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  #221  
Old 27 March 2017, 10:43 PM
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There are strong stereotypes involved that involve the Catholic priesthood, homosexuality, and pedophilia. Those stereotypes and biases are strongly reinforced by those stories--true or not. (And ISTR the stories about other groups are not repeated the same way.)

I agree that the legs the OP scandal has is connected in part to the biases and stereotypes it satisfies for some people. Some stories--many times ULs--serve a societal function of promoting a certain agenda or reinforcing stereotypes or biases. This one definitely hits the mark for some. (And has other value as well, such as most of our discussion here).
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  #222  
Old 28 March 2017, 01:33 AM
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Ganzfeld, if you don't want people to misunderstand you in that way, you may not want to start off with a statement like, "She was nothing but a scapegoat."
That's true. My bad. I also agree that this wasn't all something done to her.

About the damage done to other minorities (such as the trans community and... Catholics?? whatever - not sure where that hijack comes from), I would be at least as concerned about how this directly affects people who are of mixed race culturally. Every day in US society people are accused of "being black" when black is just their culture or even of "acting white" when they are just being. Lightskinned blacks who look white are accused of passing for black. That happens. That has happened to people I know. Whites who are black in everything but genotype are accused of the same things she was. No matter what we think of her, these same arguments are leveled at those people on a regular basis, IME. None of that is her fault or has anything to do with her culpability. That has gone on for centuries.

The fact that this story has been the darling of fascist, white-wing propaganda that has horrifyingly hijacked the national agenda should not go unnoticed. That is not her fault either. We should look deeper into our own feelings about race and consider whether we are not playing into this centuries-old game of "don't cross this line". If your answer is "no this is wrong and has nothing to do with that" then, OK, I'm honestly sad to see that people don't see that but I'm hardly the first person to point this out. The great writers on American race relations have said it before, as a few did this time. I'm just sad that here we are in 2017 and it still needs to be said and, yes, IMO, I do think that is partly due to the way that the white supremacists who elected our current president forced this story back into the papers again and again. All we had to do is say, as Goldberg, Abdul-Jabbar, and Raven-Symone and others did say, "she can be black if she wants to" and that would have been the end of the story - in my humble opinion.

The people who disagree with this (those who are not white supremacists or unwittingly falling into their trap) have been numerous and, frankly, I agree with nearly everything they say. People like her make people angry for a few good reasons. Most people can't choose their race. Lying is bad. Lying about race is a luxury most minorities (and majorities for that matter) do not have. She obviously has other problems to overcome as well. Etc. I agree with all of that. I just disagree with the conclusion that we have to keep saying to white kids "you can't be black". It isn't even necessary. It serves no good purpose at all. ETA - Also, no, it's not a slippery slope. We're not going to have a large segment of the white population suddenly saying they're black. Cats are not going to claim to be dogs. No. It's a small group of people like her and a much larger group of people who don't say one way or the other but who would just like to quietly be themselves without being accused of "passing" and all that crap. ETA2 - Not sure if that's a straw man or not. Just trying to cover all bases. There is no danger at all from letting her - or anyone who wants to - say she's black.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 28 March 2017 at 01:47 AM.
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  #223  
Old 28 March 2017, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
About the damage done to other minorities (such as the trans community and... Catholics?? whatever - not sure where that hijack comes from)
It is offered as another example where, deplorable as it is, the staying power may be linked to undercurrents of bias/bigotry going back hundreds of years. And it's hard to argue against because who in their right mind would want to defend person/group known to have done "bad thing X" that is universally agreed to be bad? One might be accused of concern trolling, for instance.

