Rachel Dolezal is crazy, and so are the people defending her. What she did was dead wrong, whether people want to admit it or not, and she looks even crazier with every interview she does. I, as an actual factual Black woman, could never get away with pretending to be White, but I digress because, this post is about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Abdul-Jabbar wants us to let #thatwoman be as Black as she wants to be. The just of the lengthy essay that he penned was that her accomplishments trump the lie.
Here’s a snippet:
I sympathize with the dilemma of Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP whose parents maintain that she is not any part black, as she has claimed (#whiteisthenewblack). See, I too have been living a lie. For the past 50 years I’ve been keeping up this public charade, pretending to be something I’m not. Finally, in the wake of so many recent personal revelations by prominent people, I’ve decided to come out with the truth.
I am not tall (#shortstuff).
Although I’ve been claiming to be 7’2” for many decades, the truth is that I’m 5’8”. And that’s when I first get out of bed in the morning. Just goes to show, you tell a lie often enough and people believe you. I expect there will be some who will demand I give back the championship rings and titles that I accumulated during my college and professional basketball career because I was only able to win them by convincing other players that they had no chance against my superior height. How could these achievements have any lasting meaning if I’m not really as tall as Wikipedia says I am?
The evidence against Dolezal does seem pretty damning. Her birth parents have decided to express their parental love by outing her in response to a legal dispute they have with her (#returnworld’sbestparentstrophy). They offered photos of a farm-fresh Rachel looking like she just stepped out of the General Store in Mayberry and a white-on-white birth certificate. Some siblings have also attested that she’s not black, though she was raised alongside four adopted black children. Dolezal herself has just stepped aside from her position at the NAACP.
Despite all this, you can’t deny that Dolezal has proven herself a fierce and unrelenting champion for African-Americans politically and culturally. Perhaps some of this sensitivity comes from her adoptive black siblings. Whatever the reason, she has been fighting the fight for several years and seemingly doing a first-rate job. Not only has she led her local chapter of the NAACP, she teaches classes related to African-American culture at Eastern Washington University and is chairwoman of a police oversight committee monitoring fairness in police activities. Bottom line: The black community is better off because of her efforts.
I’m going to stop there, but you can read the full thing over at TIME.
#ThatWoman could have been an ally, and could have admired the culture without putting on a costume. White people were among founding members of the NAACP and for decades, no one affiliated with the organization, that we know of, pulled a stunt like that. The fact that #thatwoman told her family not to blow her cover suggests that she knew she was being manipulative and crazy. She sued Howard for discrimination against her as a White woman, took scholarship money reserved for a Black woman, she has been lying in interviews and…I’m tired of explaining this.
Again, people who defend #thatwoman are just as crazy as she is so, add Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the long list of new crazies outting themselves at the expense of defending ol’ girl, whose name shall no longer come out of my mouth, or be typed from my fingers.