Rachel Dolezal Says Her Blackness Is Not A Costume In Vanity Fair
*SIGH* Here we go with crazy azz Rachel…
“It’s not a costume,” she says. “I don’t know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that’s never left me. It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be—but I’m not.”
She goes on to talk about how much she and her son are struggling since her Anglo-Saxon outing
“I’ve got to figure it out before August 1, because my last paycheck was like $1,800 in June,” she says. “[I lost] friends and the jobs and the work and—oh, my God—so much at the same time.”
Rachel also discusses the years it took her to become an “African-American authoritarian”
Dolezal spent years researching and then perfectly molding her black identity. She commands an impressive knowledge of African American literature, its writers, and the history of the Civil Rights movement. She attended graduate school at the historically black Howard University (where, The Smoking Gun reported, she unsuccessfully sued for being discriminated against because she was white). She is an expert in black hair, both as a practical matter and as a subject of academic inquiry. She makes it clear she doesn’t plan on altering the way she presents herself anytime soon.
“It’s taken my entire life to negotiate how to identify, and I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of studying,” she says. “I could have a long conversation, an academic conversation about that. I don’t know. I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody. If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”
This is a peculiar defense. If there is a difference between being black and being African American, it’s one that escapes the vast majority of people I know. When I said as much to Dolezal, she claimed to have received a recent traffic ticket where the police officer marked her race as “black” on the ticket without even asking.
“It’s hard to collapse it all into just a single statement about what is,” Dolezal says. “You can’t just say in one sentence what is blackness or what is black culture or what makes you who you are.”
Sure you can, just like this: “I am black because I was born to black parents or at least one black parent.”
See how that works?
Image via Justin Bishop/Vanity Fair