as black.

Also you posted 3 links.  Here are 3 links that I found very easily.
1.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/psychiatry-expert-scientifically-there-is-no-such-thing-as-transgender (A psychologist talks about why transgender isn't a thing)
2. http://thefederalist.com/2014/06/23/how-the-trans-agenda-seeks-to-redefine-everyone/ (Talks bout the trangender 'agenda' to destroy everyone's identity, needless to say it is an anti tans article)
3. http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/06/03/this-poor-child-is-confused-not-transgendered/ (About a 5 year old who identifies as a different gender than the one they were born with, and the article goes on to say how that is impossible because kids that young can't identify to a particular sexual identity)

Of course I don't believe the bs in any of those links, but you might be asking why I posted them in the first place?  To illustrate that just because there is a source for something, doesn't mean its true.  You linked 3 articles which had a particular narrative, just because they claimed that Jenner and Dolezal were two entirely different issues (Mind you not all 3 of the articles said this(, doesn't necessarily mean its true as I very easily was able to find bigoted articles against transgender. 

I have never ONCE claimed that the two issues are identical, which seems to be the gist of most of these 'those are two different issues' articles seem to say.  All I have suggested is that the two issues have similarities, which is an opinion a few people in this thread share.

la dame en noir, this is a public thread therefore I think I'm entitled to respond to the points that everyone makes.  Unless it is against the rules for me to respond to someone when they ask, if that is a case and a mod or admin says so, I will respect the rules, until then if I feel I have a point to make about your post, I will.  Another thing I wanted to point out.  You asked me not to respond to what you are saying, yet you continue to respond to me.  Although honestly I have no problem with you responding to me as I'm writing this in a public forum and anyone who wishes is free to challenge or respond to any of the points I'm making.

You said that she mentioned she is bisexual to try and relate to Jenner somehow for sympathy/attention.  The truth is that is an assumption on your part, you really have no way of knowing what Dolezal's sexuality is.  You talk about me making assumptions and don't hold yourself to the same standard.

As for the points you made:
1. White men and women have been apart of the NAACP since its foundation - she didn't have to be black to get a leading role.
-So if white people have been a part of the NAACP what is the real issue here?  Do you have any critiques about the actual work she has done while at the NAACP?  Or does none of that matter because 'omg she is lying about being black'  How has her work at the NAACP affected the black community negatively?  What race she is or isn't doesn't seem to me like it would have an impact on the work itself.

2. Most black people could care less about the NAACP because they actually don't do much for the black community.
-If most black people don't care about the NAACP anyway, why is Dolezal such a big deal?  I'd think that her presence would be even less relevant since the black community doesn't care what the NAACP does.

3. After they found out about her lies, she stepped down - even though she still called herself black afterwards.
- Lying means that in part she is a bad person, it still doesn't mean that just because she has told a few lies she doesn't have the right to express herself.  I have lied about quite a few things in the past, as have you, as has everyone I'm sure.  Self expression isn't dependent on a person's level of honesty or dishonesty.

4. She fabricated hate crimes
- I actually haven't heard anything about this.  I remember reading something yesterday about how she accused her husband of sexually assaulting her while they were married.  If she did fabricate hate crimes that would be messed up.  If you can give me a link about this I'll read through it and give you my honest opinion on it.

5. Now she's trying to receive sympathy and is now claiming to be bisexual (I'm not even going to go into how unaccepting most of the black community is about LGBT people)
-Err... What does this have anything to do with Dolezal and her issues?  It seems your point is more about the insensitivity of the black community in relation to LGBT issues, you can't project that onto Dolezal as if she is somehow responsible for the black community being insensitive to LGBT?

6. She then sued Howard University for discrimination as a white woman (but I thought she was black, hmm)
-It is a weird thing for her to do since she claims to identify as black.. But... How is a white woman suing a university for being white affect the black community?  Seems like it is another issue that doesn't really affect the black community.

"The reason I got so mad about the hair is because its always trendy when a white man or woman does, but filthy - nasty - animalistic - unprofessional, when someone black wears their hair naturally." 

I don't think Dolezal has any control over how others view hair?  It seems like you're unfairly projecting issues that don't originate with Dolezal.

"something tragic must have happened in her childhood
she seeks attention
she's a pathological liar"

Does that mean it is okay for an entire community to single her out, condemn her, and make fun of her?  Or should she possibly be left alone to get her life together if you truly believe she is such a troubled person?

Sho, in regards to what you said about hair.  I think the issue is how other people view it, not what Dolezal is doing.  Others think knots and dreads are dirty.  It seems to me THAT is the narrative that we should be trying to change.  Dolezal doesn't have any influence about what others think about hairstyle and hygiene.  You cited the use of the 'n' word in rap songs how its okay for black people to use and say, yet not okay for white people or people outside the black race to sing along to simply because of their skin color.  So according to you there is a word that one group of people can say because of their skin color, but another group has no right to say because they are a different skin color.  To me that is one of the key examples of what racism is.

You wrote -

"The thing is, even if it seems like it should be, it's not okay for white people to take a traditionally black style. The primary reason that it's not okay is that these cultures, in particular black culture in America, have had to fight to have these styles and symbols acknowledged as 'acceptable' by mainstream white culture. In watering down the meaning behind hairstyles and music those things don't actually become more inclusive, they're simply robbed of their cultural meaning and instead become something 'white'. In short, it's 'cool' when Kylie Jenner wears dreads, but it's considered 'dirty' if someone black does it, and the difference is perception is solely based on their skin color. That's why it's so important not to appropriate things from cultures that we haven't lived in ourselves (appreciating is one thing, but appropriating is another, and it's a very fine and delicate line to walk)."

I'm failing to see how that line of thinking makes sense.  I'm not trying to trivialize the struggles that black people have gone through in the past, or continue to go through in the present day, however what I don't see is why certain things have to remain 'exclusive' to the black culture.  It would be like the white community saying "Black people don't have the right to listen to or compose country music"  When a non black person does something that is a part of black culture, why can't it mean that they are actively contributing to the culture, or taking part in celebrating it, as opposed to doing harm?  Again it just seems kinda racist to me.  My personal belief is that people who are black should be able to express themselves however they want.  If they want to dress and act in a way that most white people do..  I don't think that is going to be the downfall of white culture, just like I don't see there is nothing wrong with a white person wearing dreads, and an afro, or listening and enjoying rap music.

"Additionally, I think the well-placed anger towards her comes from the fact that this white woman purported herself to be black and then stepped forwards to speak for the black community. Though she may be very invested in the black community and while she may want to help, it is an unfortunate but undeniable truth that because she is not black, she does not have the right to speak for that community as if she were one of them."

For something like 10 years she passed off as black.  Sure she doesn't know what it is like to be a slave, but then again neither do you.  In ten years I can't imagine that Dolezal hasn't faced discrimination while others have thought she was black.  If you believe that Dolezal can't speak for/as a black person because she was born white, then in turn you must also believe that Caitlyn Jenner can never speak for women because she was born and lived most of her life as a man.

"There are arguments that if someone is transgender that the concept of transracialism is possible. In the future, it may be (personally, I hope not). It's not right now. It certainly isn't alright that as a woman born into the most 'privileged' of races in America, being white, she 'switched' her race. People say that people who are transgender (I do hope I'm using the right terminology, and I sincerely apologize if I'm not) have different brain chemistry from their physical makeup. There isn't any proof to indicate that the same is true for race i.e. that if you are born a certain race you think one way rather than another."

The issue of transgender is one that has been in our community for some time, so sure there has been tests and experiments to show that people who are transgender have a different brain chemistry.  On the same note, how can you objectively say that Dolezal has the same mind/brain chemistry as a white person as opposed to a black person's?  There really isn't any objective proof that Dolezal is 'faking' or that she is lying when she says she identifies as black. 


" It's akin to someone showing up at your doorstep and claiming to be a distant cousin, gaining your trust as if they were a family member, and then being caught in a lie and saying "well, I felt like your cousin so it's okay, because I've acted like one". "

That is pretty messed up and I'm not going to lie I probably would be upset, even angry.  However I don't think I'd lash out at that person, mock that person, and try to draw needless attention to that person.  Whoever would do something that messed up obviously has mental issues, issues that they themselves need to deal with.  I would exclude that person from my life and hope they get the help they need.  I believe THAT would be the reasonable way to deal with that issue.

"The sad thing is that I genuinely believe she wanted to help the black community...but she hurt it instead, at the end of the day."

I still don't see how she hurt the entire black community.  The only issue I see is that she took a scholarship from a person who was actually black.  That would be her affecting one black person, I don't see any ripples that fan out to the black community as a result.  I already made this example in an earlier post and I'll do it again.  Because a black person robs a store that is owned by a white person, doesn't mean the entire white community is affected by that one black person.  It was a crime being committed by a criminal, that is all.


Ephiral, you stated:

"People make the falllacious and insulting comparison a lot, it gets debunked a lot. The comparison is harmful to trans people, feeding the ongoing myth that we are lying about ourselves and therefore it is acceptable to kill us. As a white trans* person, I can assure you there is very little about my lived experience that comes anywhere near that of either a cis PoC or Rachel Dolezal. Please stop pushing this harmful comparison. And while we're at it, IntensePlayer, could you maybe please try to stop erasing Caitlyn Jenner's identity?"

First of all I am sorry that you feel what I've been saying as harmful or insulting. That is not my intention however I can't control how you react, and if I see comparisons between the two issues I believe I have every right to state them.  I have no doubt that your experiences are very different than Dolezal's, that still doesn't change how I view things.  A lot of people believe that transgender isn't 'a thing'.  Just because they think that however doesn't make it true.  Just like how a lot of people think that transracial isn't a 'thing', that also doesn't mean that its not a thing.

Lastly what you said about me erasing Caitlyn Jenner's identity.  I would ask you to go back and read what I've written on the subject.  I have stated a few times that I am pro LGBT, not that I really need to justify my views.  As to the subject at hand I will clarify my view on Caitlyn Jenner.  I do not have a SINGLE thing against her.  I believe she has every right to do as she wishes.  If what makes her happy is to identify/act/dress as a woman, she should have every right to do so.  Her actions affect me in no way whatsoever.  I also think it is perfectly fine that she lived over half her life as a man.  It is also something that doesn't harm anyone, so I don't think anyone should have an issue with it.  I see similarities between Caitlyn Jenner and Dolezal in the sense that both are simply trying to live life the way that makes them happy.  The only thing I have done is relay what others have said on the issue to illustrate how discriminatory things said about Jenner also seem to apply to Dolezal.  I have never ONCE said that Jenner doesn't have the right to be who she wants, so honestly I don't know where your statement about me 'erasing' Caitlyn Jenner's identity comes from.  If you find a particular thing I said that you believe contributes to that please feel free to bring it to my attention and I will clarify it for you. 

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #97 on: June 18, 2015, 10:45:14 PM »
Am I seeing things? I never told this person that their opinion didn't matter, I told them not to talk to me. Interesting that he's continuing to violate a simply request.

But I'm also going to explain why i don't want him talking to me.

