The case of Rachel Dolezal is very unique and interesting. This article is about a woman who was born white but truly believed that she was black. She fit in with African American’s better, felt more connected to them, and felt “at home.” Rachel was the branch president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the chair of Spokane’s police ombudsman commission, and was very well known and respected for her civil rights activism. She finally had the life she wanted as a black woman. However, about 2 years ago, a police officer became suspicious of her and hired a private investigator to dig up some dirt. Quickly they found her white parents and they had no hesitation in proclaiming that she was born white.
Today, Rachel still has not apologized for the deception. She does not feel as though she lied at all. As she transitioned to living as a black woman she has a few statements, “I began to feel even more connected to myself.” “I was standing with my convictions, standing also with my siblings, standing with justice.” “I had the clear feeling that I didn’t want to offend anybody.” If she truly believed in her heart that this was the right thing to do, she will never admit to have lied. Some people question if it really is a lie.
After reading the article I came to the conclusion that overall, she lied. But there was also a significant amount if withholding the truth. As we talked about in class, they are both forms of deception.
She changed her hair and darkened her skin, which was definitely lying. She told people that she was mixed, started checking “black” on medical documents and applications. These are also examples of how she lied. Strangers eventually started to assume from her appearance that she was black; she did not correct them. When asked if her parents were black or mixed she would say, “my mother is white.” These are both examples of how she withheld the truth.
In the article, the word “pretend” is used quite a bit. Pretending is a form of deception. It is not honest or truthful. Some forms of pretending can be harmless, but still unethical. People may also believe that pretending could be helpful. While this may be true, it is still deception and technically not ethical.
People see this case of Rachel Dolezal as very offensive, and assume she is mentally ill. Black people especially are incredible offended by what this woman is saying. It was, however, interesting to read from her perspective because she really did not mean harm by this act. In fact, she was providing financial aid for black families through her positions in advocacy groups. She believed in her heart that she was meant to be a black woman. I don’t think she will ever apologize to anyone for what she did.