Dear Rachel Dolezal, No You're Not 'Black,' Because You Can Still Get A Job As A White Woman

Seven weeks after Rachel Dolezal was outed by her parents for claiming she was a black woman and she resigned as the N.A.A.C.P. chapter president, she is back in the news. Rachel Dolezal has been interviewed by Vanity Fair, and from the looks of it, she hasn't learned a damn thing. 

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In the interview, Rachel claims that despite being born as a white woman, she is still black, has always been black, and has no confusion as to who she is. 

It's not a costume. I don't know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that’s never left me. It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be -- but I’m not.

Above, Rachel claims it (her race) isn't something she can put on or take off anymore, which strikes me as the most tone-deaf, unaware thing she can possibly say. Since being discovered as an actual white woman, Rachel had to leave her paid and unpaid positions in Spokane. In the article, she laments that: 

l've got to figure it out before August 1, because my last paycheck was like $1,800 in June.

According to the most recent report released by the Department of Labor Statistics, the African-American unemployment rate is 10.4 percent, compared to the white unemployment rate of 4.7 percent and national average of 5.5 percent. We all know the gender pay gap is bad, but for black women it's even worse, because they make even less than white men, 64%. If Rachel identifies as black and cares deeply about the black community, she needs to realize that no matter how much she identifies as black, as a white woman she has the inherent privilege of finding employment and, when she does find employment, making a better wage than black women with even the same education and experience level as she has. 

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Rachel can claim she can no longer take off her "blackness" -- which proves she truly doesn't understand what actual born black women face every day when trying to support themselves and their families. No matter how much she identifies with black culture, she will never know what it's like to be discriminated against for her race. Until she learns that she will never be able to understand what living life as black is really like, the only thing she truly understands is appropriation. 

 

Image via 247PAPS.TV / Splash News

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