1. He asking me for links even though I'm not the only person that pointed out that she has fabricated the hate crimes.
2. He just suggested that she somehow is the reason the black community has problems with the LGBT community, even though this is deeply rooted in my culture because of Christianity and the thought that a man and woman should be together because for some radical afrocentric people think that being gay is a white thing. etc...etc.
3. Then he goes on to attack a comment that wasn't directed at him and from the way it seems, he's putting my opinions down rather than taking something from them.

Sho gives valid points as to why its an issue and he simply ignores because he refuses to try and understand it.

I do remember giving a link about her supposed sexuality here

No assumptions on my part.

:3
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:24:18 AM by la dame en noir »

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #98 on: June 18, 2015, 10:58:14 PM »
You know what's handy?  That Ignore List function under your Profile...



« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 10:48:22 AM by Cycle »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #99 on: June 19, 2015, 12:03:50 AM »
In the first link you posted I picked up on "In attempting to pass as black, Dolezal falsely represented her identity. Trans people don't lie about their gender identities — they express their gender according to categories that reflect who they are."  I thought that was a somewhat contradictory statement.  Without any real proof the opinion implies that in being true to themselves people who are trans are being honest, yet Dolezal is lying.

Fact: She sued Howard University for discriminating against her because she was white. Fact: She claims that she has identified as black since she was 5. Fact: She has claimed that her father was a black man to whom she has no relation whatsoever.

These are established facts that you are either well aware of or pointedly ignoring. They cannot be reconciled with the position that Dolezal is not lying as pertains to her race and identity. Are you deliberately ignoring them, or are you trying to argue that trans people are lying?

I'm a big fan of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show but I don't always agree with what he says.  The correspondent's view seemed to be that its okay for Dolezal to help the black community just not have the audacity to try and be a part of it. The exact words being "We don't need oppression cosplay.  We need allies, not replacements."  Which honestly sounded a tad racist to me.
So it is your position that the only way to avoid racism is to allow white people to speak instead of PoC on PoC issues? Can you please clarify when PoC are allowed to ask (!) to speak for themselves without being called racist?

First of all I am sorry that you feel what I've been saying as harmful or insulting. That is not my intention however I can't control how you react, and if I see comparisons between the two issues I believe I have every right to state them.  I have no doubt that your experiences are very different than Dolezal's, that still doesn't change how I view things.  A lot of people believe that transgender isn't 'a thing'.  Just because they think that however doesn't make it true.  Just like how a lot of people think that transracial isn't a 'thing', that also doesn't mean that its not a thing.
First of all, nice notpology, but a bit repetetive. 6/10. Second: Intent is not magic. The best intentions don't make harm go away. Whether or not you intend this, what you are doing by equating trans people with someone who has plainly lied about her identity is pereptuating harmful myths, as I explained above.

Lastly what you said about me erasing Caitlyn Jenner's identity.  I would ask you to go back and read what I've written on the subject. I have stated a few times that I am pro LGBT, not that I really need to justify my views.  As to the subject at hand I will clarify my view on Caitlyn Jenner.  I do not have a SINGLE thing against her.  I believe she has every right to do as she wishes.  If what makes her happy is to identify/act/dress as a woman, she should have every right to do so.  Her actions affect me in no way whatsoever.  I also think it is perfectly fine that she lived over half her life as a man.  It is also something that doesn't harm anyone, so I don't think anyone should have an issue with it.  I see similarities between Caitlyn Jenner and Dolezal in the sense that both are simply trying to live life the way that makes them happy.  The only thing I have done is relay what others have said on the issue to illustrate how discriminatory things said about Jenner also seem to apply to Dolezal.  I have never ONCE said that Jenner doesn't have the right to be who she wants, so honestly I don't know where your statement about me 'erasing' Caitlyn Jenner's identity comes from.  If you find a particular thing I said that you believe contributes to that please feel free to bring it to my attention and I will clarify it for you.
I've been reading. I see someone who's at best very very misguided - you don't get to claim your ally cookie while ignoring the actual wishes of real LGBT people, especially when they're telling you that your actions are harmful. As for Caitlyn Jenner specifically, what I was referring to specifically is this:

If you're going to use that argument I can very well go back to Bruce Jenner.  He has claimed that for a long time he identified as a woman.  Yet when he was younger he was in the Olympics AS a man.  Does that mean that he stole a position from an ACTUAL male who was more deserving?  Instead Caitlyn 'lied' about who she is and took advantage of the situation? Hell, maybe we should petition for him to give back his medal.  He claims to be a woman now, but can't still take credit for something he did while pretending to be a man right?  (You may think I'm joking but there are actually people out there who are petitioning to have Jenner's medal revoked. http://www.outsports.com/2015/6/3/8725393/caitlyn-jenner-transgender-petition-olympic-gold-medals )

I still see this as an issue of discrimination, people apply one set of standards to Bruce Jenner, yet when Donezal is dealing with some similar issues, suddenly she is subjected to a whole new set or rules that would be considered bigoted if applied to Jenner.

This thread is about a PoC issue, only extremely tangentally connected to trans* issues at all, and yet somehow there's all sorts of crap in here that reases our identites, perpetuates the harmful narratives, and erases identities. If you really want to use us as your poster children, is it too much to ask that you show us some respect beyond a few mouthed platitudes? Maybe even consider that the known and established lies in Dolezal's case do, in fact, make her case significantly different from ours?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:05:09 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Sho

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #100 on: June 19, 2015, 12:27:48 AM »
Alrighty. I’m going to do my best here to explain why this is an issue and address your questions/statements, IntensePlayer. I’m assuming that you genuinely just don’t understand what I’m trying to point out rather than assuming that you are willfully refusing to see that there is an issue.

Before I get into this, I’d love to point out that if a massive portion of a population is saying there is a problem (i.e. the black community saying that this is wrong), then sometimes we just need to suspend our personal disbelief and simply accept that. If ten women say that a particular action by a man bothers them, sometimes they don’t need to justify it, the behavior simply needs to stop.

Anyways.

Moving on to your various issues (and I’m gonna go ahead and apologize to everyone because this will likely get long. I’m going to start off by saying that it’s impossible for a black person to be racist against a white person (bear with me here). It is possible for a black person to be prejudiced to a white person (and that can certainly appear in the form of discrimination or violence), but racism implies that the person wielding that racism has a societal advantage. In short, white people can be racist (in America). Other races are prejudiced. This is the generally accepted definition in today’s current racial studies, particularly in America (and keep in mind, we’re discussing an American issue here).

I’ll touch on the hair. The thing is, Dolesal does have an influence on how people see her hair. Do you honestly believe that she chose knots and dreads simply because she liked the style and thought it was pretty? She didn’t. She chose the style precisely because it is associated with the black community. This isn’t the case of a white girl choosing a style that she likes and copying it because she’s genuinely a fan…this is the case of a white woman taking a traditionally black hairstyle and wearing it in order to make herself appear black precisely because she knows that hairstyle is associated with the black community.

As far as the n-word…I’m…I’m really not sure how to answer this. I’m assuming you’re not American? If you are, you would understand how charged this word is. To a certain extent, the black community has reclaimed the n-word in the same way that the gay community has reclaimed the word ‘fag’ (over-simplification, but I’m using it for an example). White people cannot use that word because of the history. It was a word used exclusively by white people with the intention of being hateful and exclusionary and, oftentimes, violent.

What you’re arguing with the hair and the word is that, effectively, history is irrelevant. By that logic it would be perfectly acceptable for me to use a blessed cross as a doorstopper or a Nazi armband as a decoration on a jacket simply because I liked the pattern. It would imply, in the best case scenario, a gross ignorance of the significance of those items and what they mean to people, and by appropriating them for my own personal convenience I would be disrespecting others. If I wore a Nazi armband as a decoration because I like the symbol, would it be wrong for a Jew to be insulted? That’s effectively the same argument as saying that a white woman wearing a black hairstyle (again, with the intention of pretending she’s black, not out of ignorance) should be able to do so without black people being insulted by it or commenting on it. I hope that clarifies things a bit?

Alrighty! Moving on to the idea of why things have to remain exclusive to black culture…well, they don’t. The key issue is the difference between appropriation and appreciation. Check out this article…it should help explain things a little bit. To break things down a little bit, no one is saying that black people can’t compose country music. No one is saying that white people can’t rap. What people are saying is that because these art forms are tied to tradition, that tradition must be respected and handled delicately. For instance, a black person who came from Africa and began singing about prejudiced, red-neck stereotypes would not be appreciated, just as white rappers from high-income suburban neighborhoods aren’t respected when they rap about being from the ‘ghetto’. Taking an art form and making it your own is fine, providing you use your power and platform to help raise those around you.

The primary issue with appropriation is that white people take something valued by ethnic minorities (take the bindi, for example), and they strip it entirely of it’s meaning. They use these things because they think it’s ‘cool’ or ‘pretty’. In Dolezal’s case, she used it because for some reason she wanted to align herself with a traditionally ill-treated group.

To address your point that black people should be able to express themselves however they want…well, again, ideal world. That would be great. The issue is, they can’t. They can’t, because those cultural differences are often seen as threatening by white people, so oftentimes when someone black is acting ‘white’, it’s because they have been pressured into doing so in order to fit in. The issue with white people doing that is that, again, you’re assuming both races are on a level playing field. I think it’s quite telling that society as a whole finds things edgy when white people do it but ‘gross’ or ‘thuggish’ when a black person does it. Again, even playing field, this would be all fine and dandy, but since racially we aren’t all even in America and don’t all have the same opportunities, not everyone gets to take culturally significant things from other people.


Alrighty moving onto the whole problematic Caitlyn Jenner/Dolezal comparison. Read this article please. It breaks down, a little bit, the fact that the differences in the brain chemistry of people who are transgendered is actually observable. It is absolutely not true that difference in brains between black and white have been observed. Until you can provide legitimate science to prove that black and white brains are notably different in the same way that male and female brains are different, and also prove that white people are born with ‘black’ brains, please leave this particular point alone.

Here’s the thing. I don’t need objective proof to say that Dolezal is wrong or lying. The person making the claim is the one who has to provide proof (and that’s how our legal system works, and it’s how science works).

Aaaaand moving on again. You seem to understand the cousin comparison, so I’ll stick with that. Perhaps you wouldn’t lash out at that person who lied to you…but then again, would you really sit there and say that no one had the right to be mad? That your fake cousin, in lying to you, hadn’t harmed you? That a lie that big hadn’t left a psychological scar on you? You’re saying that you wouldn’t judge that fake cousin but you would be angry and you would assume they were mentally ill. Interestingly, you don’t seem to be assuming that about Dolezal…you seem to be arguing that she has every right to do what she’s doing and that no one can prove that she doesn’t actually feel like she’s black inside, so she deserves to present herself that way. How is that different from your fake cousin scenario? Why are you able to defend one, but not the other?

