Sunday, April 9, 2017

Passin' in Reverse – The Rachel Dolezal Story

Shhh! I’ve got a secret. You want to know what it is? I am fascinated by Rachel Dolezal. I've followed her story since she was outed for passing as Black. There are those who think (including her) that what she did wasn't a big deal, and that it shouldn't over shadow the work she did. It shouldn't. My biggest problem with Rachel is her not owning that what she did was wrong. In the interviews I’ve seen, she is as slippery as a bar of wet soap. When asked if she lied while talking with the BBC, she said how can you lie about a lie.  Rachel continues to argue that race is a social construct even though we already know this. So, why lie about a lie? Does that make it less of a lie?

I was gifted her book, In Full Color, and I'm reading now. I want to understand. But it's like watching a train wreck, having gapers' block. It is for me what reality TV or Maury is for others. 

The book does provide insight into who she is, but it doesn't change what she did. Truth be told: I really don't care how she self identifies. I just want her to stop blaming other people for the situation she finds herself in now when she’s the one who lied about the lie and brought us all to this place. 

So captivated by Rachel that she inspired me to pen a poem.  It’s featured in my coming up book--Unzipped—Exposing the Naked Truth which I co authored with Rick Allison--the irony of that! Listen to her interview. Read my poem. And tell me what you think about this white woman passin’ for Black.


Playing the White Card
When I first heard the story
 of a White woman passin’ for Black
I must admit, I was taken aback

I mean siding with the oppressed
 instead of the oppressor
Who in her right mind does that?

So as I learned about this White Chick
Whose hair required a pick

Who darkened her skin
And tried to fit in

She masqueraded in Black face
Trying to steal a place
In the Black race

Thought if she wore a costume
We’d all assume
That she was down
Because she’s light brown

So, yea at first I was like what’s the big deal?
So, what if she ain’t Black for real

If she wants the burden let her have it
Til I rolled it around in my mind a bit
And thought to myself ain’t this some ish

After watching a couple of interviews
I shook my head thinking,
This woman must think we’re some fools

Yes, she was an activist
And an African-American studies teacher too,
But the real struggles of Black womanhood
She doesn’t have a clue

For us, it’s more than a costume
Since birth, these roles we’ve assumed
You see the legacy of our ancestors
Is in our DNA
And this Rachel Dolezal wants to play?

To have felt the master’s whip on her back
And lived a life of hardship and pain
And have to pick herself up again and again

Rachel had a 10-year fantasy—
That’s all
Because when it comes to being a real
Black woman
She dropped the ball

She has no clue
What it’s really like to stand in our shoes
You know what they say:
Once you go Black you never go back
But for Rachel, if life gets too hard
Unlike us, she has an option of playing
 The White Card


  1. JENNIFER BROWN BANKSApril 11, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Provocative read, Steph. Thanks for sharing!