Friday, June 19, 2015

I Understand Rachel Dolezal

And when I say that I understand Rachel Dolezal, I don't mean that I necessarily approve or that I've engaged in behavior that may be seen as deceitful or culturally/ethnically insensitive.

I'm not even talking from the perspective of a Latino who:
-(I think) looks like a total white boy, has been guessed to be everything from Italian to Indian to Syrian to Greek and more,
-who's got both white and black ancestry,
-who's been subject to discrimination from Latinos, and Blacks, and Whites who have all mistook me for White, White, and as a Latino/Not Pureblooded White, respectively.

No, I understand Dolezal because obviously movies are to blame here.

And by "movies" I mean "a specific era of movies.'

See, watching films like Tootsie, and especially C. Thomas Howell's Soul Man must have given her false expectations. In a decade full of crazy pictures, the concepts at play in those works stand out as being extra, super-super cray-cray.

Rachel must have believed that her actions would lead to a lot of humorous situations, and maybe one difficult day when she'd get outed but also learn a valuable lesson that she could take forward in life.

Dustin Hoffman got a lot of praise for his performance, and the movie was viewed very positively. If it worked for a major comedic film, why not for her?

Tootsie won one Oscar and three Golden Globes!

And who doesn't love the classic woman passes for male plot of Shakespeare's classic, Twelfth Night? Or Just One of the Guys?

Did I ever mention that the 1980's were a really weird time?

And, really, what film lover can blame her? In True Identity, a Black NYC actor has to pretend to be white so the mob won't find and kill him.

The fact that he was skilled at makeup and doing a caricature of a white man sure became useful. Hell, he used his skill to stop the mafia!

Just remember, boys and girls, don't do everything you see in 80's movies. Not only are movies in no way reflective of real life or its consequences, but they don't always offer the best or most realistic advice - just like people don't either.

Anyway, it might not work out as well for you as it did for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in Silver Streak.

I just really, really hope she wasn't inspired by White Chicks. That movie was just offensive.


  1. Yeah, I get what you're saying(also reminded of that SNL short where Eddie Murphy went undercover as a white man and discovered that while people give each other free stuff and have secret bus parties all the time-lol!) but if that did inspire her, she's stupider than I thought.

    I swear, people like her make me want to go "Dear Other White People, please stop embarrassing me! Act like you know something about life other than this strange little vanilla circle of Mayberry that you want to be in!" Sorry, don't mean to rant but the events of the past couple of days really make me want to crawl into a hole and wait this crap out:(

  2. Argh, I misspelled white at one point there! See how this stuff riles me up? Btw, I've seen some of White Chicks(accidentally while channel surfing) and it is hideous. I think a full viewing of that counts as a violation of the Geneva convention:)

    1. Ha, I understand why a lot people are so passionate about this. And I agree that your initial response has a lot of truth, as there are so many people who say and do a lot of things without ever wondering about the perspective of others.

      All that said, I'm reserving any feeling of anger here, because I've seen too much real and joking bigotry and insensitivity to allow myself to get worked up - unless and until I can determine their intent. Once I've got their intent down, and it IS offensive, THEN I'll allow myself to get mad...


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