And onto the final point! (I know this is getting long). You asked how Dolezal is hurting the black community? Here are a couple of ways. One: she is taking black identity in America and boiling it down to what she, a white woman, has stereotyped black people to be. This includes styling her hair in a specific way and attending an HBCU. Effectively, she’s reducing their heritage to a mere presentation. Two, she took a spot from a woman of color in an HBCU (in a community where educational access is often limited because of systemic racism, this isn’t just her hurting one person, it’s her damaging a part of the community). She may well have taken a spot from someone who had to overcome childhood hardships that she never had to face). Three, at the NAACP she used her experiences as “a black woman” to lend credibility to her anti-racism messages. All of those messages are now called into question as to their legitimacy because she lied about the major premise upon which she was presenting them, i.e. that she had experienced that racism herself rather than simply observing it. Fourthly, and arguably most importantly, as proved by your own point…she has, in her lies, caused a conversation that is now causing many white people to question what it is to be black. That’s frankly not our place. People who have never been black are now invalidating the black experience in America by saying, “Well, huh, why shouldn’t she be able to do it? Race is just a construct, so why can’t anyone jump in?”. Finally, by doing this, it proves that white people still can and still do take other identities and make them their own for selfish reasons. She wanted to feel black, I hypothesize, because she wanted to be a part of the ‘other’, of the minority. It’s not unlike kids joining the goths at school rather than the cheerleaders, except for, oh, you know, the damage it inflicts on the community. She wanted to be a victim. She wanted the attention that comes with being a victim, so she chose to lie about being a part of a group that is victimized regularly. Just like when women falsely claim rape and then undermine legitimate rape cases, Dolezal undermined the struggle of black men and women in America.

Whewwwwwww. Long post, and I hope I explained things a bit; I hope I explained them calmly. This is an emotional topic, IntensePlayer, but I think that you may want to keep in mind that minorities don’t owe you an explanation for their feelings. This is one of those situations where it may well be better to simply say “I don’t understand it fully, but if the vast majority of this population is angry and hurt by this, there must be a visceral reaction to this situation because of damage I can’t understand”. That would be my suggestion.

Offline Sho

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #101 on: June 19, 2015, 12:29:40 AM »
@IntensePlayer

Also, I'm going to agree with Ephiral. If you're going to claim solidarity with the LGBT (the 'T' in there is important!) community, please respect Caitlyn Jenner's wishes and refer to her as Caitlyn as opposed to Bruce.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #102 on: June 19, 2015, 12:48:34 AM »
This is how it seems to go with issues dealing with race...especially when its about black people. Whenever someone black answers, gives opinions, or facts...we are automatically called angry, immature, and illogical. But when someone who isn't black, gives the exact same points are considered logical and people can "see where they're coming from." This is why a lot of people are irritated with "why can't white people speak for black people" because we have our own voice. We aren't children, we know the issues better than anyone and its offensive when people ignore the fact that I'm an person with feelings and opinions and they should be heard.

I shouldn't need to call one my white friends to help me...I shouldn't have to do that.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #103 on: June 19, 2015, 12:53:30 AM »
Ephiral, let me try to respond to all of your points.

Everything you mentioned about Dolezal I have acknowledged in my past posts.  I have read her claim about identifying as black from the age of 5.  My interpretation of this is that it was the point where she started to realize that there is something different about her.  However just because a person comes to a realization about themselves, doesn't mean they'd feel comfortable enough admitting it to family or friends.  Also just because she felt she in part identified as black, also doesn't mean that in part she didn't identify as white.  After all the girl had white parents yet adopted black siblings.  I can see a person like that being confused for a while before they figured out how they truly feel.

As for her suing the Howard University I have read about that, though I don't know about the specifics.  I can't speak for her frame of mind as I do not know the person.  Perhaps at that point in her life she identified as white?  I don't think there is any rule that says you need to follow one particular narrative/belief your entire life?

I also read about her claiming some black man was her father.  I've already said in my earlier posts that I thought that was pretty messed up, so by no means am I choosing to 'ignore' the point.  It means she lied, as a result I still don't see how that means she doesn't have the right to express herself the way she sees fit?

I'd also like to clarify that I have not said anything negative about trans people.  I have provided links that have bigoted views against trans people only to illustrate that such views exist, and not that they are my line of thinking.  I have also never said or implied that trans people are lying.  What I did is quote the article that read "In attempting to pass as black, Dolezal falsely represented her identity. Trans people don't lie about their gender identities — they express their gender according to categories that reflect who they are."  My point was that the author of the article was that they believe Dolezal is falsely representing herself by claiming she is black.  When in reality there is no way to know how Dolezal sees herself.  The point I was trying to illustrate was that the author of the article chooses to believe trans people when they talk about their sexual identity, and simply chooses to believe Dolezal is lying even though it is impossible to objectively Dolezal believes.

Black people, or 'People of Color' are free to express themselves, I never said they couldn't.  All I'm saying is that other people who aren't white can also speak about race and racism.  That you don't need to BE black to understand racism, that you don't need to BE black to fight racism.  The reason I said The Daily Show's correspondent seemed racist was that she didn't have a problem with Dolezal had actually done while at the NAACP, but the fact that she couldn't do it because she was white.  Which to me still seems a little racist.

As for my 'notpology' it was to show that the things I'm saying aren't being said to offend anyone.  If I was trying to go after someone, I would say so.  It was my attempt to stay civil, and even now I have not said a single thing about you personally.  I am responding to your points and have no comments at all about who you are as a person.  I honestly don't think I need to do more than that to respect you.  When I said I feel sorry for you feeling insulted by what I said I meant it.  However I do believe in what I'm saying, and I do think it is important to share that.  So while you being hurt by my words is unfortunate, I will still speak my mind.

You said: "I've been reading. I see someone who's at best very very misguided - you don't get to claim your ally cookie while ignoring the actual wishes of real LGBT people, especially when they're telling you that your actions are harmful. As for Caitlyn Jenner specifically, what I was referring to specifically is this:"

I said I support LGBT, and I still do.  However just because I do doesn't mean I have to filter all my opinions to make sure they match up with LGBT ideology.  There are also people in this vary thread who identify as trans who also see certain similarities between Jenner and Dolezal, so I don't see LGBT as some one minded community where they all feel and think the same thing.  To do so would be ignorant and arrogant.  I don't see how my opinion on this subject works against LGBT.  On that note I also don't need the approval to feel justified in my view.  I believe all people should have equal rights, that those who are transgender should be able to express themselves.  That two consenting adults should be able to marry one another, despite the sex they identify with.  These are MY views that just happen to align with LGBT.  If for some reason tomorrow the LGBT community decides otherwise, MY views will stay the same.

As for what you quoted about Caitlyn Jenner.  I have known her as Bruce longer than I have her as Caitlyn.  When I refer to her as Bruce it isn't some malicious thing said to diminish her.  It is merely me not yet being used to calling her as Caitlyn.  Either way I don't know Caitlyn Jenner, and I doubt she visits these forums.  What I am saying about her has NO impact on her whatsoever, so I still think you were way off about your remark about me 'erasing' her identity.

Lastly: "This thread is about a PoC issue, only extremely tangentally connected to trans* issues at all, and yet somehow there's all sorts of crap in here that reases our identites, perpetuates the harmful narratives, and erases identities. If you really want to use us as your poster children, is it too much to ask that you show us some respect beyond a few mouthed platitudes? Maybe even consider that the known and established lies in Dolezal's case do, in fact, make her case significantly different from ours?"

To that I can only say this.  To ME this isn't a people of color issue, to me it is a freedom of expression issue.  I have said plenty of times now that transgender issues and transracial issues are two very different things.  All I have said is that I see similarities between the two of them.  I have also been nothing but respectful to everyone who has posted in this thread, and I have also talked about transgender with nothing but respect.  Just because my opinion on the subject differs from you does not mean I am demonizing transgender people.  You are projecting your views onto me.  You believe that Dolezal having lied about things should have an impact on her having the freedom to express herself.  I myself believe otherwise.  I addressed the issue of her lies earlier in this post, and at the end of the day I STILL believe she has the right to express herself however she sees fit.

Ps. Sho your post came up just as I was getting ready to post this one.  So I'm going to post this message, then read yours and respond to it.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #104 on: June 19, 2015, 01:51:50 AM »
Ephiral, let me try to respond to all of your points.

Everything you mentioned about Dolezal I have acknowledged in my past posts.  I have read her claim about identifying as black from the age of 5.  My interpretation of this is that it was the point where she started to realize that there is something different about her.  However just because a person comes to a realization about themselves, doesn't mean they'd feel comfortable enough admitting it to family or friends.  Also just because she felt she in part identified as black, also doesn't mean that in part she didn't identify as white.  After all the girl had white parents yet adopted black siblings.  I can see a person like that being confused for a while before they figured out how they truly feel.

As for her suing the Howard University I have read about that, though I don't know about the specifics.  I can't speak for her frame of mind as I do not know the person.  Perhaps at that point in her life she identified as white?  I don't think there is any rule that says you need to follow one particular narrative/belief your entire life?

I also read about her claiming some black man was her father.  I've already said in my earlier posts that I thought that was pretty messed up, so by no means am I choosing to 'ignore' the point.  It means she lied, as a result I still don't see how that means she doesn't have the right to express herself the way she sees fit?

I'd also like to clarify that I have not said anything negative about trans people.  I have provided links that have bigoted views against trans people only to illustrate that such views exist, and not that they are my line of thinking.  I have also never said or implied that trans people are lying.  What I did is quote the article that read "In attempting to pass as black, Dolezal falsely represented her identity. Trans people don't lie about their gender identities — they express their gender according to categories that reflect who they are."  My point was that the author of the article was that they believe Dolezal is falsely representing herself by claiming she is black.  When in reality there is no way to know how Dolezal sees herself.  The point I was trying to illustrate was that the author of the article chooses to believe trans people when they talk about their sexual identity, and simply chooses to believe Dolezal is lying even though it is impossible to objectively Dolezal believes.
And here's my problem with that: When you say that "trans people are telling the truth about their identities and Dolezal is lying" is just an opinion and may be wrong, there are two possible interpretations here: You are suggesting that either Dolezal may be honest, or that trans people may be lying about their identities.

We know for a fact that Dolezal has lies about her race. This is not up for debate. So... we can strike that one off the list. What does that leave us with? Either you have to ignore that she absolutely was lying (which you claim you aren't doing), or you are saying that trans people are lying about their identities.

Black people, or 'People of Color' are free to express themselves, I never said they couldn't.  All I'm saying is that other people who aren't white can also speak about race and racism.  That you don't need to BE black to understand racism, that you don't need to BE black to fight racism.  The reason I said The Daily Show's correspondent seemed racist was that she didn't have a problem with Dolezal had actually done while at the NAACP, but the fact that she couldn't do it because she was white.  Which to me still seems a little racist.
You claimed that it was racist to not let a white person speak for people of colour.Not ally themselves with, not add their voice to, but speak for. The correspondent you quoted even specifically said "We need allies". There is no conflict there - she wouldn't have had a problem with Dolezal speaking out against racism as a white person - the issue, specifically stated, was that she was replacing a black voice by virtue of pretending to be a black voice.

