As people age, they inevitably face a moment in their lives where they say “Ahh, fuck it” and refuse to accept any more bullshit. Normally, this occurs with new technology or music, which is why you don’t see too many octogenarians standing in line for the newest iPhone, eager to download the latest hit from One Direction.
I always wondered what would finally tip me over the edge. What infuriating technology or tripe pop album would finally do me in? I had always assumed my breaking point would happen well past my retirement.
Nope. Today is the day. I logged onto my Facebook page and saw all the different posts about Rachel Dolezal, an extremely white lady with even whiter biological parents calling herself black and running the NAACP in Spokane, Washington. She’s an adjunct professor of African studies at Eastern Washington University. She chairs the police oversight committee to ensure black people are given fair treatment by the cops. She claims to be a victim of anti-black hate crimes. And she’s white. Really, really, white.
So now we have a new word to add to the vocabulary: Transracial.
Look, I consider myself to be an open-minded sort. I love all races and have many gay and transgendered friends. And no, you can’t really compare being transracial to being transgendered. Most transgendered people identify with their gender in early childhood and struggle their whole lives to make the outside match the inside.
I doubt Ms. Dolezal was genuinely confused about her race. Ever.
I’m roughly about as white as she is (I also get sunburned in the moonlight), and would never confuse myself with, say, a Native American. I would never be insensitive enough to wear a headdress full-time and gripe about how I, and all my Navajo brethren, have been ripped apart by the white man.
I would, however, step into her role at the NAACP if she ever gets fired, if only to fulfill an ironic hipster fantasy. I would walk past the office doors of various executives to give them pop quizzes. I would point to myself and ask “Am I black or white?” If they guessed right, I would swing by later with my hair in some braids and ask again. You gotta spot check these things.
Let’s be clear: Putting on a spray tan and bemoaning the struggles of “your people” when you have the choice of simply being the white, Swiss Miss lookin’ chick you were born to be, is bullshit. It’s black face.
And hey, if you enjoy African culture and want to wear your hair any way, go for it. Good for you. Hell, whenever I’m alone in my car and play my rap music, I totally morph into Jay-Z. So I get it. Cultural or societal expectations be damned, I’m gonna have my fun.
But when I get out of my car, I don’t continue to pretend to be Jay-Z and tell people about my history of being a drug-dealin’ hustla from Brooklyn. At best, such a thing would make me look like an idiot. At worst, the very real struggles of Brooklyn’s drug-dealin’ hustlas would not be taken seriously by those who could affect positive change.
Now obviously, this woman clearly has profound psychological issues. I mean, watch the below interview. It’s not a deeply personal question to ask if those boys who live with you are your sons or brothers. And yes, you may not give two shits about what your biological parents have to say about you, but the one thing they are an authority on is your racial and genetic makeup.
So thank you, TransRachel, for making me reach my tolerance limit at least two decades too early. I’m sure the NAACP appreciates you turning their organization into a laughing stock.