Last edited by ASL; 28 March 2017 at 02:08 AM.
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  #224  
Old 28 March 2017, 02:25 AM
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Maybe it's just because I was brought up Catholic or maybe it's because Catholic has been the largest Christian denomination for quite some time in the US but personally I think - while we shouldn't deny historical and current anti-Catholicism in the US - this is such a different scale and universe. It's true the Know-Nothings had a lot of similarities with our current crop of fascists but the differences in these histories far outweigh any similarities. There are things to be learned from that history including the recent history you mention but I'm not sure this is the right story to bring them up. Actually, pretty sure it's not.
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  #225  
Old 28 March 2017, 02:36 AM
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Of course not, who would want to muddy the waters like that, trying to provide similar examples of the concept you are trying to describe (and have not been entirely successful at)? Especially using an example of such a terrible thing? How foolish of me...
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  #226  
Old 28 March 2017, 10:20 PM
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Ganzfeld, it seems relevant to the particular point being made--that there is a hidden reason for the story to continue to circulate.* You could instead focus on the fact that Catholic sex abuse stories are used to reinforce gay male/pedophile stereotypes. Another example that was recently discussed here is Muslim threats or violence against women. Another might be a story about someone lying to get SNAP benefits (foodstamps).

The stories may be real, but the attention they get becomes disproportionate to similar stories that don't serve the bias-reinforcement purpose. Making that point doesn't mean that all of those things are being equated with each other. And I strongly disagree with any notion that this is not an appropriate thread to make that point in. I don't think ASL was hijacking the thread to talk about #catholicproblems. He was recognizing a phenomenon he was familiar with in another context.

* The point, as I understood it, was not about "damage to other minorities."
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  #227  
Old 28 March 2017, 10:23 PM
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OK   
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  #228  
Old 24 April 2017, 08:12 PM
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Probably going to regret feeding this thread again, but Rachel Dolezal does want us to talk about her... by now nobody would even care about her save for the fact she keeps choosing to monetize and publicize herself.

And so she gave an interview that turned into what I will consider the last word on this experience.

The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black

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For a white woman who had grown up with only a few magazines of stylized images of blackness to imagine herself into a real-life black identity without any lived black experience, to turn herself into a black history professor without a history degree, to place herself at the forefront of local black society that she had adopted less than a decade earlier, all while seeming to claim to do it better and more authentically than any black person who would dare challenge her—well, it's the ultimate "you can be anything" success story of white America. Another branch of manifest destiny. No wonder America couldn't get enough of the Dolezal story.

Perhaps it really was that simple. I couldn't escape Rachel Dolezal because I can't escape white supremacy. And it is white supremacy that told an unhappy and outcast white woman that black identity was hers for the taking. It is white supremacy that told her that any black people who questioned her were obviously uneducated and unmotivated to rise to her level of wokeness. It is white supremacy that then elevated this display of privilege into the dominating conversation on black female identity in America. It is white supremacy that decided that it was worth a book deal, national news coverage, and yes—even this interview.
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  #229  
Old 24 April 2017, 09:21 PM
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I came across that interview a day or two ago.

I hadn't actually been sure what I thought of Dolezal's claim. But some of the things she said in that interview -- ay yi yi.
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  #230  
Old 24 April 2017, 09:47 PM
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FWIW, I appreciate you posting it, Rebochan. I'll try not to help make you regret it.
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  #231  
Old 25 April 2017, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Rachel Dolezal Is In South Africa This Week Telling Black People About Being Black
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Dolezal was in the country to speak at the Quest for Non Racial South African Society Dialogue (QfNRSASD) at the University of Johannesburg. The group that invited her is Tsiloab Consulting, whose agenda is apparently to promote racial harmony in the country. For many, it is the first time they have heard of the group. Tsiloab’s Managing Director, Bishop Clyde Ramalaine, said: “I am consciously not Black. It has nothing to do with shame.”
http://www.essence.com/culture/rache...l-south-africa
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  #232  
Old 25 April 2017, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I came across that interview a day or two ago.

I hadn't actually been sure what I thought of Dolezal's claim. But some of the things she said in that interview -- ay yi yi.
Read the article. I'd be like "Good God, how can someone be that lacking in self-awareness," but compared with who we have in the White House...I won't say she's harmless, but at least, she's not operating on the same scale.