As for my 'notpology' it was to show that the things I'm saying aren't being said to offend anyone.  If I was trying to go after someone, I would say so.  It was my attempt to stay civil, and even now I have not said a single thing about you personally.  I am responding to your points and have no comments at all about who you are as a person.  I honestly don't think I need to do more than that to respect you.  When I said I feel sorry for you feeling insulted by what I said I meant it.  However I do believe in what I'm saying, and I do think it is important to share that.  So while you being hurt by my words is unfortunate, I will still speak my mind.
"Sorry you took that the wrong way" is not an apology. "I'm sorry I phrased that poorly", for example, would be. The wrong action here is not how I feel, it's equating trans people with a known liar.

I said I support LGBT, and I still do.  However just because I do doesn't mean I have to filter all my opinions to make sure they match up with LGBT ideology.
Talking over us isn't support. Erasing our identities isn't support. Perpetuating the narrative of trans people as deceitful isn't support.

There are also people in this vary thread who identify as trans who also see certain similarities between Jenner and Dolezal, so I don't see LGBT as some one minded community where they all feel and think the same thing.  To do so would be ignorant and arrogant.  I don't see how my opinion on this subject works against LGBT.
You really don't see how "This person who has definitely lied about their identity should be welcomed, because we welcome trans people!" plays into the narrative of trans people as liars? The narrative which, as I've mentioned before, gets us killed?

On that note I also don't need the approval to feel justified in my view.  I believe all people should have equal rights, that those who are transgender should be able to express themselves.  That two consenting adults should be able to marry one another, despite the sex they identify with.  These are MY views that just happen to align with LGBT.  If for some reason tomorrow the LGBT community decides otherwise, MY views will stay the same.
Sure, you're absolutely free to have your opinions and say what you want. And I'm absolutely free to point out that perpetuating things that cause harm to us is not how one goes about being an ally.

As for what you quoted about Caitlyn Jenner.  I have known her as Bruce longer than I have her as Caitlyn.  When I refer to her as Bruce it isn't some malicious thing said to diminish her.  It is merely me not yet being used to calling her as Caitlyn.  Either way I don't know Caitlyn Jenner, and I doubt she visits these forums.  What I am saying about her has NO impact on her whatsoever, so I still think you were way off about your remark about me 'erasing' her identity.
When you misgender a trans person, when you use their old name, you tell other trans people that our gender and identity either don't matter or aren't quite real to you. That's why this is important. This wasn't a huge deal in and of itself - hell, I still misgender some people who are a lot closer to me than Caitlyn Jenner is. You know what I do about it? I correct myself, say "Sorry about that", and move on, because I screwed up. You have instead chosen to try to justify your error and push it back as my mistaken perception. This... does not paint you in a flattering light.

To that I can only say this.  To ME this isn't a people of color issue, to me it is a freedom of expression issue.  I have said plenty of times now that transgender issues and transracial issues are two very different things.  All I have said is that I see similarities between the two of them.  I have also been nothing but respectful to everyone who has posted in this thread, and I have also talked about transgender with nothing but respect.  Just because my opinion on the subject differs from you does not mean I am demonizing transgender people.  You are projecting your views onto me.  You believe that Dolezal having lied about things should have an impact on her having the freedom to express herself.  I myself believe otherwise.  I addressed the issue of her lies earlier in this post, and at the end of the day I STILL believe she has the right to express herself however she sees fit.
Blackface: Not a PoC issue. Misgendering trans people: Respectful. Freedom of expression: Threatened by people who explicitly say "She's free to say this and we're free to find it offensive." Equating a known liar with a trans person: Not harmful at all. Is this an accurate summary of your position, then?

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #105 on: June 19, 2015, 02:38:49 AM »
Sho, I will get to you.  Promise.

Ephiral,

The whole thing where you imply that what I'm really saying is that trans people are lying is false.  You keep twisting my words to try and suit your narrative, I imagine you'll continue to do so.  I'm not saying anyone is lying about their identity.  I'm saying trans people are honest in how they identify themselves, and I believe Dolezal is also being honest in how she is identifying herself.  I... Don't really know how to portray my view in a simpler form.

You see Dolezal is a liar, and you just assume that me pointing out similarities between the two issues means I am lumping Dolezal in the same category as transgender, and thus labeling transgender people as liars.  That simply isn't what I'm saying, however if you want to continue to put words in my mouth I suppose you're free to do so.


"You claimed that it was racist to not let a white person speak for people of colour.Not ally themselves with, not add their voice to, but speak for. The correspondent you quoted even specifically said "We need allies". There is no conflict there - she wouldn't have had a problem with Dolezal speaking out against racism as a white person - the issue, specifically stated, was that she was replacing a black voice by virtue of pretending to be a black voice."

Dolezal may not have spent he entire life as a black person but she did for at least 10 years.  Who is to say that she hasn't been discriminated like a person who was born black within those 10 years?  Black or white Dolezal has spoken for black rights, has spoken about black issues.  So I still stand by my point that if everything she has done and said is now meaningless simply because people know she used to be white.  This is one of those points where I see a relation between how Dolezal is being treated and how a transgender person like Caitlyn Jenner would be treated.  It would be the exact same argument to say that Caitlyn Jenner doesn't have a right to speak for/as a woman simply because she only transitioned into a woman and wasn't born as one.

"Sorry you took that the wrong way" is not an apology. "I'm sorry I phrased that poorly", for example, would be. The wrong action here is not how I feel, it's equating trans people with a known liar.

I don't really think there is anything else for me to say on this.  I don't think I phrased anything poorly.  I guess I will continue to see some similarities between Jenner and Dolezal, and you'll continue to be offended by my view.

"Talking over us isn't support. Erasing our identities isn't support. Perpetuating the narrative of trans people as deceitful isn't support." 

I haven't done any of that.  It is your view and I suppose you're free to keep pushing that opinion.  It really doesn't move the debate along and what people think of me on an internet forum really doesn't bother me or affect my life one way or the other.

"You really don't see how "This person who has definitely lied about their identity should be welcomed, because we welcome trans people!" plays into the narrative of trans people as liars? The narrative which, as I've mentioned before, gets us killed?"

Again.  I'm not doing that.  I don't have any animosity towards anyone nor wish to see them harmed or killed.  I can't be held responsible for other people's actions.  Hitler was a christian and believed he was doing god's work.  Is god or Christianity to blame because Hitler misconstrued the bible?  No.  The blame lies entirely on him.  The most I can say is I don't wish to see any person, be it transgender or otherwise to be harmed or killed.  No one reading my words is going to go out and kill a trans person, and IF they did it wouldn't be cause I endorsed it because I have very clearly just stated what my view is.

"Sure, you're absolutely free to have your opinions and say what you want. And I'm absolutely free to point out that perpetuating things that cause harm to us is not how one goes about being an ally."

You are very much free to think and say that.  I however am not going to call you names or insinuate things about you because that simply does not move the debate/conversation along.

"When you misgender a trans person, when you use their old name, you tell other trans people that our gender and identity either don't matter or aren't quite real to you. That's why this is important. This wasn't a huge deal in and of itself - hell, I still misgender some people who are a lot closer to me than Caitlyn Jenner is. You know what I do about it? I correct myself, say "Sorry about that", and move on, because I screwed up. You have instead chosen to try to justify your error and push it back as my mistaken perception. This... does not paint you in a flattering light."

You actually are right on this point, and even though I didn't say it I am going to be more conscious about it from now on and refer to her as Caitlyn Jenner.

"Blackface: Not a PoC issue. Misgendering trans people: Respectful. Freedom of expression: Threatened by people who explicitly say "She's free to say this and we're free to find it offensive." Equating a known liar with a trans person: Not harmful at all. Is this an accurate summary of your position, then?"

"Blackface: Not a PoC issue."
I'm not saying that people can't see this as a blackface issue.  I'm just saying that I don't see it as a 'blackface' issue.  I am sharing my views as to why, just like black people are free to share why they think this is a blackface issue.

"Misgendering trans people: Respectful."
Just because I'm saying I see some similarities between the two situation you're claiming that I'm saying the two are the same because it helps push the narrative you have of me.  Again it doesn't really move the conversation/debate forward.

"Freedom of expression: Threatened by people who explicitly say "She's free to say this and we're free to find it offensive."
I never said people don't have the right to be offended.  Indeed freedom of speech goes both ways.  I said that people shouldn't find it offensive.  That however is my opinion.  Me saying "People shouldn't find that offensive" and me saying "You have no right to be offended, stop right now!!" are two very different things.  I can express my opinion without demanding others adhere to my way of thinking.

"Equating a known liar with a trans person: Not harmful at all. Is this an accurate summary of your position, then?"
You keep pushing that narrative as if somehow if you say it enough it'll become true.  That is not what I'm saying at all.  Again, you keep pushing the idea because I suppose it is just easier to put me in a specific box and classify me as someone who is just purposely being offensive all while using it as an excuse to dismiss my arguments and my point of view.

Offline Evolution

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #106 on: June 19, 2015, 05:57:18 AM »
Sho,

I kinda saved your reply for last because I wanted to take my time with it.  I've been spending a lot of time responding in this thread and it takes a fair bit of time.  Your post is one of the few that I think is actually moving the discussion forward.  I also appreciate you taking the time to respond to my points.  It was also really informative reading the points you made.  I may not have necessarily agreed with all of them but it was a good read.  I got a really good feel for the views you were trying to relay, so before I respond point to point I figured I'd try to explain my side of the argument.

For some people this is a big race/racial issue, and for other people their big issue is that Dolezal has lied about a great many things, and as such she must be lying about how she feels about her own race.  Or that she doesn't really care about anything other than being a victim and getting sympathy.  To me... This issue isn't about any of those things.  To me it is about a person having the freedom to express themselves.  I'm well aware that this makes some people uncomfortable, that its hurtful to others, and downright offensive to some.  My side of the argument would be the exact same if she was a black woman who was claiming to be white.  I don't believe that she needs the approval of another community to do something that makes her happy.  More than that it isn't Dolezal that I believe in, but more the idea of freedom of expression.  I'll elaborate just a little more on that point.  There are people who in this thread who have had a huge problem with me comparing Dolezal's situation with Caitlyn Jenner's.  Mainly because they see Dolezal as a liar, and as such I'm groping transgender people with a liar, the implication being that it means transgender people are lairs.  My question though is this.  What if there were  inconsistencies in her so called 'story'.  What if she is someone who claimed she identified as black from a young age, and everything she did was her trying to make that transition to be as physically close to that race as she felt on the inside.  I don't know Dolezal's mindset.  I can't say what it feels like to be a black person, just like I can't say what it must feel like to be a white person who feels they're black, or some other race on the inside.  She could be the only person on earth who ever has, or ever will feel that way, and just because she is in the smallest of minorities doesn't mean that she doesn't have a right to feel what she feels ya know?  That in a nutshell is where I stand on the subject.

That being said let me respond to your post itself.

In both the beginning and end of your post you emphasized how the majority of black people seem to feel a particular way about the situation so I should just suspend my personal belief.  To me that isn't really a valid enough reason to take back my opinion.  I mean once the majority believed that the earth is actually flat.  At one point in America's history the majority believed that slavery was perfectly okay.  Just because the majority believes something doesn't necessarily mean they're right.

