Rachel Dolezal: Race is not real?

Rachel Dolezal: Race is not real?

Rachel Dolezal once again is in the news. now claims that race is not real. The Guardian interviewed Ms. Dolezal and she said

“Other people are operating on an autopilot that race is coded in your DNA, that there are different races of human beings and those races are called black, white, etc. As opposed to race is a fiction that was invented,” she says. “What I believe about race is that race is not real. It’s not a biological reality. It’s a hierarchical system that was created to leverage power and privilege between different groups of people.”

Really? That seems inconsistent with her life and work history. The Guardian called her out in the very next sentence

But race was real enough for her to call herself black.

dolezal

It is ok for her to do this but not for anyone else now? How presumptuous.

“I think some people feel that if you question the reality of race you’re questioning racism, you’re saying racism isn’t real. Racism is real because people actually believe race is real. We’d have to really let go of the 500-year-old idea of race as a worldview in order to undo racism.”

Racism is real because race is not real? Okay. I guess the signs saying no dogs or Irish, the restricted covenant neighborhoods and sundown towns were all just figments of our imagination. Good to know.

See I get trying to figure out who you are. I get not liking things about who you were raised by and how you were raised. All of us have a dysfunctional family. Most of us grow up and keep the stuff that works and reject the rest. Some of us change religions and there are some minor cultural changes as a result. But we are still us. In the process of growing up, I get exploring other faiths and cultures and finding things there that are super cool. I do not however get a complete reinvention of self. In this case, there is a difference, as Katherine Timpf in the National Review writes

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but declaring that “race is not real” seems like a pretty weird thing to say if you built your entire career and life around it. We’re talking about a former NAACP leader and African studies lecturer. We’re talking about someone whose life was so controlled by her obsession with race that she once said she’d be too scared to go to a Tea Party rally because of the “all-white crowds.”

I do hope Ms. Dolezal gets it together and heals from what sounds like a horrible childhood. I really do.

I also hope she figures out who she is without diminishing actual real life experiences of others.  Who were born and raised in minority families.  Or abusive families of any race.

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