Rachel Dolezal and the Issue of Race and Racism in the U.S.
There are lies that are told to achieve a certain objective like the lie Bush and Cheney told to justify the war on Iraq. And then there are lies that are just stupid, like when Rachel Dolezar, the former president of Spokane, Washington NAACP misrepresented herself as a black woman, which she obviously isn’t, which then gave the corporate media something to fill their airtime and papers with for several days, discussing ad nauseam whether it was a lie, why she told the lie, even asking psychologists to discuss reasons why she would tell that lie, as if there is nothing happening in the world worth mentioning and it’s critical for us all to get to the bottom of why she lied.
The only thing that’s worth noting about this incident, aside from the uselessness of and waste of resources by the mainstream media, is how some white liberals view and misunderstand race and racism. In an attempt to be non-judgmental and accepting towards other races, they end up denying the existence of different and distinct races and differences between races, including such obvious things as the physique and appearance, which includes the color of skin. Ironically, this shows not only their foolishness, but actually their insensitivity towards what those differences mean for those of other races in the society. It’s easy for them to overlook or be oblivious about the real and actual consequences of being black, for example, and the real experiences that stem from being black because they themselves aren’t. Instead of acknowledging the existing racism and prejudices built upon those physical differences, they deny the reality of races which can then lead them to misunderstand and downplay or even deny racism. So, just as you can imagine there are no real distinguishing features between races that makes one person black and another white, you can choose to belong to any race you like. After all, in the minds of these liberals, “race isn’t real and is just a social construct”. This is actually and verbatim what Chris Hays of MSNBC said a few months ago, while discussing race and racism.
Races and physical differences between races aren’t imaginary or social or in the mind. What is social and in the mind is racism, the prejudices of the mind that are taught and passed down from person to person, the social classification of people based on their race, discrimination and different treatment of people based on race. Race or racial differences isn’t the problem. racism is. Denying physical and appearance differences between races is like denying that people come in different heights and that there is an actual height difference between them. What would be social is discrimination based on height. likewise, being a woman is not a social construct; sexism is.
In that MSNBC show that I mentioned above, Chris Hays had two guests to discuss race and racism with: a male rapper who did not in any way look black – not his color of skin or facial or hair features – and an African American woman who looked very much like she was black. The former had been invited apparently because he had made an educational video on how not to discriminate in which he was using hand and body moves and gestures typically exhibited by some black men, which the female guest teased him for, for pretending to be black when he wasn’t, to which he replied: “you’re assuming I’m not black”, which supposedly confirmed Chris Hays’ assertion that “blackness” is in the mind and not real, prompting him to say laughingly: “see?”.
The fact is: anyone may say he or she is black and may even identify with blacks and “their culture” where it MAY be different, but if he or she doesn’t look black, he or she isn’t going to face the discriminations and prejudices that blacks face everyday. So, naturally, his or her experiences will be different. We don’t need a psychologist to tell us why Rachel Dolezal lied about her race. She thought being black is something you can choose. What she didn’t realize is that if that were the case, racism could be wiped out instantly if all blacks suddenly decided not to be black anymore. And Affirmative Action would be unnecessary because people could choose not to be black and not need Affirmative Action. This is why I say: despite good intentions by such white liberals, their lack of understanding of race and racism can lead them to reactionary and at the very least insensitive positions on the subject. And, what’s quite telling is that you’ll never hear a black person say race isn’t real and is just in the mind,