I think our definition of racism might just be one of those things that we disagree on.  To me the implication and intent of a white person calling a black person the n word is the same as a black person calling a white person cracker.  Each is intended to be harmful.  The definition is just semantics to me.

The hair issue..  I can certainly see where you are coming from.  My point of view just happens to be different.  I think the issue you have has more to do with what the general consensus is of that style of hair.  What Dolezal does with her hair doesn't affect how white people see that style of hair.  The issue you have is that you believe she did it solemnly because it is a part of black culture, and to you that is wrong.  To me the reason is kinda irrelevant.  It doesn't matter to me if she did it because 1. She thought it looked cool or 2. She did it so she could look more black.  My end argument stays the same that she should still have the right to do it regardless of why.

About the N word, I do understand the history behind it.  I'm in Louisiana at the moment and there is actually a lot of racism here still, despite the fact that there is a very big black population here.  I believe it was sometime mid last year that someone was going around throwing KKK business cards on people's yards.  Some parts of northern Louisiana are still considered 'kkk country'... Which.. Honestly is pretty f-ed up and depressing in its own right, especially considering its 2015.  In some parts of the country racism is very strong.  That being said I still try to stay objective on the use of the n word.  It would be one thing if black people didn't use it at all, and didn't want others to use it.  To me what it boils down to is, once group of people CAN use the word because of their race, while another can't, ironically also because of their race.  This is another point that I think we just disagree on.

Your remark about using the cross as a door stopper.  I actually don't see anything wrong with that.  First commandment: You shall have no other gods before me.  Second commandment: You shall not make idols.  I know some people consider Jesus to be god, and an incarnate of god, but even so I believe the cross is an idol.  Not to mention we idolize a lot of religious figures.  People praying to the virgin Mary, and the saints.  That is a little off topic however.  You mentioned the swastika.  How if you wore a swastika armband and someone of the Jewish faith saw it, that they would be entitled in feeling offended.  I definitely think the Jewish person in that scenario would have the right to be offended.  The swastika is actually an Indian/Hindu symbol.  So in that same scenario, say the person wearing the swastika is a white Hindu.  Is the Hindu in the wrong for wearing it even though he is merely expressing is culture and religion, or should he just not express himself via his religion because Nazi's happen to steal their symbol and made it a symbol of evil? Or..  Should the Jewish person first make an inquiry and ask the reason behind the swastika being worn before getting offended?  My point here is simply this, it is a complicated subject, and there isn't always a clear 'right' or a clear 'wrong'. 

"The primary issue with appropriation is that white people take something valued by ethnic minorities (take the bindi, for example), and they strip it entirely of it’s meaning. They use these things because they think it’s ‘cool’ or ‘pretty’. In Dolezal’s case, she used it because for some reason she wanted to align herself with a traditionally ill-treated group."  I don't believe that is a valid argument, for no other reason than why do white people have such a big influence on black culture?  I'll go back to your hair example.  If you want dreads, why are you letting white people's definition of it being 'dirty' or whatever, affect your actions?  I mean in certain instances you just have to make sacrifices to function in the world. I mean I'd like to run around naked everywhere, but if I did I'd probably 1. get arrested and I'd get singled out.  I think for me I'm just... Whats the word.. More of an internal person?  The clothes I wear don't really matter to me, nor does my type of hairstyle.  I can see your side of the argument though.  That in some instances black people can't express themselves because there is this image that dreaded hair on black people is dirty, so if they want a good job and whatnot, they have to forgo that one thing that they feel expresses who they are.  I do understand, I just don't see Dolezal as a contributing factor ya know?

You briefly talked about 'an ideal world'.  Which actually reminded me of a quote.  Its from a tv show called Angel, the main character talking to his son.  Anyway the quote is "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh, and cruel. But that's why there's us - champions. Doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world is as it should be, to show it what it can be." I wouldn't say I 'live' by that, but I do believe in the sentiment because that is the world I want to live in.  I do think the world needs to change, and I think the first step in changing the world is changing ourselves.  In a perfect world I don't think Dolezal's actions would be an issue, and she'd surely have the right to do whatever she wanted because there would be no racism/oppression.  That is the mindset that I try to have.  That is one of the ways I fight racism, bigotry, and cruelty.  That being said I also see where you are coming from, that sometimes we have to compromise ourselves to live in the world we live in as opposed to the world we want to live in.  I think were we differ is where, and for what things we each compromise for.  For you race and racial issues are things where at times you're forced to compromise.

I'll try to give you an example for something I'd make a compromise for.  Say I had a daughter and she calls me up and says "Dad, I'm going bar hopping and drinking on my own late at night tonight okay?"  In a perfect world I could just say "Sure sweetheart, you're an adult, you can do whatever you want" Because in a perfect world a young woman could do whatever she wanted, go wherever she wanted without any danger.  However we don't live in that world, so what I say to her would have to reflect the world we live in. "I want you to have fun sweetheart but the world is a dangerous place.  If you're going to have fun please practice caution.  If you're going to drink, know your limit.  If you're going clubbing or bar hopping go with a friend and never do it alone, especially late at night." That is a situation that for me you have to compromise in order to make sure your loved one is safe.

You mentioned the scholarship thing, and if I'm being honest there has been a lot of 'back and forth' with Dolezal, so I can definitely see her taking something away from a black person who has fought hard to get to that point, was denied that opportunity because of Dolezal.  I really can't argue that, and I don't.  However I still see it as an act that has affected just one person, not an entire community as a whole.  Just because something happens to one black person, doesn't always mean mean that all black people are affected.  Of course I'm not saying, nor am I implying that that is ALWAYS the case.  I just believe that in this situation it is something that only affects that one person that she potentially stole the scholarship from.

Going back to the fake cousin example, you asked me why I can defend one point and not the other.  The reason I can is because I don't see them as the same thing.  The cousin example is something that would affect ME, PERSONALLY.  It is something that would have become a part of my life, someone who would have affected my day to day life.  Someone who I would have invested my love, and emotion into.  So.. I can see the anger, and hate, and all that jazz.  Now in relation to Dolezal.  What she did... I don't believe affects the black community in that way.  I've said before that at best people can just classify her as 'a crazy person' and move on.  Continue going on with their lives, and deal with the issues that matter.  Especially know that she isn't even part of the NAACP, she is literally 'just some crazy woman' according to a lot of people.  Why does she have such a hold on the black community?  Because they choose to make it an issue.

Now about the articles you linked me to.  I was able to read the 'Appropriation vs Appreciation' link, however the other one that was from the The Wall Street Journal, you either have to be a member and signed into read the article.  If you pm me the article I will surely read it.  While I understood where the appropriation article was coming from I suppose that just isn't how I think.  I don't really feel a cultural affinity to the clothes I wear and as such I really don't pay much heed to if the things I'm wearing affects other cultures or not.  The way I see it one person wearing a sombrero, or something related to some other culture isn't going to have an impact.  I'm not sensitive about those things so I expect the same of others.

Okay I think that covers everything.  Mind you it is almost 6am and I have been up all night so I'm not exactly 100%.  I will say this though, out of all the posts I have responded to in this thread I think yours has been my favorite, and one of the few posts where I felt some kind of meaningful exchange was being had.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #107 on: June 19, 2015, 07:34:29 AM »
This is a somewhat scattergun reply picking out points that caught my attention:

"Cultural appropriation remains a concern for a variety of reasons. For one, this sort of “borrowing” is exploitative because it robs minority groups of the credit they deserve. Art and music forms that originated with minority groups come to be associated with members of the dominant group. As a result, the dominant group is deemed innovative and edgy, while the disadvantaged groups they “borrow” from continue to face negative stereotypes that imply they’re lacking in intelligence and creativity. In addition, when members of a dominant group appropriate the cultures of others, they often reinforce stereotypes about minority groups."

This strikes me as a far more limited use of the term then it's commonly presented as. Each Halloween one can invariably expect a celebrity to wear a First Nation/Native American style headdress and for them invariably to be called out for cultural appropriation in doing so. Yet the very fact that it's referred to as a First Nation/Native American style headdress indicates to me that it's clear who the headdress is associated with. The same strikes me as applying to music; you may get non-African (and more specifically non-Zulu) groups who sing in a isicathamiya or mbube style but those styles are still presented and known as being African. Hip hop is similar... there are huge numbers of non-black rappers, DJ's, b-boys and graffeti artists, but hip hop is still presented as something tied deeply to black culture (more specifically African-American). Perhaps the only example I can really think of is rock and roll which is largely presented as a white movement despite the incredibly heavy debt it owes to rhythm and blues, swing jazz and ragtime. But even then rock and roll also owes a considerable debt to country and traditional European folk; it strikes me that rock and roll was a blending of a multitude of musical styles from a multitude of sources rather than any single one (or even a number) being appropriated from others.

So to answer your question, Donezal's appropriation of traditionally black hairstyles designed to be protective (re: her box braids, bantu knots, and dreads) of natural hair to stop breakage is harmful.

Dreads strike me as quite an awkward example here because there's already been... I'm not sure "reverse cultural appropriation" is the appropriate term but it somewhat conveys the point... with them. These days most people associate dreadlocks with black and, more specifically, Jamaican rasta culture but their origins are far more diverse than that. The Maasai of Kenya are famous for their own take on dreadlocks and could they not claim that their tribes culture being absorbed into a wider "black" culture is appropriation of its own? The Ngagpa of Tibet historically wore dreads as do many Hindu holy men (and women). Many Greeks appeared to wear dreads with a large number of the surviving kouros depicting men wearing them. Perhaps the best example to point to however is the Nazirites as the Rastafarian style of dreadlocks is explicitly taken from them. In essence with dreadlocks what you have is a style which today is heavily associated with one cultural group and thus ignores the other sources while the cultural group it is associated with openly took it (I'm not sure if appropriated is the right term to use) from another.

Before I get into this, I’d love to point out that if a massive portion of a population is saying there is a problem (i.e. the black community saying that this is wrong), then sometimes we just need to suspend our personal disbelief and simply accept that. If ten women say that a particular action by a man bothers them, sometimes they don’t need to justify it, the behavior simply needs to stop.

I'm not sure I can agree with this at all. We can all point to examples both current and historic where a massive portion of a given population say there is a problem and that something is wrong. And we've been on the right side of history to ignore them. Even today we have to deal with the homophobes, frequently religious, who claim that LGBT people are "against nature" (or similar such phrases) and they are unfortunately still a fairly largish part of the population. Things were worse not that long ago. To use America as an example in 2001 around 60% opposed gay marriage. Even today its around 40%. Those who stated they were religious were even less tolerant. To go with the UK in the 1980's more than half the population didn't think it was acceptable for a gay or lesbian person to be a teacher and 4/10 didn't think it was acceptable for them to hold a position in public life. Thankfully rather than say "well, a large amount of the population thinks it's a problem so we'll stop" LGBT people and their allies continued to both campaign and take part in public life and attitudes changed (although there's still considerable work to be done).

