...and borrow from it as a way to define herself, I don't understand what the problem is. People have been "passing" as one race over another for eons.
Consider the 70s "Crying Indian Chief" commercial with the tearful "Native American" guy who turned out to be Italian. He claimed to be of Cherokee-Cree descent and maintained the illusion throughout his adult life.
Carol Channing passed as white so as not to hurt her career as an actress. She finally outed herself when she was 81 by admitting that her father had been half black.
What about Michael Jackson? He tried desperately to convince the world (and himself) that he had white skin. Mariah Carey pushed her multiracial ethnicity early in her carrier. So did Tiger Woods. People appear to fashion identities that make them feel comfortable in their own skin.
Rachel Dolezal has been immersed in black culture for most of her life. She had African American siblings by way of adoption and she was, at one time, married to a black man. She also, apparently, parented at least one of her black siblings for a time.
The "one drop" rule and the fact that we all share a common African ancestry should buttress her right to explore African culture if she so chooses, but I think it goes deeper than that. She has attempted to walk the walk while consistently advocating on behalf of the African American community. Everything that Rachel Dolezal has stood for and worked for in her adult life, has been in the interest of defending and honoring black culture.
Berating someone because of their skin color, in this day and age, seems backward and counterintuitive. People are willing to attack her for attempting to wear a 'black' hairstyle but say nothing when Beyonce wears a straight blonde wig. They both should be able to wear their hair in any style that makes them happy.
As an actual multiracial person, by way of her Czech, Swedish, German and Native American roots, she should be allowed to self-identify in any way she chooses. How she rolls is no threat to anyone else's blackness or whiteness. She genuinely appreciates and loves African American people and black culture. She's worked tirelessly for racial equality, civil rights and an end to racism and police brutality.
The NAACP supports her multiracial identity and so do I.
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