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-   -   NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal lied about being black: parents (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=92001)

A Turtle Named Mack 12 June 2015 11:33 AM

NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal lied about being black: parents
 
An NAACP leader and prominent civil rights activist in Washington state has been pretending to be black for years, her parents admitted local media Thursday. Rachel Dolezal, who heads Spokane’s NAACP chapter and teaches Africana studies at Eastern Washington University, refused to directly answers any questions about her alleged racial ruse after it was exposed.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/naa...nts/ar-BBl19nt

ganzfeld 12 June 2015 02:44 PM

So what? Is there some rule you can't be in the NAACP if you're 'white'? (No.) As long as what she's saying is right, no one really gives a damn that she might be white.

Lainie 12 June 2015 02:50 PM

I think some people might care about the lying part.

My favorite Facebook comment on this: "She could at least share how she gets her hair in those cute curls..." :lol:

ganzfeld 12 June 2015 03:01 PM

Yeah, I could see honesty as an important factor. I just mean it would be a shame to lose focus and start talking about it as if this were about her race. That's where the enemies of the NAACP will try to take this; that's wrong.

Jahungo 12 June 2015 03:02 PM

Quote:

Dolezal also lied about growing up in a teepee, hunting for her own food with bows and arrows, being abused by a stepfather and once living in South Africa, her parents said.
Growing up in a teepee?

And she got away with it for this long?

GenYus234 12 June 2015 03:16 PM

I thought that too when I read that part. On reflection, I think that would have been part of a claim that she lived like the Native Americans for a time, not that that was part of her African roots.

Looking at the picture with her in front of the mural, she looks like a white woman with too much tanner. I'm wondering how long she's been "getting away with it" because of the Emperor's New Clothes effect. No one wanted to be "that guy" who challenges someone's claim to a race they don't seem to belong to.

Lainie 12 June 2015 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1875442)
Yeah, I could see honesty as an important factor.

Honesty, and judging from reactions I've seen, cultural appropriation.

Quote:

I just mean it would be a shame to lose focus and start talking about it as if this were about her race. That's where the enemies of the NAACP will try to take this; that's wrong.
Agreed.

Richard W 12 June 2015 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1875447)
Looking at the picture with her in front of the mural, she looks like a white woman with too much tanner. I'm wondering how long she's been "getting away with it" because of the Emperor's New Clothes effect. No one wanted to be "that guy" who challenges someone's claim to a race they don't seem to belong to.

This is exactly why it's nonsense to talk about it in terms of "race", rather than whether she was honest about her background, though. A lot of "black women" might also look like "white women with too much tanner" (NB - quoting GenYus there; not my words). It's not a helpful line of enquiry at all. The concepts that are relevant in terms of the organization are mostly US cultural concepts rather than anything to do with her appearance, and among those, her background (and what she's said about it) might be relevant, but what she looks like really isn't...

GenYus234 12 June 2015 04:09 PM

What black women (or people of any race) naturally look like white people with too much tanner? There is a particular orange/bronze tint to (cheaply, poorly?) tannered skin.

Gibbie 12 June 2015 04:24 PM

Exactly, it's not that she looks dark skinned, it's that she looks like she got a cheap fake tanner and used it. It's the photo in this Buzzfeed article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeednews...hat#.ntDAdXpZV

There's just all kinds of problems with not only the lying but the cultural appropriation that's gone on. I find the hair thing particularly problematic. Another Buzzfeed link (I'm finding that I'm really appreciating Buzzfeed's journalism these days, much more than say CNN, how did that happen?) http://www.buzzfeed.com/claudiakoern...yea#.rg8zEnW5o. She talks about going with the natural look. Except it's not. She's permed, she's dyed, she's faking natural black hair. And hair has always had a contentious history in the African American culture. It just seems all kinds of wrong.

Race isn't an issue for doing her job. She could be a white woman and an outstanding advocate. But lying about her very identity is. Also the apparent faking of hate crimes.

BTW, I find the zebra icon used to lead off this topic *extremely* offensive.

Little Pink Pill 12 June 2015 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1875456)
There is a particular orange/bronze tint to (cheaply, poorly?) tannered skin.

There often is, especially when it's done to an extreme. Even an expensive, careful application can take on an odd hue when it's done in multiple layers. Paris Hilton has gone over that line several times.

You're not the only one who has pointed it out in this situation. A tweet with Dolezol's face and the caption, "I guess orange really is the new black" is going around the Internet.


ETA-I don't really have problem with her cosmetic choices, or even think it's remarkable that she lied about them. It's a cultural norm to lie about die jobs, boob jobs, hair plugs, etc. It's the lying about her past that is the issue to me, and the fact that her physical alterations were part of a con.

Lainie 12 June 2015 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gibbie (Post 1875458)
BTW, I find the zebra icon used to lead off this topic *extremely* offensive.

Ugh. I didn't notice that.

ganzfeld 12 June 2015 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1875456)
What black women (or people of any race) naturally look like white people with too much tanner?

Any black person with very light skin and too much tanner, for example.

Lainie 12 June 2015 05:29 PM

Quote:

In a statement on Friday, the NAACP said its local coalition “stands behind” Dolezal’s record.

“One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” the national group said.
Link

ganzfeld 12 June 2015 05:40 PM

NAACP releases statement defending Rachel Dolezal
 
http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/ne...dolezal/nmb3R/

Quote:

In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.
How perfect is that response? 10

Little Pink Pill 12 June 2015 05:56 PM

Well done, NAACP.

GenYus234 12 June 2015 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1875468)
Any black person with very light skin and too much tanner, for example.

"Tanner" would negate the "naturally" portion of my question.

Gibbie 12 June 2015 06:33 PM

Perspective from a Washington Post blog:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ezal-has-done/

dfresh 12 June 2015 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gibbie (Post 1875458)
BTW, I find the zebra icon used to lead off this topic *extremely* offensive.

I thought it was due to the long standing question, is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes.

I would think the larger issue wouldn't be her color, but that she reported that she was mailed very racist items that were not mailed, so were put into her PO box either by her or a postal employee, with the implication that it was her threatening herself for attention.

Beachlife! 12 June 2015 06:49 PM

I think the post office cleared postal employees and called it something like a keyholder incident.


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