Alrighty moving onto the whole problematic Caitlyn Jenner/Dolezal comparison. Read this article please. It breaks down, a little bit, the fact that the differences in the brain chemistry of people who are transgendered is actually observable. It is absolutely not true that difference in brains between black and white have been observed. Until you can provide legitimate science to prove that black and white brains are notably different in the same way that male and female brains are different, and also prove that white people are born with ‘black’ brains, please leave this particular point alone.

Actually it's been established for a long, long time that there are differences between the brains of different races. What hasn't been established is if that actually makes any material difference and, if it does, what those differences are. Here's one study that sums up some existing research while offering some of its own.

Except they aren't even remotely similar, as explained quite thoroughly here, here, & here.

None of these articles strike me as explaining the difference with any real clarity or confidence.

The first bases it's argument on the fact that Dolezal is lying about her identity while trans* people are not. But those advocating for a trans* race position are arguing that what Dolezal is doing isn't lying; she's reflecting her true identity. They may be right or wrong by taking that position but the article never really gets gives a satisfactory answer to why they're wrong.

It focuses on skin colour as racial identity and that your skin colour defines the way people interact with you. But if before this whole controversy had broken I'd put a picture of Dolezal up in this forum and posted "I don't think she's black" merely on the basis of how she looks I suspect the replies I got would hardly be supportive of me. If skin colour defines race and how one is perceived and interacted with then the argument has to follow that having a "black" skin colour, whatever the source, is enough to make one black. It also leads us to the rather awkward position where albinos are denied their racial heritage on account of their condition. As I mentioned before Dolezal may have had some form of "pale privilege" when presenting herself as black due to the relative lightness of her skin tone but then so do many people with two black parents.

The article then makes the point that Dolezal could "change back"; change her hair, stop using tanning products etc etc and take her privilege back. That's undoubtedly true but it strikes me as being a weak argument on two levels. The first is that she didn't and doesn't appear to be about to do so now. The article talks about how being black entails discrimination, marginalization, oppression and so on. As far as I'm aware no-one outside of her family questioned Dolezal's "blackness" prior to this news breaking or treated her as if she wasn't black. Thus she has spent years being subject to those same things. The second weakness is that it seems to me this argument actually undermines the distinction the argument is trying to make between race and sex/gender. Pre-op a trans* person can stop taking hormones and stop presenting themselves as the sex/gender they feel inside and thus no longer be treated as trans. Even post-op, surgeries can be reversed; would we look at this person and think of them as being a transwoman? The fact that something can be reversed doesn't strike me as being a strong argument to suggest that it isn't "real". Now, the counter here would be to go back to the first point of the article; that Dolezal is false representing her identity while trans* people, reverseable outer appearance or not, are presenting what is truly inside. But as I first mentioned, the article at no points puts together a convincing argument that Dolezal is falsely representing herself rather than reflecting what she feels inside; they use the skin colour, treatment by others and reversibility angle that I've mentioned above.

The article about the Daily Show segment has the same issue; it takes as read that Dolezal is lying about how she feels or identifies and doesn't even begin to engage with the argument that she identifies as black and feels black (whatever that may mean) on the inside.

The third article runs into the issue that it claims both race and gender (note; not gender roles, gender) are social constructs and then spends the rest of it desperately trying to back away from that position. It argues that Dolezal can't feel "black" because as a social construct there's no such internal feeling as "black"; it's something assigned to you by others. But if something being a social construct means that one can't "feel" it internally then how can a trans* person feel their gender internally? It argues that while a white person such as Dolezal could pass as black a black person could not do the same... an argument which struggles with someone like Anatole Broyard. It's idea that you're either 100% or not white at all also faces difficulties when confronted by say Wentworth Miller or Clark Gable... two people who I suspect if people were shown a picture of and told to identify their race most would say "white" despite their mixed heritage. Perhaps most dramatically George Zimmerman was frequently portrayed as white in the media.

Offline Haloriel

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #108 on: June 19, 2015, 07:54:12 AM »
-reads thread, and blinks slowly-

I ...

Yes.

Liars suck and should not do that.  It is not nice and hurts others and in fact does damage the self.

Forgive me, while I could actually type out several paragraphs about this "issue", I simply do not desire to. 

End of the day, the woman lied and it was both sad and hilarious (because she earned the bad press imo) to see her lies fall apart as they usually do.   Nothing else really matters to me.

However:

@consortium11: Wentworth Miller's features actually look a lot like my sons (he's a tiny kid though, mine is) and I'd not call either white unless he desired it.  I personally am of varied (mostly non-white) ethnicity and my husband is varied European-American).  People actually get confused when they meet only my children and husband first because both of my young ones do not look like any specific ethnic group unless you know what to pin point.  One person (a Syrian woman) in the grocery store asked if my daughter was partially Saudi Arabian (and she is not, but does have an extremely small Semitic heritage).

Fascinatingly, Zimmerman is Peruvian/German-American (with supposedly a bit of African heritage on the Peruvian side), and identified as Hispanic.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 09:59:21 AM by Haloriel »

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #109 on: June 19, 2015, 09:28:31 AM »
The reason why dreads are brought up is because of how black people are seen dirty or drug dealers for wearing them...however a modern white person is praised for trying something different. Tribal cultures in general have similarities....but we are modernized people and why it's hurtful. I dony know why thats so hard to understand.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 09:42:44 AM by la dame en noir »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #110 on: June 19, 2015, 10:29:02 AM »
First of all, something I think I should mention: I have absolutely no issue with comparison, in the abstract, of the concept of transgender and transracial. My issue lies mostly in comparing this person who is a known, proven liar on matters of identity and race with trans people.

The whole thing where you imply that what I'm really saying is that trans people are lying is false.  You keep twisting my words to try and suit your narrative, I imagine you'll continue to do so.  I'm not saying anyone is lying about their identity.  I'm saying trans people are honest in how they identify themselves, and I believe Dolezal is also being honest in how she is identifying herself.  I... Don't really know how to portray my view in a simpler form.
Okay. So you believe Dolezal is telling the truth despite having been caught lying and admitting this was a lie. Which means that, contrary to your prior statements, you are in fact ignoring that she is a liar on matters directly pertaining to race and identity.

You see Dolezal is a liar, and you just assume that me pointing out similarities between the two issues means I am lumping Dolezal in the same category as transgender, and thus labeling transgender people as liars.  That simply isn't what I'm saying, however if you want to continue to put words in my mouth I suppose you're free to do so.
You have repeatedly asked why we shouldn't accept Dolezal, given that we accept trans people. The answer "Because she is a known liar on matters pertaining to her claimed identity." has not satisfied you. Ergo, you are asserting - whether or not you intend to - that if trans people are acceptable, then people who lie about their identities are. Which strongly implies that trans people are lying about their identities. This is an unavoidable implication of your argument, unless you actually take the time to acknowledge and address that her lying makes the two wildly different.


Dolezal may not have spent he entire life as a black person but she did for at least 10 years.  Who is to say that she hasn't been discriminated like a person who was born black within those 10 years?  Black or white Dolezal has spoken for black rights, has spoken about black issues.  So I still stand by my point that if everything she has done and said is now meaningless simply because people know she used to be white.  This is one of those points where I see a relation between how Dolezal is being treated and how a transgender person like Caitlyn Jenner would be treated.  It would be the exact same argument to say that Caitlyn Jenner doesn't have a right to speak for/as a woman simply because she only transitioned into a woman and wasn't born as one.
Except that this completely ignores the historical context of white people speaking for black people, talking over them, and making decisions for them. Trans people do not have such a history of speaking for cis people.

I don't really think there is anything else for me to say on this.  I don't think I phrased anything poorly.  I guess I will continue to see some similarities between Jenner and Dolezal, and you'll continue to be offended by my view.
There are some similar concepts at play, sure. And those might be worth investigating - but not unless we take pains to make it clear that there is also at least one huuuuuuge difference that makes accepting Dolezal on the grounds that we accept trans people difficult and problematic.

"Talking over us isn't support. Erasing our identities isn't support. Perpetuating the narrative of trans people as deceitful isn't support." 

I haven't done any of that.  It is your view and I suppose you're free to keep pushing that opinion.  It really doesn't move the debate along and what people think of me on an internet forum really doesn't bother me or affect my life one way or the other.
By "move the debate along", you mean "roll over and accept your position"? No, I'm not going to do that. Spoiler alert: Not only have you done these things, you will apologize for one of them later in this very post.

"You really don't see how "This person who has definitely lied about their identity should be welcomed, because we welcome trans people!" plays into the narrative of trans people as liars? The narrative which, as I've mentioned before, gets us killed?"

Again.  I'm not doing that.  I don't have any animosity towards anyone nor wish to see them harmed or killed.  I can't be held responsible for other people's actions.  Hitler was a christian and believed he was doing god's work.  Is god or Christianity to blame because Hitler misconstrued the bible?  No.  The blame lies entirely on him.  The most I can say is I don't wish to see any person, be it transgender or otherwise to be harmed or killed.  No one reading my words is going to go out and kill a trans person, and IF they did it wouldn't be cause I endorsed it because I have very clearly just stated what my view is.
I would absolutely argue that people who supported Hitler's presentation of the Jews as causing all of Germany's problems are responsible. You have been making the argument I cited. This does, in fact, play into this narrative. You may not harbor any animosity, but you are reinforcing the culture that makes it okay to abuse us. If you really care about being an ally, please stop making it easier to hurt us.

You are very much free to think and say that.  I however am not going to call you names or insinuate things about you because that simply does not move the debate/conversation along.
I have called you no names. All I've been doing is pointing out the rather ugly implications of what you've been saying. Any insinuation you see is a direct result of you clinging to such problematic arguments: You are showing by your actions that being a good ally and reducing risk to trans people is less important to you than your argument.

"When you misgender a trans person, when you use their old name, you tell other trans people that our gender and identity either don't matter or aren't quite real to you. That's why this is important. This wasn't a huge deal in and of itself - hell, I still misgender some people who are a lot closer to me than Caitlyn Jenner is. You know what I do about it? I correct myself, say "Sorry about that", and move on, because I screwed up. You have instead chosen to try to justify your error and push it back as my mistaken perception. This... does not paint you in a flattering light."

You actually are right on this point, and even though I didn't say it I am going to be more conscious about it from now on and refer to her as Caitlyn Jenner.
Thank you. This is much appreciated. I am confused on how to reconcile this with your above statement that you did not erase a trans person's identity, though.

"Blackface: Not a PoC issue."
I'm not saying that people can't see this as a blackface issue.  I'm just saying that I don't see it as a 'blackface' issue.  I am sharing my views as to why, just like black people are free to share why they think this is a blackface issue.
...fair, but tricky: It comes off as very condescending and a bit racist for a white person to tell black people that nope, this actually isn't a racial issue at all. (Remember, white privilege includes the fact that a lot of racism is invisible to you. Tread carefully.

"Misgendering trans people: Respectful."
Just because I'm saying I see some similarities between the two situation you're claiming that I'm saying the two are the same because it helps push the narrative you have of me.  Again it doesn't really move the conversation/debate forward.
You misgendered Caitlyn Jenner. You then went on to say that you had been "nothing but respectful" to trans people. Please reconcile these statements instead of going into a complete non-sequitur on this point.

