April 21, 2017

"I am beginning to wonder if it isn't blackness that Dolezal doesn't understand, but whiteness."

Because growing up poor, on a family farm in Montana, being homeschooled by fundamentalist Christian parents sounds whiter than this 'silver spoon' whiteness she claims to be rejecting."

21 comments:

traditionalguy said...

She needs to get a job at The Factor, take her 20 million dollar settlement for locker room talk, and live happily ever after. The color green is the only color any of her BS has been about.

n.n said...

Both perspectives are confused, informed by a peculiar prejudice.

stutefish said...

She thinks that blacks have been rejected by a certain kind of whiteness. It's that whiteness she's rejecting: Her caricature of what she imagines is the authentic black experience of whiteness.

Bob Loblaw said...

Dolezal is either a grifter or she's just plain crazy. In that light, who cares what she thinks?

ddh said...

In 1944, "Arsenic and Old Lace" was a comedy that viewed Uncle Teddy, among other members of the Brewster family, as crazy for thinking that he was Teddy Roosevelt, and the American public had no problem agreeing that he was indeed crazy. In contrast, we live in a time that demands that the American public agree with anyone who willfully denies his or her identity at birth.

madAsHell said...

"I am beginning to wonder if it isn't blackness that Dolezal doesn't understand, but whiteness."

The period belongs after the "doesn't understand."

Jim S. said...

One of the commenters on that article says that she is a trans-woman, and that all of the arguments that other commenters are using to say that Dolezal isn't really black could be used to claim that the commenter isn't really a woman. The implication being that either both transexuals and Dolezal are what they identify as or neither are.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Confusion to our enemies" as I drink another Bourbon this fine NY evening.

Michael K said...

"Dolezal is either a grifter or she's just plain crazy. In that light, who cares what she thinks?"

Yes, but she might get a lesson one of these days.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

The very light skinned Ijeoma Oluo's resentment of whites oozes from the piece. While furious at Dolezal for daring to pass and being accepted as black for years, Oluo herself could easily pass as white if she straightened her hair. With Dolezal wearing her faux fro they could easily pass for sisters. Accepting that medium skin toned people can "pass" for a variety of races/ethnicities would mean that it is not all about skin color. That would destroy the entire belief system she built her career on.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Ijeoma Oluo's resentment

is why I couldn't get through the piece.

Earnest Prole said...

Funny coincidence: growing up poor, on a family farm, with fundamentalist Christian parents is also a very black thing in America, not that an author of Nigerian heritage from Seattle would know anything about that.

Ambrose said...

Maybe there is no such thing as blackness or whiteness - but hush, don't tell anyone.

J. Farmer said...

Rachel Dolezal is an intersection of personal emotional turmoil and identity politics. She seems to have some kind of delusional belief that an African-American man is her biological father, and her actual white biological father is just a stepfather. She also seems to have a history of claiming to suffer medial illnesses she never had and to be frequently the victim of all sorts of hate crimes. This appears to be a woman who (a) craves attention and (b) has a serious victim complex. Identifying as a member of an aggrieved minority group fits right in with that pattern. Perhaps back in the 80s or 90s, Dolezal's sex would have been enough to ensure her placement in the victim hierarchy. But increasingly, especially in the BLM era, white "cis" women are learning that their voices don't cary nearly as much weight as a black's or a trans'. So it only makes sense for Dolezal to identify as black, then she can blame any negative outcome in her life on the inescapable hammer of white supremacism. If she'd just come out as a trans man, she'd hit the trifecta. Instead she opted for the simpler solution of bronzer and a bad perm.

J. Farmer said...

@Ambrose:

Maybe there is no such thing as blackness or whiteness - but hush, don't tell anyone.

In a certain abstract semantic sense, that is true. But you could just as easily say there is no such thing as blueness or greenness. They're just social constructs, and the boundaries between blue and green are infinitely blurred. But of course, "blue" and "green" are still useful constructs for describing the real world. "White" and "black" are obviously imprecise terms, but they still describe racial groups that can be considered broadly biological in basis. After all, a "race" is really just another term for a really, really big extended family.

Molly said...

The reason this phenomenon is so intriguing (titillating?) to conservatives, and so infuriating to blacks is that it undercuts the argument that blacks are oppressed in modern society. The older phenomenon of "passing" for white made logical sense if a person could escape the oppression that went with being regarded as black. (White people did pass as black, as in the book black like me, but that was to subject themselves deliberately to the oppression in order to better understand it and publicize it.) The modern phenomenon is one where white people (one or two at least) deliberately take on a black identity because they see an advantage to being black in modern society. Dolzeal did get a job as a professor in a black studies department, which she probably would not have gotten if she had applied as a straight-haired, white skinned, blonde. And it is hard to hold simultaneously the two ideas, "Blacks are at a disadvantage in modern society," and "There is an advantage for an individual to pass as black."

MaxedOutMama said...

Written by someone who has never heard of the AME and knows nothing about black life!! I don't even know how to engage with this. The place of the church in American black life, back history, black liberation, black political awareness, and black culture is supreme.

There are plenty of poor religious black people. The agricultural thing is the root from which we all, black and white, sprang. Urbanization is a relatively recent phenomenon. There aren't that many small farmers left, black or white, but to think that there aren't black farmers is --- astonishingly stupid.

The writer is displaying a very stereotyped thinking pattern. My mouth is hanging open:
http://www.blackfarmers.org/

If I had to pick between this dupe and Dolezal, I'd choose Dolezal.

jaydub said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amadeus 48 said...

What happens when one person with a strange mental condition is interviewed by another person with another strange mental condition?

This article. A plague on both their houses.

mtrobertslaw said...

After reading this interview, I don't know whose crazier, interviewer Oluo or Dolezal.

Bruce Hayden said...

My partner blames it on the water around Libby. Our house in MT is about an hour away from where Dolezal grew up, which in Montana terms is right next door. Apparently there used to be a lot of mining around there, and they weren't all that fastidious about the cleanup. Which means that a lot of the water around there is problematic. Libby should be booming, being located on the Amtrak rail line midway between Kalispell and Sandpoint. Instead it is considered the pit, with still depressed real estate values.