Rachel Dolezal Makes an Appearance
Rachel Dolezal has reappeared in the media. Most recall her as the white woman who presented herself as black for about a decade before being discovered and resigning from her leadership position in the NAACP. Living as an African American woman, and now going by the name Nkechi Amare Diallo, Dolezal has continued to suffer backlash for her transracial stance. However, in South Africa, Bishop Clyde Ramalaine—founder of the group “Quest for Non-Racial South African Society Dialogue (QFNRSASD)—took interest in Dolezal’s story and invited her to visit Johannesburg for their inaugural event.
Dolezal Shares her “Black” Experience
The event attended was to promote a non-racial South Africa. Ramalaine thought it appropriate to invite Dolezal because of her successful transition to African-Americanism, and how her story supports “the myth of race.” According to Dolezal, “race is a lie.” Notwithstanding the criticism of attendees at the event, Ramalaine commended her and commented that most considered transition of race to be “an unpardonable sin.”
The group attracted disgruntled black students who objected to Dolezal’s having a “black identity.” She attempted to give insight from her experience as a non-black who identifies as black, but upset the young crowd by comparing her transracial experience to that of transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner. Ramalaine backed her, comparing Jenner’s acceptance and Dolezal’s criticism.
Social Media Expresses Thoughts
The public expressed their feelings on social media, making Twitter posts and memes following the “white, privileged smack in the face“. Many people were outraged, with one post reading, “America, we don’t want Rachel Dolezal in South Africa. Please take her black. I mean back, please!” Overall, the majority found Dolezal’s visit unsettling and offensive. The concept of being transracial is debatable, and hard to swallow for some. Can a white woman accurately depict the black experience? Despite Bishop Ramalaine’s support, most of South Africa’s young people are saying “no.”