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Author Topic: The Rachel Dolezal Controversy  (Read 8593 times)

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Offline gaggedLouise

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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

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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 IntensePlayer

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

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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 IntensePlayer

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

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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 IntensePlayer

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 ó 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 Dolezalís famous this morning isnít because sheís a white woman who led a chapter of the NAACP, itís 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

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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?

Online 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 IntensePlayer

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

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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 IntensePlayer

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

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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 IntensePlayer

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).

Online 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 IntensePlayer

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.

Offline 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 IntensePlayer

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.