"Freedom of expression: Threatened by people who explicitly say "She's free to say this and we're free to find it offensive."
I never said people don't have the right to be offended.  Indeed freedom of speech goes both ways.  I said that people shouldn't find it offensive.  That however is my opinion.  Me saying "People shouldn't find that offensive" and me saying "You have no right to be offended, stop right now!!" are two very different things.  I can express my opinion without demanding others adhere to my way of thinking.
And yet me saying "please stop reinforcing harmful narratives" is different? Not quite sure how. You're free to reject my request - just as I'm free to point out that your actions show that being an ally is less important to you than never admitting you were wrong.

"Equating a known liar with a trans person: Not harmful at all. Is this an accurate summary of your position, then?"
You keep pushing that narrative as if somehow if you say it enough it'll become true.  That is not what I'm saying at all.  Again, you keep pushing the idea because I suppose it is just easier to put me in a specific box and classify me as someone who is just purposely being offensive all while using it as an excuse to dismiss my arguments and my point of view.

I think comparing the Dolezal with Jenner is very much related.  Bruce Jenner has been a man pretty much his whole life.  He might have said that he has always felt he was a woman but up until a few years ago he was living AS a man.  Everyone seems to be very accepting when it comes to Jenner.  I personally don't care, it doesn't bother me in the least that Bruce Jenner now identifies as a woman, I don't care that he lived most of his life as a man.  If he identified as a horse next week it wouldn't bother me either.. He is an adult, his actions really aren't affecting me, or hurting anyone else.. So.. He should have the right to identify as whatever.

The same standard should be applied to Rachel Dolezal.  Her actions aren't really hurting anyone.  She isn't a racist.  She identifies as a black person, and has actually tried to help black people.  Is there now some kind of rule that you can't speak for black people unless you're born black?  Personally I don't think its important for her to have experienced the life of a black person to identify with a black person. 

There seems to be some kind of weird double standard where people accept one kind of transition and not the other.  I also don't understand what it is she has done wrong.  As people I think we hide a lot of things about ourselves for various reasons.  Some things we want to hide because we're ashamed of them, or its just a personal preference..   I also don't understand what she is supposed to do.  "Oh I know I now look black, though I identify as a black person, you should know that my parents are actually white"  It isn't exactly the kind of declaration we ask of anyone else.
Ignoring the misgendering of Jenner here... I've bolded the parts of your original argument where you directly equate the two and say they are perfectly equivalent - if we accept one but not the other, it's a weird double standard. I've italicized the bits where you acknowledge that Dolezal's lies about matters pertaining to her identity make it very different from an actual trans person, thereby avoiding the implication that trans people are lying.

Please note that this was the launching point of a long chain of argument from you, using this equivalency as a basis. One you still haven't amended or apologized for. One in which you acknowledged the lies and continued to push the equivalency in the same breath.

I still don't think you're trying to be deliberately offensive. If I did, I'd see little point in trying to talk to you. I think that not admitting you're wrong has become way more important to you than actually supporting LGBT people or people of colour. Please show me that this is mistaken.

Offline Sho

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #111 on: June 19, 2015, 11:14:20 AM »
To me the implication and intent of a white person calling a black person the n word is the same as a black person calling a white person cracker.  Each is intended to be harmful.  The definition is just semantics to me.

And with this, I'm respectfully bowing out. If you don't understand the differences (and presumably you have access to Google and can educate yourself on why those words are so different), then at this point I'm just going to be going back and forth with you without any meaningful exchange. I would recommend that you do a bit of soul-searching and try to figure out why you're so determined to take away one of the few things the black community has been able to gain back, namely, the ability to determine their cultural heritage without white people dictating it or weighing in on it.

I'm stepping out of this topic now since I'm getting somewhat upset and I don't think that's going to help anyone.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #112 on: June 19, 2015, 11:43:42 AM »
      Okay, I have said multiple times that I do not feel I know everything about the case.  In fairness, I should probably quit reading you people so much and spend more time reading various reports about it.  :P  But I'm fascinated with how everything is getting read and played so often really, in a situation where she seems to have gone to so much trouble and passed so widely, and yes been in a public representative position...  And it comes to this close where so many seem to need to insist some side (Blacks? The law? Civilization? Biology?) is all victim/misused and one (Dolezal) is all wrong.  And sometimes with the implied addendum, and there is nothing else you should say or dare find ironic here. 

     Oh and color me rebellious, but I'm quite intrigued how people get so riled up about deception.  Or maybe, I should say:  Which kinds are cited as cause to claim someone is beyond the pale as opposed to which kinds of deception do we accept/ignore.  And what if in fact, Dolezal or we could learn something important from what happened anyway.

      I see Dame going off about how this is just another same old violation, get offended or get educated people, and I see others saying it's her business, and I don't entirely agree with either.  My gut feeling with just a general sketch so far, is this is one of those situations where there is really a lot of complexity and maybe you're all partly right (I mean, those taking such passionate, singular sides about it) but I think there are probably a lot of interesting fault lines in this. 

      It's hardly all a simple game, and I do have my armchair privilege of being far away with a halfway secure life for the moment.  But even without all the background and catching snippets of "She lied!" here, stuffed mailbox there 'what more do you need?' sort of claims...  I honestly suspect that there's a lot more to be learned than this side right, that side wrong, scoff and go away now.  Even disasters often have complexity...  And maybe, just maybe this isn't such a simply racist disaster as some.

       The theories of oppression, appropriation and the like?  Yes, I've heard some of them before, and yes they are useful in some situations.  (And theories of positive appropriation could be useful in some, too.)  But I still feel here it's too often without a lot of serious discussion of the particulars.  I sense more "If she did, then she must be" and well not everyone who wears a Swastika is a true Nazi, either -- no matter how much you dislike it.  There's less here on what sorts of dynamic and internal process people think make those particulars "fit" those theories, and the theories are much more about psychological and cultural capture (privilege makes it so whenever group Y adopts from group X, which is sometimes yes but not at all automatically true I think). 

     I like a bit of "neat fitting" theory too, but this makes me see how hard it is to convince people sometimes when most of your language is so reliant on reciting the theory and btw short on reasonable disclaimers social scientists usually give, in longer real discursive efforts to consider first and conditionally link those theories with the specifics of the case.  I'm sorry, but overall I still feel a lot more quick indictment here than considered study.  Maybe I'm just reading around too fast?  Or maybe it's cause I joined recently and more of the recent stuff is that and I don't spend very much time trying to read and memorize every back page.  The prosecuting convo recently has a lot of "isn't it obvious," sort of feel though -- and that makes me pretty leery that it probably isn't entirely all so simple as that.

      In short? I'm still feeling there's a little too much "smells like a duck" (with neat theory on top) and rather less explanation of what might plausibly  have happened with that duck anyway. ("Might plausibly" cause after all, if we try to claim meaning for her, that is speaking for her for sake of our own judgment.)  Also to be fair, Dame could be right in one sense where Dolezal is just an insane duck.  By which I mean here, what if she's just someone so confusing that she both breaks taboos like lying and it's terribly hard for us to discuss her internal experience in ways that really are convincing.     But I think the insane are usually still interesting enough to say more than just oh, how awful!  Sometimes the "sane" people even learn how the rest of us all are well, not fully sane.  And suddenly life is more complicated again, than just look how omg evil some of us are to each other (and quick, reinforce that fence!). 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:00:15 PM by kylie »

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #113 on: June 19, 2015, 11:58:45 AM »
The thing that still concerns me is the apparent falsification of 'hate crimes'.  It is this that convinces me that Rachel Dolezal may have a tendency to embrace and perpetuate falsehoods.  This makes her inherently unbelievable and unreliable.  If she is willing to put a hate-filled diatribe into her own P.O. Box and report it to the police - which ends up wasting time and resources that could be used to investigate actual hate crimes where people (including those people that she claims to represent and care deeply for) are in actual danger - then what else is she willing to lie about?

     I've tried to indicate before that I feel in some ways, we have societies (and even a notion of identity boundaries at times) built so often of half-truths, exceptions to the definition, unwritten parts of the instructions (including the definitions of things) and poignant omissions.  We go around looking for "fundamental" differences as the be all and end all of identity -- a source of nature without any nurture in the picture.  And when we don't have them we fudge, and when we can we don't share, and when we can some of us change our look, and when we change our minds we get as far as we can from the middle of that group we don't want anymore cause it's no longer "us" (or we say, we have "realized"!) -- even if we can't leave cause there's nowhere else to go.  And I suppose quite a few have made up their minds, but I need to go back and decide if I really think there' s enough evidence that Dolezal was only profiteering.  But how many people can profiteer without manipulating identity lines?  How many people can hold a regular old workaday job without manipulating identity lines either? 

         It's not that there are no real differences and no real histories.  It's that the lines don't always neatly stand for all the experience of real people and places, where many of them do brush up, or cross, or at least (sometimes even in the process of lying) honestly start to experience and understand a thing or two about how the whole system of lines and boundaries works.  So I am tempted to wonder if washing our hands of the whole case by simply calling her a liar thing, isn't a bit crass or at least missing all the things that objectively, this case could bring out about how the society works here and now.

        In the early 2000's, sociologist Devah Pager had a study where people were dressed up as very similar job applicants, but some of them had a criminal background in their resumes, and again some were Black.  They were sent off to interview at companies and see who got callbacks or job offers.  It was all a deception.  Companies were up in arms because it was all a lie.  They complained that their time was wasted.  And the study found that Whites were more likely to get callbacks and offers -- not only that, but Whites with a criminal record were still incredibly competitve against Blacks with a clean record.  We can learn a thing or two from what happens during or after deceit...  Perhaps even deceit that didn't sit before a university ethics panel (and quite a few that do, never get to be a live study at all for better OR worse). 

        Was there nothing productive that came out of Dolezal and all this?  Or is the vote leaning toward: Too scant to even mention, while there's so much about is it racist or just simply liar today?  What about how she passed so well?  Isn't it a problem if the theory of (negative) appropriation is going to be the criticism of first resort whenever someone steps across the line and adopts things from another community?  That's a constant veto power, if so --- never say anything that might be taken to represent us.  I mean I like a few disclaimers myself too, but this can get out of hand right quick.  Isn't it more likely that she's done both some things that were very positive (including shaking up the notion that no one "could ever" pass as Black, even?), that as NAACP leader she's at least contributed to some good things too, and that she's done some things many of you are quick to slap down because hey, she lied and apparently no one else ever lies so badly in polite society for any partly good ends even.  Is that it?

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #114 on: June 19, 2015, 12:11:57 PM »
Going off? Lol I dont know what to say.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #115 on: June 19, 2015, 12:17:36 PM »
kylie, as always your ideas are interesting, but I think you're a bit off base.

 It's not that nobody ever lies or misrepresents themselves. A given course of action isn't good or bad based on how many people do it; it's about the good and harm caused. Right now, I see very little good she accomplished with blackface that she couldn't have done as a white ally. I do see a lot of harm caused directly by her holding herself out as black - resources taken away from people who needed them and damage to the credibility of anti-racists in general and the NAACP in particular. That's what makes this unacceptable.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:23:57 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #116 on: June 19, 2015, 12:21:38 PM »
Regardless of her intentions, what Dolezal did was unethical. She shouldn't have done it.

