My nerve damage has been killing me lately so I haven't been able to focus on a ton of stories, but I did watch Rachel Dolezal's interview on The Today Show this morning and it was totally bizarre. I haven't read every article out out there about this, but listening to her it's hard not to think she was lying about what she was doing for personal gain even if she identifies with the black community. Lying on job applications and to people in interviews about your race is, you know, a lie. When Matt Lauer asked her about the stigma attached to blackface, she agreed with him, but then said she doesn't stay out of the sun. Huh?
In fact, her role has not been so passive — she has identified herself as black or partly black on many occasions, including on an application for appointment to a Spokane city commission, where she checked boxes for white, black and Native American.
Mr. Lauer asked repeatedly whether she had cynically used racial identification as a way to gain advantage, either against Howard or in enhancing her credibility as a civil rights advocate. She declined to answer.
Ms. Dolezal said her identification with black people went back as far as when she was 5 years old. “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and the black curly hair,” she said.
“That was shot down,” she told Ms. Harris-Perry. “I was socially conditioned to not own that, and to be limited to whatever biological identity was thrust upon me and narrated to me.
She said that began to change when she was a teenager, and her parents adopted four black children, and she wondered, “Who is going to be the link for the kids in coming to the family?”
But when Mr. Lauer showed her a picture of herself from around that time, as a girl with fair skin and straight, blond hair, she conceded that at the time, she did not identify as black.
Now, her skin is several shades darker, and her hair is a mass of tight brown curls. When asked on “Today” about the changes in her appearance, she said, “I certainly don’t stay out of the sun, you know, and I also don’t — as some of the critics have said — put on blackface as a performance.”