Because the obvious issue is that Dolezal can choose this identity for herself. She can darken her skin and wear box braids, but if she loses interest in this identity, she can discard it and move onto something else. The same cannot be said about, y'know, actual Black women. The article had an interesting bit, which touched on how light-skinned blacks have managed to pass:

Quote:
The degree to which you are excluded from white privilege is largely dependent on the degree to which your appearance deviates from whiteness. You can be extremely light-skinned and still be black, but you cannot be extremely or even moderately dark-skinned and be treated as white—ever.
At best, Dolezal is yet another example of a Clueless White Gurl Savior, filled with nothing but good intentions, but no knowledge of the complex social issues she's taking on. At worst, the short version is that she's a nfbsking con artist trying to cover her tracks.

Last edited by Mouse; 25 April 2017 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Added More and Reworded Some Stuff
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  #233  
Old 25 April 2017, 01:38 AM
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I hadn't actually been sure what I thought of Dolezal's claim. But some of the things she said in that interview -- ay yi yi.
Yeah. I wanted to understand her before, but she's harder and harder to empathize with.
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  #234  
Old 25 April 2017, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
At best, Dolezal is yet another example of a Clueless White Gurl Savior, filled with nothing but good intentions, but no knowledge of the complex social issues she's taking on. At worst, the short version is that she's a nfbsking con artist trying to cover her tracks.
Where would deep-seated emotional or otherwise psychological issues fall on the scale? Better? Worse? In between? A different axis?
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  #235  
Old 25 April 2017, 11:55 AM
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Yeah. I wanted to understand her before, but she's harder and harder to empathize with.
I think the bit that stuck in my craw the hardest was over the composition of the photograph, where the interviewer asked to switch places so she'd have more light... and Dolezal immediately accused her of trying to use the lighting to make her look lighter

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Where would deep-seated emotional or otherwise psychological issues fall on the scale? Better? Worse? In between? A different axis?
We know she was a victim of abuse, that's been well documented. She's raising one of her siblings because of it in fact.

That doesn't make the behavior okay.
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  #236  
Old 25 April 2017, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebochan View Post


We know she was a victim of abuse, that's been well documented. She's raising one of her siblings because of it in fact.

That doesn't make the behavior okay.
I didn't realize the abuse she claimed was documented. The only documentation I've read comes down to her own claims. If she actually was abused that definitely helps me sympathize with her, at least a little, but I agree one can sympathize with why a person may behave a certain way but that doesn't make the behavior ok.
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  #237  
Old 25 April 2017, 01:35 PM
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I didn't realize the abuse she claimed was documented. The only documentation I've read comes down to her own claims. If she actually was abused that definitely helps me sympathize with her, at least a little, but I agree one can sympathize with why a person may behave a certain way but that doesn't make the behavior ok.
Joshua Dolezal had written a book about his own family life before his sister became world famous and described them as a cult.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.2260238

Speaking of, he was also charged with sexual assault.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/d...OG#.lc6WwYmq82

Those charges were dismissed a month after this article was written, and it looks like a reason was never given.

I actually went to go find the Homeschooler's Anonymous report and learned they have actually retracted their coverage on allegations of child abuse towards Rachel.

https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2...ezal-coverage/

So I may just be misremembering some of this documentation.
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  #238  
Old 25 April 2017, 01:47 PM
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Distasteful as her monetization of herself may be, given the difficulty she's had finding a job, and the fact that she has kid(s)* to support, it's not something I'm going to criticize her for.

*She has a toddler; IDK how old the brother she adopted is, or whether she still supports him.
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  #239  
Old 25 April 2017, 05:53 PM
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Speaking of, he was also charged with sexual assault.
National Geographic seems to come up, rather unpleasantly, in that context too.
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