To me this story wouldn’t have been so popular if Rachel Dolezal weren’t the former head of the NAACP and hadn’t lied about her true ethnicity. The deception was a lot worse than the media backlash over whether her nationality was black. It was still wrong to have lied in spite of identifying with people of color. This writer covered all colors, not just those who were African-American or whatever term was used.
The Bible was clear about lying. Here was what it said:
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (NIV)
Here’s where she went wrong:
1. She never corrected anyone who asked about her race.
2. Admitted the lie in visiting South Africa and bing whipped and abused
3. Lied on Facebook about who her parents were
In the interview on the Today Show yesterday, it seemed to me that the media lapped up her excuses for what was done by her. Apparently, any high profile persona, such as Ms. Dolezal, that did something out of character certainly was news. It would’ve been better for her to admit the deception rather than to have told the media that she ‘identified herself as black‘. That didn’t mean she was black. My mother told me presenting oneself as black and actually being black were two different things. In my case, when with a certain group, it was more along the lines of showing empathy, understanding or being sensitive to a situation of others, not pretending to be one of them by changing my hair and wear a tanning agent on my skin.
Today, she was supposed to have defined how she fit into this new role as a black woman on the above morning show. In watching this morning’s video, she claimed not to have been white in spite of what her birth certificate said. In spite of this, she told one news outlet that she hadn’t had a DNA test that proved she was white because her paperwork wasn’t issued until she was a month old. She admitted that there were no shots that changed her skin color and she did her hair herself. She told another news outlet that it was a weave.
This writer was growing weary of the web of deceit she wove around herself. Social media had a mixed reaction too. While Kareem Abdul-Jabbar supported her identity switch, others weren’t so kind about the fact that she lied, like Montel Williams father of two biracial children, who hoped she got the help she needed. Author Tamara Winfrey Harris, said in the NY Times, she would’ve accepted Ms. Dolezal as black when they accepted them as white.
It looked to me that the racial question was never to be solved.