Offline Haloriel

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #117 on: June 19, 2015, 03:31:00 PM »
Regardless of her intentions, what Dolezal did was unethical. She shouldn't have done it.

That's all there is to this, and what pretty much what I said.  A+ Deamonbane.

@Ephiral: That too was a good point.  She could have likely done more as a white ally, as herself just as someone in love with the culture and people.

If she had swung her privilege around as a white woman for the cause of anyone, really - its still a story, and would have been good press instead of bad.

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #118 on: June 19, 2015, 03:43:52 PM »
It is better to fight beside someone than it is to presume that they cannot fight for themselves.

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #119 on: June 19, 2015, 03:52:33 PM »
It is better to fight beside someone than it is to presume that they cannot fight for themselves.

Well said.  :-)

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #120 on: June 19, 2015, 03:57:37 PM »
That's all there is to this, and what pretty much what I said.  A+ Deamonbane.

@Ephiral: That too was a good point.  She could have likely done more as a white ally, as herself just as someone in love with the culture and people.

If she had swung her privilege around as a white woman for the cause of anyone, really - its still a story, and would have been good press instead of bad.


What irks me the most about it, is that white people are allowed to have any position in the NAACP. Like...why marginalize yourself when you could exert that privilege you were given at birth, for good? You wanna fight white privilege? What better way than to bite the hand? Though I can't say I know the politics within that organization. Maybe there's dissonance between the races and black prejudice against whites could make that easier said than done. At least it sounds good in theory. Dolezal essentially traded a sword for a dagger. Shit needs to be cut through - and a sword would cut it better. There wasn't even anything stopping her from using aspects of black culture appreciatively while still holding the sword.

Of course, that's probably already been said in this thread. But it's my thoughts regardless.

Offline Haloriel

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #121 on: June 19, 2015, 04:31:23 PM »
What irks me the most about it, is that white people are allowed to have any position in the NAACP. Like...why marginalize yourself when you could exert that privilege you were given at birth, for good? You wanna fight white privilege? What better way than to bite the hand? Though I can't say I know the politics within that organization. Maybe there's dissonance between the races and black prejudice against whites could make that easier said than done. At least it sounds good in theory. Dolezal essentially traded a sword for a dagger. Shit needs to be cut through - and a sword would cut it better. There wasn't even anything stopping her from using aspects of black culture appreciatively while still holding the sword.

Of course, that's probably already been said in this thread. But it's my thoughts regardless.

Nah, that's actually perfect.  She traded a sword for a dagger in the terms of 'who will sit up and actually listen', as sad as that is to say.  It should not be that way, but it is.  Biting the hand is also an excellent analogy.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #122 on: June 19, 2015, 06:31:49 PM »
I'm just going to be going back and forth with you without any meaningful exchange.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.  IP appears to be the only one that thinks what Dolezal did was acceptable.  He's entitled to his opinion, and given his posting history, it clear he's going to continue to hold that opinion for the indefinite future.  And he'll probably keep posting about it too.

I say, great!  Have fun.  Knock yourself out. 

Some folks make the mistake of thinking they can "win" a debate in one of these threads by posting a lot, posting well, and/or posting last (i.e., getting the last word)--or that they can "lose" a debate by not responding to every point thrown at them.  That may be true in a face to face debate, but not in this forum setting.  Everything that people post stays.  It can't be deleted (without incurring the ire of Staff).  So everyone can read what is written, reflect on it, and draw their own conclusions about the poster and the poster's arguments.  And this can happen days, months, years from now.  So posting a lot (of lousy) arguments--say, in the heat of anger or by a drive to "win" the debate--is a very, very bad idea since it can tarnish your image forever.

Besides, spending too much time arguing here just takes time away from your writing partners.  And really.  Of the two, who is more important to you?  :-)


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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #123 on: June 19, 2015, 06:43:56 PM »
Yeah, that's pretty much it.  IP appears to be the only one that thinks what Dolezal did was acceptable.  He's entitled to his opinion, and given his posting history, it clear he's going to continue to hold that opinion for the indefinite future.  And he'll probably keep posting about it too.

I say, great!  Have fun.  Knock yourself out. 

Some folks make the mistake of thinking they can "win" a debate in one of these threads by posting a lot, posting well, and/or posting last (i.e., getting the last word)--or that they can "lose" a debate by not responding to every point thrown at them.  That may be true in a face to face debate, but not in this forum setting.  Everything that people post stays.  It can't be deleted (without incurring the ire of Staff).  So everyone can read what is written, reflect on it, and draw their own conclusions about the poster and the poster's arguments.  And this can happen days, months, years from now.  So posting a lot (of lousy) arguments--say, in the heat of anger or by a drive to "win" the debate--is a very, very bad idea since it can tarnish your image forever.

Besides, spending too much time arguing here just takes time away from your writing partners.  And really.  Of the two, who is more important to you?  :-)

-reads commentary, clicks Cycle's O/O-

 ;)

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #124 on: June 19, 2015, 07:29:11 PM »
-reads commentary, clicks Cycle's O/O-

 ;)


Cycle is pretty intelligent, isn't he?

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #125 on: June 19, 2015, 07:48:14 PM »
Cycle is pretty intelligent, isn't he?

Yes!  I've actually enjoyed reading some of the post in this thread, and I actually concurred with yours, while I did not openly say as such. Even though I can only claim 1/4 black heritage (both of my parents are 1/4), I claim it proudly with the rest of me.  ;D

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #126 on: June 19, 2015, 07:55:36 PM »
Yes!  I've actually enjoyed reading some of the post in this thread, and I actually concurred with yours, while I did not openly say as such. Even though I can only claim 1/4 black heritage (both of my parents are 1/4), I claim it proudly with the rest of me.  ;D

Mixed heritage is a beautiful thing and the only way I can seeing this world finding some sort of harmony.

Offline kylie

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Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #127 on: June 19, 2015, 08:23:42 PM »
It is better to fight beside someone than it is to presume that they cannot fight for themselves.

     Did she say she really presumed that, or is that being imputed to her?  For that matter, do all varieties of Black get to stand up publicly for themselves to effect, or do they also choose spokespeople (and politicians, the list goes on) who are relatively "clean" and vetted and perhaps even more 'White'/sometimes more 'mixed' in skin or cultural externals?  Which would not make it all good that such is done under some pressure, but it might explain a tad why Dolezal herself would feel it makes some sense to try, with or without the separate concerns about deception -- it doesn't have to be entirely a chicken and egg "Is she just totally evil?" when this stuff is going on already. 

     Again I see it as a little more fuzzy, and I'm not willing to dump every question it raises at the doorstep of "just shouldn't have done it" when this seems so incredibly complex to me.  Groups try to claim some people as "allies," but they try to keep a lid on everything they might say at the same time.  I mean call stuff right or wrong for sure if you like.  Toss in some reasons and particulars if you can/have the energy just lately.  But the bland "Nobody should say anything simply because they're not us" when one doesn't agree with what comes out?  That goes a bit far. 

     Sure there are problems with this.  But I am having a hard time seeing just what Dolezal has done as I understand it so far, as deserving of the same term that got placed on White entertainers from at least many decades ago.  I really don't think it's all such a comparable situation off  the bat.  Did the White entertainers even pass to a significant portion of the Black community?  Did Dolezal do what she did on TV for people's laughs?  There may be certain similarities in the outcome, but isn't this being a bit shotgun with a very charged label?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 08:41:53 PM by kylie »

Offline Oniya

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #128 on: June 19, 2015, 09:01:00 PM »
I was merely making a statement.  Sorry if you read into more than the words that were on the screen.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #129 on: June 20, 2015, 12:51:59 PM »
Alrighty moving onto the whole problematic Caitlyn Jenner/Dolezal comparison. Read this article please. It breaks down, a little bit, the fact that the differences in the brain chemistry of people who are transgendered is actually observable. It is absolutely not true that difference in brains between black and white have been observed. Until you can provide legitimate science to prove that black and white brains are notably different in the same way that male and female brains are different, and also prove that white people are born with ‘black’ brains, please leave this particular point alone.

Just a follow up with a point that struck me.

Isn't this (and I speak as an observer from the outside looking in) actually quite a controversial position among the trans* community? The idea that there is a "scientific test" (for lack of a better term) that demonstrates someone is trans* seems to fall into the transfundalmentalist/transmedicalist/"Truscum" position... and I'm aware that that position is actually considered transphobic by some in the community. If we say that there are demonstrable differences in a trans* person's brain chemistry to a non-trans* person's then we're saying that someone who lacks that difference is therefore non trans*. That sort of gatekeeping is controversial; the article here from the SJWiki goes into it in some more detail.

Offline Aneveite

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #130 on: June 22, 2015, 10:30:01 AM »
Just a follow up with a point that struck me.

Isn't this (and I speak as an observer from the outside looking in) actually quite a controversial position among the trans* community? The idea that there is a "scientific test" (for lack of a better term) that demonstrates someone is trans* seems to fall into the transfundalmentalist/transmedicalist/"Truscum" position... and I'm aware that that position is actually considered transphobic by some in the community. If we say that there are demonstrable differences in a trans* person's brain chemistry to a non-trans* person's then we're saying that someone who lacks that difference is therefore non trans*. That sort of gatekeeping is controversial; the article here from the SJWiki goes into it in some more detail.

I agree that it's controversial, and a test does nor should it be equated to a person's identity... but the problem is people who argue specifically against trans rights don't care about that. They only care about the biological, and won't listen to any other sort of evidence... and while it is very much transmedicalist or whatever, it is also something that we can still present before people who outright deny the existence of transgender people. It lets us say: here is proof that we exist, that this isn't just some weird thing that we are pretending, granted, we don't understand the science behind it that well, nor should we necessarily endeavor towards reaching a state where we can just test for it... but it is there. At least a portion of the trans community /can/ be verified by science.

I feel that is the point at which it is useful, not as a method of gatekeeping, but as a way to state 'here is scientific data that we exist, here is hard evidence that being transgender is not the same as trans ethnic', etc, etc. Which sucks, because we shouldn't have to argue every step of the way that our being isn't a social construct or a figment of our imagination... but it is there, and it is a tool to use for that end.

Offline Remiel

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #131 on: June 22, 2015, 07:14:21 PM »
So I have to admit that, prior to reading this thread and doing some research, I was confused by all the anti-Rachel Dolezal sentiment.   

After reading some of the responses in this thread, however, and doing some research,  I think I get it now.  The issue isn't so much that Dolezal self-identified as black, but that she did so fraudulently and for her own profit.  And in a context of cultural appropriation, where mainstream society likes to mass market the creations of black artists and musicians while vilifying the creators, it was equivalent to ripping the scab off a fresh wound.

Thank you, la dame en noir, for linking me to this Montel Williams post which I found particularly enlightening.

Offline la dame en noir

Re: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy
« Reply #132 on: June 22, 2015, 08:31:40 PM »
You're welcome! I'm glad you understand instead of bashing me lol.