Rachel Dolezal is coming for you and it’s nothing you can do about it. In fact, you actually want it, because a story that initially broke as a referendum on racial identity and white privilege, has devolved into a media train wreck, where all people across the great American racial divide, are guilty of rubbernecking.
Word is that she’s in talks for her own reality show, which no doubt got a boost from her recent soundbite where she questioned if her parents are actually her biological parents. The Rachel Dolezal story would normally run its course in a few days, leaving another notch on the ridicule belt of the NAACP; right next to giving Donald Sterling a civic award, but this is different.
The media circus is not only a chance for everyone to gawk, and it’s proven that we all love gawking, but it’s an opportunity to make jokes, feel outrage and also impart opinions on a racial topic that doesn’t involve violence. Racial stories with violence, murder and death are exhaustive, caustic and bitter. And as the most free-wheeling, racially loaded story that America has had in recent memory, people don’t want to let it go. Dolezal is a chance to continue the conversation with a minimum of burn.
Though it seems endless, Rachel Dolezal will stop trending at some point. But what seems to have a limitless run is all the ratchet media aimed at and depicting black women in a highly negative manner. I’m not sure how many people this transracial debacle has hurt, but the reality shows on VH1 and Bravo, where black women frequently abuse each other for non-sports entertainment, do evident damage.
I saw the damage in the young black girls who fought ferociously in a Brooklyn McDonalds, who no doubt were constantly bombarded with reality shows and rachet rap lyrics that showed and told, that they have low value and that beating each other is normal. Degrading, belittling and helping to create this amazingly negative imagery of black women, in the minds of themselves and everybody, is how ratchet media hurts people.
I can’t fully fathom, outside of being totally delusional, why a white lady would try to pass herself off as a black lady, in this modern Internet era where everything has a trail. Her story just gets more absurd because her trail is her whistle-blowing parents. But honestly, I’m more concerned with a fast-food joint full of young black girls beating each other, than I am with #RachelDolezal. That video of those girls still haunts me.
I don’t think it will be a rash of white ladies trying to pass for black, after seeing this media and twitter shit-storm, brewed up over this weird and insulting story. I can’t see a rash of white women willing to trade in their white privilege for blackness, for any amount of time, lest something happen while black, that reverting back to white can’t fix!
Perhaps she’ll get a few mentions in the ubiquitous “top stories” articles, as 2015 comes to an end, or maybe by December, people will be talking about her reality show on Bravo. It’s all a bit of comfortable racial rubbernecking, that sans any violence, allows everybody to chime in with jokes, opinions and talk show appearances.
It’s a story that’s given continual life from the 24-hour news cycle and our obsession with social networking. But frankly, I’m already tired of talking about it