She said people should be embraced for who they are authentically

The New York Times talked to Rachel Dolezal earlier this month.

In a New York Times report chronicling reactions to the discovery of Ms. Dolezal’s deception, blacks and liberals accused her of an offensive impersonation, part of a long history in which whites appropriated black heritage when it suited them.

Almost 1,500 Times readers responded in comments on that article:

So, if a white person claims to be black to get into Harvard (just like the 1980s movie Soul Man), h/she should be left alone and allowed to continue enjoying the fruits of the deception? — Lanier Y. Chapman, New York

Portraying oneself as black when they’re not is not a crime. However, if one isn’t truthful about one’s ethnicity, what other things may they not be truthful about? — Kurt Pickard, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

In an opinion column, Charles M. Blow of The Times wrote that Ms. Dolezal’s deception was “a spectacular exercise in hubris, narcissism and deflection.”

In an essay on the Op-Ed page, Tamara Winfrey Harris wrote: “Racial identity cannot be fluid as long as the definition of whiteness is fixed. And historically, the path to whiteness has been extremely narrow.”

So race-fluid isn’t and can’t be a thing, it seems.

The Seattle Times reports on a Facebook live she did yesterday:

“Nothing about whiteness describes me,” she said during the half-hour interview.

As she answered questions posed by viewers, her message remained focused and unapologetic.

Race, as understood in Western cultures, is a largely social construct, she said. Yet from the time she was a child, she felt more aligned with black people.

She said people should be embraced for “who they are authentically, and ultimately the quest for self-definition and self-determination is really part of the pursuit of happiness and freedom for us all.”

Nevertheless, the reaction from readers in the newspaper’s online-comments section was fierce and unforgiving.

Because race-fluid is not a thing.

“If black men start identifying as white then they will stop getting shot by police right? No, so transracial is something only white people can do…” with 1,502 likes.

That seems like a fair point.

12 Responses to “She said people should be embraced for who they are authentically”