Rachel Dolezal: Born White, Self-identifies as Black

by Cristina on September 11, 2015 - 2:38pm

(the whole assignment is poste into the summary section, instead of the body)



I chose to respond to your post, because I’m intrigued about this case. I remembered that we talk about Rachel Dolezal in our class and I wanted to learn more about her story. It is an interesting topic and I feel a bit connected to that subject. This article is a controversy with the acceptance of Bruce Jenner's conversion to transgender Caitlyn Jenner and the refusal of Dolezal as a black person. Your arguments were clear, meaningful and I totally agree with your opinion, because I think that she has the right to feel as a black person even if everyone is against her choice. Everyone have the same laws and rights. You are right to say that racial classification is not a good way to describe biological differences and the fact that she puts herself in a race doesn’t help, because Homo sapiens are a single species and is not supposed to be divided in subspecies. You did a good summary and a clear stated opinion. I experience this topic too. I am Asian, but I was born in an African country and I speak creole. I know a lot on African stuff and food as well as Asian. So do I consider myself as an African? Even if she sees herself as a black person, can everybody say the same thing when looking at her skin color?

First of all, the comparison of the trans-racial phenomenon to the transgender phenomenon helped with the comprehension of the response. However, if the analysis of gender norms and issues were included, one could have a much broader understanding of the whole situation. There is a term called, “Intersectionality” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality) which is the observation that different systems of discrimination can overlap and result in a treatment that is exponentially worse than if only one system was applied; in this case, sexism, racism and social status overlap. You stated that many people disagreed with Rachel Dolezal’s change while agreeing with Bruce Jenner’s transformation. Using intersectionality, one can observe why. Sexism is apparent, as Bruce was originally a man, while Rachel remained a woman. The population could have agreed with Bruce simply due to his original sex, while disregarding Rachel’s reasoning because she is a woman. Secondly, racism can also be a factor in why people disagreed with Rachel; Bruce remained white while Rachel became black. This may seem undesirable and useless in the eyes of racists that discriminate against minorities. A last potential factor could also include social status; Bruce is famous, while Rachel is not. People tend to support famous people through thick and thin. Although these examples are specific to their situation, intersectionality can and should be applied to all affairs.

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