If you expected this nutcase to go away, thanks to Vanity Fair’s “exclusive” interview we get to kick the idiot around for another couple of days.
“It’s not a costume,” she says. “I don’t know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that’s never left me. It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be—but I’m not.”
After her estranged parents set her downfall into motion by telling a local newspaper, in no uncertain terms, that their 37-year-old daughter had been born Caucasian, Dolezal was relieved of her paid and unpaid positions in Spokane. She resigned from her position with the N.A.A.C.P. (though odds are she would have been ousted if she hadn’t), and was asked to step down from a police oversight commission. Eastern Washington University, where she had a beloved part-time teaching job in the school’s Africana-studies program, did not renew her contract. Her life bears little resemblance to the one she and her 13-year-old son, Franklin, were living just six weeks ago.
“I’ve got to figure it out before August 1, because my last paycheck was like $1,800 in June,” she says. “[I lost] friends and the jobs and the work and—oh, my God—so much at the same time.”
Sounds like she’s looking for a payday. Good luck with that, sister.
And yet, Dolezal’s claim on black womanhood still seems to be non-negotiable. Even in conversation with an actual black woman on the other end of the line or sitting in her cozy home, Dolezal unequivocally identifies as black. (Never mind the ancestry.com heritage test that arrived on her doorstep the day I visited.)
Dolezal spent years researching and then perfectly molding her black identity. She commands an impressive knowledge of African American literature, its writers, and the history of the Civil Rights movement. She attended graduate school at the historically black Howard University (where, The Smoking Gun reported, she unsuccessfully sued for being discriminated against because she was white). She is an expert in black hair, both as a practical matter and as a subject of academic inquiry. She makes it clear she doesn’t plan on altering the way she presents herself anytime soon.
“It’s taken my entire life to negotiate how to identify, and I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of studying,” she says. “I could have a long conversation, an academic conversation about that. I don’t know. I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody. If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”
She’s not the one with the problem here. It’s you.
When I ask Dolezal if she feels her dishonesty about her race hurt the organization or other race-related initiatives in the area, she accepts some of the responsibility but also quickly deflects blame.
“Yeah, I mean taking away my ability to lead in the community by questioning my integrity or my character or whatever really hit all of those things really hard,” she says. “Everything I do is connected to other people, so I don’t know how to assess the damage other than within my own mind. I know what I was working on and different people and systems that I was engaged with, but I mean, I hope that people are jumping in and picking up the slack.”
Maybe she can get some ObamaCare to cover a psychiatirc evaluation. She sure needs it.