There’s a name we haven’t seen in the news for a while, something which more than a few people would probably see as a good thing. Rachel Dolezal is doing some interviews again in preparation for the release of her upcoming book, In Full Color (get it?). During an interview with the Guardian, she sat down to discuss all the changes in her life since she was exposed as the black NAACP representative who wasn’t quite as black as she had let on. Things haven’t been going so well since that time as it turns out, but she still doesn’t seem to think that she did anything wrong.
Rachel not only lost her job with the NAACP but also a teaching position which she held. She claims to have applied for more than 100 jobs and is going by a different name, but people still recognize her and nobody wants to hire her. She’s on food stamps, recently required help paying her rent and says that she expects to be homeless in the near future. All of these depressing developments have apparently given her time for some reflection. (Daily Mail)
‘There’s no protected class for me. I’m this generic, ambiguous scapegoat for white people to call me a race traitor and take out their hostility on. And I’m a target for anger and pain about white people from the black community. It’s like I am the worst of all these worlds,’ Dolezal told the Guardian.
Dolezal told the newspaper that she is currently jobless and feeding her family with food stamps.
Her friend reportedly helped her pay two months worth of rent and she said she expects to be homeless.
First of all, I take no joy in reading about what’s going on in Ms. Dolezal’s life. I don’t think that she “had it coming” in terms of her employment prospects or the conditions her family finds themselves in. After all, it’s not as if she technically did anything illegal, is it? Whether or not she was on questionable moral ground is left to the eye of the beholder, but personally I think that would only apply if she were knowingly and intentionally deceiving everyone about her race for the specific purpose of landing a job and making money. Honestly, I’m just not convinced that’s the case. She may just be very disturbed or confused.
I also don’t suppose the fact that she has a book coming out is doing much to alleviate her fiscal woes at this juncture either. The interview reveals that she had to shop that book around to more than two dozen publishers before finally landing an offer from a smaller, independent house. Whatever advance she received probably wasn’t all that much and it sounds like it has since been depleted.
But what I find most remarkable about her attitude at present is that she really does seem to be blaming everyone else. For whatever reason, she clearly was taken completely by surprise when people expressed outrage at what she had done. Personally, while not finding it admirable in any way, I do think she managed (unintentionally) to open up some lines of discussion concerning current social justice questions which shed a new light on things. How is it that we have so many liberals who are willing to accept the idea of someone being a different gender than that which they obviously are based only on their feelings, but the same benefit of the doubt cannot be extended when it comes to questions of race? Rachel asked this question herself during the interview, comparing it to not only race but religion.
I don’t think I’ve got room on my bookshelf with all the other material waiting for attention to pick up Rachel’s book, but allow me to wish her the best in the sales department. For better or worse, she’s definitely become a notable figure in popular culture and I’m guessing we haven’t heard the last of her.