TransRachel


DISCLAIMER: I’m not Ja Rule, but I am gonna try and make sense of things in regards to Rachel Dolezal.

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First let me begin by saying this situation has brought some A-1 jokes such as the one above. The memes, the trending topics and the observations were gold. While the whole ordeal does warrant a good laugh, it’s also problematic for a few reasons. The main two things that haven’t sat well with me are the lying by Dolezal and the responses I’ve seen from African-Americans.

The most common response I saw to TransRachelgate was “if she wants to be black, let her. She’s done more for the black community than the average black person has.” Oh really? I would like for everyone to take a moment and ask yourself “What exactly has she done and how does it surpass the average black person?”

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Bottom line.

Many people get stuck on the first question and that’s a huge problem to me. For you to 1) throw your entire race under the bus for a white woman whose accomplishments you’re not even sure of and 2) ignore the fact that we’re in the midst of a nationwide social justice movement, is irresponsible, ignorant and downright insulting. The average black person I know has been tutoring, mentoring and donating within their community for years. Whether it be for a school requirement or a moral obligation, black people around the country have been in the streets making things happen. And in terms of social justice, I myself witnessed a shift in the interest of my generation during the Troy Davis case years ago. At that moment we all became aware that it was our time and we must get involved. I watched as we fought to get a case for Trayvon Martin, protested on behalf of Marissa Alexander, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and most recently Dejerria Becton of Mckinney, Texas. So if the average person you know isn’t doing anything, speak for yourself and step your game up. While her contributions to our community are appreciated, they would’ve been just as well received if she had been herself.

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A while back, actress Mindy Kaling’s brother decided he too wanted to be black. This was the result.

Next is the idea that we should “be happy that somebody wants to be us.” What? Whet? Whut???? Our race, our lineage, our culture is not some costume that can be put on whenever someone feels like being “urban.” We’re not some insecure middle schooler at a dance happy to have somebody pick us. Have some pride about yourself and stop perpetuating this mindset. The reality of the situation is in certain instances, we’re not even allowed to be us. Not one black person had a non-servant lead in the movie Exodus, which by the way was set in Africa, but you want anyone who wants to be black to just come on down? This situation is also one-sided. There’s no way on Earth I can wake up tomorrow, decide I want to be of another race and that particular group of people accept me without question and they’d be well within their right.

In closing, I’d just like to say I don’t want her burned at the stake. I don’t think she should join the ranks of George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson as national black enemies, I do however, think there should be some repercussions. At the end of the day she’s been lying about her identity to gain entrance into a particular community and taught them based on experiences she herself hasn’t had (See the fake hate mail situation). It belittles the struggles of actually black women who have a hard enough time having their voices heard as it is. I’ll end by saying the movement is open to all who are willing and able to join, just don’t do it in black face. And that’s just how I’m feeling…

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