I stopped discussing the whole Rachel-Racial matter after defriending FB “friends” who seemed to be trying to shout me down. I collected all the articles, thinking I might write a flash memoir or personal essay someday. With all the race crap in the past few months in the US of A, the subject dropped out of my mind. …until it popped up again on the Internet and spawned the social commentary below. So I say to Ms. Dolezal, please stop reminding us; please let this matter drop from the collective consciousness; and for your own peace of mind, girl, let it go!
I can’t even read this stuff anymore! But I have to say that her terminology is assbackward to begin with before one even gets into the deeper issues of misappropriation. I can relate in a strange way–as her total opposite. This comes from my identity and experience as a lifelong tan woman who identifies as Black but not African-American.
I choose Black because it describes my familial, emotional, and social identity. Both of my parents identified as Black and wrote it on my birth certificate next to my name (of which they used the German pronunciation, which is why it is MINyin). I have never felt anything other than Black, connected biologically and experientially to members of the Black race regardless of geography. However, absolutely nothing has ever made me feel part of any mainstream culture (African Americanized or otherwise).
Who am I, in a nutshell? I’m a Black woman artist; that’s an identity for which I need no external validation. To say: “I am not Black, but I identify WITH and deeply respect African American culture” would make all kinds of sense if Dolezal had said that. Identifying AS Black when neither of her parents nor any of her 4 grandparents is biologically Black is just so very deluded, stupid, and wrong! There, I am done. Ms. Dolezal, I hope you are too.