Everybody’s favorite Becky-with-the-Bad-Perm is back. Rachel Dolezal is promoting her memoir, In Full Color, which we discussed last week. The memoir seems like a trip – Dolezal claims that her soul has always been black, even in her early childhood. As a kid, she used to look at the photos in National Geographic and wish she could be black… or African, or something. So a blonde-haired and light-eyed woman grew up to be a pretend black person. But please don’t call her a pretend African-American. Dolezal told Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show yesterday that she identifies as “black” but not African-American. Some assorted quotes:
She’s black: “I don’t identify as African-American, I identify as black. I am part of the pan-African diaspora. I definitely feel like, in America, even though race is a social construct and we’ve acknowledged this in academia and in science, there’s still a line drawn in the sand, there still are sides, politically there’s a black side and a white side, and I stand unapologetically on the black side. I stand with my own internal sense and values. I stand with my sons. I stand with my sister. And I also stand there really with the greater cause of challenging the myth of white supremacy. I really prefer to just be exactly who I am. And black is really the closest race and culture category descriptive term that represents the essential essence of who I am.”
Writing this book: “You know, the book was a difficult one to write, for sure. But I felt like it was kind of a little bit forced upon me as far as just the need to tell the whole truth about my life and the full story.”
Why she’s legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo: “I really felt like I needed to change my legal name in order to be seen for my qualifications and experience rather than just seen for the tabloid publicity that I got in 2015. When applying for a job, people were just seeing ‘Rachel Dolezal’ and not paying attention to the wide ranging experience and qualifications that I do have.”
Oh, yeah, she changed her name – that was announced a month ago. Her legal name is now Nkechi Amare Diallo, although she’s published this book under the name Rachel Dolezal. Messy. So messy.
The thing is… I believe race is mostly a social construct too. But science? Science will still show that Rachel Dolezal is a white woman pretending to be black. And I f–king love that she’s sitting there with her perm, talking about how her actions and lies have “challenged the myth of white supremacy.” Girl, do you realize that your literal appropriation of the black experience does more to further the reality of white supremacy????
“I don’t identify as African American, I identify as black,” said Rachel Dolezal to @SavannahGuthrie. https://t.co/dOAtGn96My
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 27, 2017
Screencaps courtesy of Today.