Melissa Harris-Perry: Maybe Rachel Dolezal Is Actually Black
By Dr. Sinclair Grey III
Rachel Dolezal’s name has been all over the news. Just about everyday, there’s something about her and her claiming to be Black. The former president of the NAACP’s Spokane, Washington Chapter has come under fire for her racial identity. Well, it’s not really her identity, it’s what she’s claiming to be.
Before Dolezal resigned on Monday, many people (Black) were defending her when it came to light that she was posing as a Black woman. On the other hand, there were a large number of whites who refused to defend her.
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday shocked her fans by possibly questioning if Dolezal could possibly be Black. She said this even though Dolezal’s parents contend that their daughter’s background is Czech, Swedish, and German. Please note here – her parents did not include Black in the background. Even though Dolezal’s parents didn’t say anything about having Black heritage, Harris-Perry questioned, “Is it possible that she might actually be black?”
Harris-Perry went on say, “I want to be very careful here, because I don’t want to say it’s the equivalent of the transgender experience. But there is a useful language in ‘trans’ and ‘cis,’ which is just to say some of us are born cisgendered and some of us are born transgendered.”
Author of A Chosen Exile, Allyson Hobbs joined Harris-Perry in the dialogue. In her book, Hobbs looks at passing from a different standpoint. She studies how Blacks in the 18th to 20th centuries of mixed heritage were passing for white. Hobbs told Harris-Perry “One thing that she said that I found so fascinating was she said her identity is multilayered, and that her identity is very complicated,” according to The Root.
Throughout her segment, Harris-Perry and her guest didn’t bash Dolezal’s actions. To see the segment, click here.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an activist, speaker, writer, author, and life coach, Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey