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How Rachel Dolezal Just Made Things Harder for Those of Us Who Don’t “Look Black”

Avatar • Jun 22, 2015

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By Lisa Bensley for XOVain.com

I am biracial. Yes, the very white-looking person you see in the picture above has a black mother and a white father. They are my biological parents, and there’s a zero percent chance of them coming forward and saying that I’m lying about it, unlike the parents of NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal, who, as you might have heard, has allegedly been pretending to be black for years.

And she’s ruining it for us biracial and light-skinned folk.

My brothers are darker than me, but still on the light-skinned side of things. One brother is a tall, lanky musician with dreads all the way down his back, while the other is a musclehead that looks more like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson than he does me. I may look lighter than them, but there’s no way any human can be in the room with us and not know that we are biologically related. We look alike, we sound alike, and we all have the same twisted sense of humor.

My brothers.

My brothers.

The thing is, when I was growing up, I had no idea that I looked white. Call that whatever you like. Call it naiveté. Call it an identity crisis. I call it good parenting. My parents did not raise me to judge a book based on its cover, so I’ve always had trouble being able to distinguish “colors.”

The more unfortunate side of the story is that I grew up being made fun of for being black for a long time. I grew up in a small town where everyone knows your business, and we were one of the few black families in town. I got called all the names. All of them. Oreo, zebra, the n‑word, Brillo Pad (for my then-curly hair, which was never curly enough to be likened to a Brillo Pad)—I could go on. And as a kid, I bought into those names, like any child would.

If you had asked me in high school what my race was, I would not have said I was biracial. I would’ve told you I was black. It wasn’t until college that my friends said, “Uh, you know that you don’t look black, right?” I had no idea! I laugh about it now.

But now, Rachel Dolezal is ruining it for people like me.

Me and my mom a few years ago.

Me and my mom a few years ago.

I already get asked the dumbest questions you can imagine about race. I think that now, with Dolezal’s little antics, it’s only going to get worse. People already give me the side eye if I tell them that I am biracial. Am I going to have to carry some form of identification? You know people are going to ask me to “prove my blackness” now.

I am honored to be the one my white friends go to when they have questions about black people. I love my friends, and I know that the questions are generally harmless. But then there are the “friends”—the people I don’t know all that well, who I’m friends with on social media and share an occasional beer with. When they start to ask questions, I get really nervous about where the conversation is going.

And forget about the complete strangers who think they can ask me personal, invasive questions about race. Or the things you hear people say when they have no clue that you’re biracial. That’s when you see what real assholes people can be.

Let me give you some fun examples of what people say to me, just in case you’re curious:

But you don’t look black,” in a tone like some kind of compliment.

Well you have the best of both worlds because you have good hair and a big butt.” Besides being racially offensive, tell any woman on earth that she has a big butt and you deserve to rot.

You can’t be offended about that because you are white.” 1. I’m not white, I’m biracial. 2. Don’t downplay what I went through in life, because you don’t know me. 3. Who is even 100% white any more in America? 4. No matter what color you are, you have every right to be offended when someone is a bigot.

So what will you do if you have a baby and it comes out black?” This is actually one of the most frequent questions that I’m asked. The problem with the question is the underlying racism involved. Like a black baby is any less amazing than a white baby? (And don’t get me started on the assumption that just because I’m a woman I have plans to procreate.)

Rachel, these are the types of idiotic questions people ask me every day of my life. Can you imagine, for one second, the kinds of questions I’m going to get now that you’ve spent years posing as a black woman?

And, girl, you passed. You sure as shit look more “ethnic” than I do. Was that a perm? Who does your spray tans? I get a golden glow like that about two months out of the year here in New York, so I have no clue how you managed to rock that year round in Spokane. Your Glam Squad must be damn good.

But all kidding aside, you should know that conversations about race are precarious, even in 2015. You should know that because of what you do for a living. Did you think that you couldn’t make an impact on the world because of your race? Well, I guess minorities probably feel that way every day.

The thing that is most concerning to me, though, is the welfare of the people who have really struggled. So what if I was called some names when I was little? So what that I still have fools asking me dumb questions all the time? My life is not so bad. But there are minorities struggling in our country every day that need a voice. You were supposed to be one of those voices, and now your credibility is shot to shit. Who’s going to listen to you now? You didn’t have to lie to stick up for those who deserve a fighting chance.

I’m not pleased that this game you’ve been playing is going to make people think that they can ask me even more invasive questions about my racial identity, but I am not afraid of who I am. I am not afraid to stick up for people who need it. I am not afraid to voice my opinion on any matter, even race, because I’m one of the people who think all should be equal.

For now, I’m going to take this stunt as a compliment. I’ll interpret it as you finding black women beautiful, because they are. I’ll overlook your lie and hope that it doesn’t hurt your office’s credibility. But stop the lying. Tell the world who you are. If you’re confused about who that is, it’s OK to say that out loud. We’re not going to be offended if you tell us you wanted to be black. Just stop lying and start using all that time and energy to stand up for people.

You can find Lisa on  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and her Website.

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Emma W
Emma W
5 years ago

Hello editor of the page — the 2 paragraphs under photo of Lisa and her mum are repeated.
Many hugs,
Em

blackgirllonghair
blackgirllonghair
5 years ago
Reply to  Emma W

Thank you! Fixed.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Emma W

Oh I thought it was me! Thought somehow my eyes had darted back over the same paragraph, lol!

Nia Says
Nia Says
5 years ago

I can’t accept it. I could be wrong, but in my opinion she seems to be passing for white and/or find it complimenting that people think she is white. IDK just things I pick up: straightening her hair- why? yes you can do it, but no curly hair out of her hundreds of pics on instagram. I also noted, no pics of her mother and brothers on her instagram- however there are plenty nite outs with friends, at work, at play, selfies, but I can’t help but ask is she really proud of her African heritage? not questioning her love… Read more »

Tracu
Tracu
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

That’s a stretch how is he denying her blackness because she hasn’t posted a photo on social media? Everyone does not post their entire lives on social media and that’s
just absurd to say that she is trying to pass because she hasn’t posted a picture of her family. Everyone is not addicted to social media or worried about capturing every single moment to show online to a bunch of people you don’t really even know. Crabs in a barrel.

Nia Says
Nia Says
5 years ago
Reply to  Tracu

not talking about everyone and what they do, I’m stating my observation of ms Bensley. I also stated I could be wrong and “in my opinion”. I’m entitled to that.

SafflowerOil
SafflowerOil
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

You certainly are entitled to your opinion and I completely agree with you. I thought exactly the same way after reading it. Just didn’t buy it! Its not that I reject biracial struggles. But I can read and she said a lot of things that raised a brow. All these people are saying you are being judgemental, well darn. I guess master’s house rules are still in effect. You are not allowed to judge anything for yourself, just them.

ama
ama
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

Damn!! Is it me or are people jumpin out the bushes to cape for the author?!? I got your point and also feel it was well stated. In my opinion this article was suspect as hell. Side bar–I can’t stand when biracial/mixed people are referred to as light-skinned.Do they describe themselves as dark-skinned to white people?!?!

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

Same thing I was thinking…

Emma W
Emma W
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

I have read your comment and think it sounds a little like you’re saying she doesn’t act black enough. Or perhaps, she doesn’t peacock her blackness enough for you. In the times we live in where ‘black’ comes in so many shades, it should be enough to accept someone’s self defined racial identity as the race they state. She chooses to wear her hair straight, so what? Aren’t we at a stage now where a it is a woman’s right to choose how she wears her hair without it speaking about her racial identity? Her hair, her choice — that… Read more »

Ella
Ella
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

I’m sorry but why are you assuming that every biracial person has curly hair? My daughter’s hair is stick straight and I’m black and her dad is white. That’s ignorant.

Nia Says
Nia Says
5 years ago
Reply to  Ella

never said that.wrong article.

Flora Kfk
Flora Kfk
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

Okay, id like to kindly disagree. So mayn black or biracial women I know would never show a curl in their hair, even when their curls are really loose. And personally, I just don’t post photos of my family.

I don’t personally know the author but i get her point ssince I have friends like her.

lizzy
lizzy
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

I love my son more than anything in the world, but try finding his pic on my facebook page. You won’t. The absence of display doesn’t equal the absence of love. I believe there is a difference between public things and private things. My family is private period.

»-(¯`v´¯)-»Belladonnia
»-(¯`v´¯)-»Belladonnia
5 years ago
Reply to  lizzy

Well spoken. I applaud you. I don’t have pictures of my kids either on instagram because that’s private. The problem with social media is that everyone puts way too much out there in public not realizing who is lurking.

Rose
Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  lizzy

Thank you!! Is Nia Says really trying to judge a person’s personal thoughts on their identity based on instagram, rather than reading a very well though-out, logical essay?? We are such a lost generation.

lala
lala
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

why would you just assume she is passing because she decides to straighten her hair and doesn’t have pictures of her family on instagram. if she was darker skinned would you say the same thing?there are soooo many black women that straighten their hair and wear weaves day in day out and simultaneously do not put pictures of their family on instagram. i personally don’t have a single picture of any family member on my instagram, however i do have natural hair but i could have had a relaxer. would you then say i am passing? why does she have… Read more »

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

Sounds like you’re asking her to do exactly what she fears: prove her blackness. Looking at her xoVain profile, I see she’s a makeup artist. So I kind of expect her Instagram to be full of fashion (parties, photo shoots, backstage, ads, etc.), makeup, and other work-related photos. But I skimmed her Instragram anyway to check your assertion, and I did notice a photo of her and one of her very handsome brothers. Not that I was looking for more photos of them because they’re handsome or anything, noooo, not me… *ahem* I have no idea what friend/family/work relation she… Read more »

Nia Says
Nia Says
5 years ago
Reply to  Robin

nope. she has nothing to prove to anyone. That’s why I closed out my statement with “my opinion”. I’m entitled to it.

Exactly.
Exactly.
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

And what was up with her saying that her hair was never curly enough to be likened to a Brillo Pad? As though that totally inaccurate description of black hair should be reserved for more Afro textures?

LJ
LJ
5 years ago
Reply to  Exactly.

Naturally, sometimes my hair does feel and look like a Brillo Pad. Oh well. I have some built in volume and structure. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I have non-black friends and biracial family members whose — by their words — hair is like a “limp noodle” or a “drowned rat.” They’re just descriptors. You never know until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. You’d be surprised at how many people who look like she does, aren’t satisfied with their looks. I’ve had a disturbing number stop me unsolicited and say that they wish they… Read more »

Nia Says
Nia Says
5 years ago
Reply to  Exactly.

Exactly, exactly!!

Myllee
Myllee
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

It sounds more like a braggig piece than anything else in my opinion.

Rose
Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Myllee

It’s only “bragging” if you think being mistaken for a white person is something that all people desire. Check yourself.

Staci Elle
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

That was a read… ( sips tea)

FedUp
FedUp
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

I think you’re being a tad judgemental, her instagram mainly seems to follow her work life and it’s apparent she travels alot…maybe she doesn’t live in the same state as her siblings…maybe she doesn’t want to have overtly personal things on her instagram page…You don’t know her life…

ama
ama
5 years ago
Reply to  FedUp

sooo it’s okay to drag their photos out of the closet for this article but not for posting on instagram?! Is it because she knows people who checkin for her on that platform wont be checkin for her here. I swear people need critical thinking 101. And people gon stop actin ljke people dont use instagram and the like to present an image of themselves that they mold.

fugeela20
fugeela20
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

That’s not fair. She is still subjected to the same beauty standards as the rest of all of us. By your argument, any black woman that rocks their hair more often than not is not proud of their blackness either. But it has become an accepted argument that this is not true, and the same can be said about the lady in this article.

Chrissie
Chrissie
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

I think your interpretation says more about your perception than the author. Should her instagram be plastered with images of African print? In a quick scan of her ig I saw a post where she gushes about Busta Rhymes, is she a little blacker now? There’s also a quote from Maya Angelou.. Black enough yet? I don’t get the vibe that she wants to “pass” at all, more like she’s simply stating facts and observations. If people see it that way, maybe they’re projecting their own inner desire to be able to pass for white. And if you wouldn’t ask… Read more »

vwlover
vwlover
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

In my opinion if she were passing I don’t think she would have even written this piece. I won’t judge her as far as her having lack of pictures on her Instagram of her family; I’m very personal and I rarely post pictures of my family. As far as her hair, well it is her hair. Black, white, biracial there are plenty of women who never wear their hair in their natural state; I have friends like this.

Rose
Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Nia Says

I greatly disagree, Nia Says. Firstly, you are using instagram to determine what someone thinks of their personhood. That is so shallow and thoughtless. Secondly, people like you always think others must prove their blackness somehow. People like you think a black person can’t listen to rock music or get an education or speak with proper English, or do “white” things (and I suppose Asian and Latino things as well). Black people must be uncultured and live in a bubble according to people like you. We live in a free and global society. We are educated about biology and race… Read more »

December86
December86
5 years ago

I loved this!

Rose
Rose
5 years ago

I am trying to understand what you mean by a woman verbally accosted you. That is crazy; people are so nuts! I’m sorry to hear that happened to you.

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

I mean that I was on the train minding my business when I saw a girl staring at my head. I had an awesome bantu knot out, so I assumed she was about to compliment me on my twist game… nope… she went ham on me.
Three white people (two women and one man) came up to me after to see if I was ok. The dude said he would “protect me”… not that I needed it.
But it was .… disturbing… and a little scary because I wasnt expecting it.

Staci Elle
5 years ago

Damn its like that in these streets? On another note, you purty.

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
5 years ago
Reply to  Staci Elle

Awwww! Thanks Staci! In general I think most ladies in NYC are great… It just caught me way off guard.

Staci Elle
5 years ago

no worries and I agree Ive met some cool ass chicks in NY.

V.G. Grace
4 years ago

That’s horrible. She sounded somewhat unhinged. I can’t imagine a person being so on the edge emotionally that a stranger’s hairstyle could cause them to harass somebody. The state of race relations in this country can be very difficult and hard to understand, sometimes.

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
4 years ago
Reply to  V.G. Grace

Yeah… as a whole there are deep issues that until we unpack them and sort them out (as unpleasant as it will be for all of us) things will just float on this way

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

and ps.…The thing that bothered me most (besides just the awful feeling of a stranger yelling at you on the subway) was … and maybe I’m just old school… airing our dirty laundry like that in public… I hated that those people saw how dysfunctional we can be…
I know… I’m a little weird, but that’s the part that I really hated.
🙁

Myllee
Myllee
5 years ago

Where are these women when Black women are being attacked in the media why do we only hear about them when they have some self promoting to do and talk about their racial background?

TheNameGame
TheNameGame
5 years ago
Reply to  Myllee

.….You hear only what YOU hear. Expose yourself to different sources and maybe you’ll see the world is a very big place with lots of opinions.

BTW your answer: Recent news of Rachel Dolezal compelled this person to write this article, if you’re to believe her.

SafflowerOil
SafflowerOil
5 years ago
Reply to  Myllee

So true.

V.G. Grace
4 years ago
Reply to  Myllee

Actually, there are plenty of mixed women who advocate for women of color (both Black and mixed), plenty who are aware of injustices in society because they grew up seeing it affect their OWN families. I’m like the author, similar in background (my mother is a mixed-race black woman, my father was white of italian-American descent). And I’ve stood up against racism against Black women and Black men and seen other mixed ladies do the same. I don’t think self-promotion has anything to do with anything. I like hearing the range of narratives from women of all shades and backgrounds… Read more »

anon
anon
5 years ago

i never comment but I had to say the Black police are really getting ridiculous. The woman identifies as Black as well as Biracial. Look through your history books and find out how many well known and even first famous ‘Black’ African Americans were ALSO in fact biracial…that is part of the reality of being Black in America. Being biracial does not exclude you from identifying as Black and I appreciate this womans article. I never understood the troubles some biracial Black people face in the Black community because that is not what I saw growing up. Perhaps it is… Read more »

Myllee
Myllee
5 years ago
Reply to  anon

The Black police ???????? Yet White people NEVER calls anyone White who is not 100% White or look really White, same for Asians. Black folks are the most open, accepting race who anyone can claim Black even with only 1% Black are welcomed and treated as Black heck as a better Black person sigh. So yes Mixed people always complain about the Black community but do not do the same for their other half.

Ms. Vee
Ms. Vee
5 years ago
Reply to  Myllee

Thank you! Everyone else can define themselves. But if blacks do …oh no. Pure nonsense.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  anon

it’s a new day and black people don’t have to accept biracials as black. they were forced upon black people — like you know when massa raped black women and they were forced to raised mixed children?

lis
lis
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Please SHUT UP omfg.…forever and take your insecurities somewhere else. Thank you @anon…exactly. This is how it is in the Americas whether some like omfg want to accept it or not.….Our families are too mixed up for us to totally dismiss the one drop rule. I accept ALL who wants to identify as Black.

NBestOne
NBestOne
5 years ago

Adding to the discussion of being Black or Black experiences when you don’t look Black. I believe one cannot have a the full Black experience when you can be confused for white or any other thing but Black. Part of the Black experience is being profiled from the distance due to your skin complexion. The negative facial expressions, body movements and overt hostility are part of dealing with people who obviously doing like people who are darker than them. When you are ambiguous and actually have to verbally claim blackness, you have missed out on an important part of racism.… Read more »

SheridaDaily
5 years ago
Reply to  NBestOne

Ditto, ditto, ditto!

TheNameGame
TheNameGame
5 years ago
Reply to  NBestOne

I upvoted your comment, but.….I don’t think she’s COMPLETELY missed out on the so-dubbed “important” part of racism (or prejudice & discrimination).…she just has a different experience. I agree with you that it is a much more overt judgement if your appearance takes on an “extreme” as opposed to a “blend,” so to speak, and that looking Black is a disadvantage in numerous environments and scenarios (like everything, its got its advantages too). The “Black Experience” is mostly played out in America and has become so ingrained in our cultural stereotypes and generalizations that people don’t even know what “race”… Read more »

Judy
Judy
5 years ago
Reply to  TheNameGame

bravo!!

Bella
Bella
5 years ago
Reply to  TheNameGame

Amen ??

bsbfankaren
bsbfankaren
5 years ago
Reply to  NBestOne

That depends completely on where you grow up. In many places where there is a small black population, not “looking” black isn’t an issue, but how you identify is and it is how other’s identify you as well. Now, putting that aside, my father looked white but was black and went through heck in this country in the 1950’s and 1960’s in the US Army as white’s became angry when they realized he was not white. So. While it’s interesting to say that one has to look a certain way to be subjected to the black experience in this country, that… Read more »

omfg
omfg
5 years ago
Reply to  bsbfankaren

your father is white. he just confronted white people who had been swept up in their own white supremacist white drop rule.

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
5 years ago

I’m so over this conversation. Bye!

I timda taht I saw tsuj derob
I timda taht I saw tsuj derob
5 years ago

THIS IS JUST RIDICULOUS. THERE USED TO BE A TIME IN THIS COUNTRY WHERE UNLESS YOU WERE 100% “PASSING”, BOTH BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE WOULDN’T HAVE AN ISSUE CONSIDERING YOU BLACK. NOW AS THE COUNTRY HAS BECOME MORE AND MORE DIVERSE, BLACK PEOPLE ARE STEADY DRAWING LINES IN THE SAND, BUT MOVING THE GOAL POST AT THE SAME TIME! I’M MIXED AND I CAN’T FUCKING WIN WITH BLACK PEOPLE. IF YOU SAY YOU’RE BLACK, THEY’LL POINT OUT THAT YOU DON’T LOOK BLACK BLACK AND THAT YOU HAVE TO BE MIXED WITH SOMETHING. YOU SAY YOU’RE MIXED AND THEN THEY START IMPLYING THAT… Read more »

Yurilyte
Yurilyte
5 years ago

ok then, call yourself a person of color like you said you would and be done with it. Yeesh.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

bye.

Staci Elle
5 years ago

All caps though?

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  Staci Elle

Obviously experiencing some sort of ‘mixed-heritage’ oppression.

SafflowerOil
SafflowerOil
5 years ago

1. Why are you screaming. 2. There are two main issues on the plate in society. a) what percentage of black are you? and b) how many generations going back? That question was derived from this countries forefathers, not blacks. You are addressing the wrong group. And if you do not know that today THAT is a real issue being searched into by this government: then 1) you really are missing understanding key elements of recognizing racism and its advancement works. 2) What bio-science is actually searching for and 3) what is really going on in the modern world. How… Read more »

SafflowerOil
SafflowerOil
5 years ago

1) why are you screaming? 2) Those are two of the issues being actually raised in society today. They are a) what percentage of black are you? and b) how many generations going back? Those questions were raised by the forefathers of this country. Not blacks. If you do not know that then you REALLY are missing key elements in understanding what the true struggle of our people are. You are not consciously aware then of 1) Origins of racism in this country. 2) how to recognize racism and its advancement works instead of blaming black advancement as against you… Read more »

Choco Bunny
Choco Bunny
5 years ago

What Blackness? You look white so identify as white, simple! You have no “blackness” to prove.

Robin
Robin
5 years ago

And I’m entitled to my opinion of your opinion. My opinion: you’re being rather judgmental about someone you know nothing about, aside from what she’s disclosed in her essay. You made assumptions about her without enough knowledge about her, and you implied some things I disagree with.

I never said you can’t have an opinion. I simply don’t agree with your opinion. At all. Hey, to each her own.

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
5 years ago

yaaaas… Maybe its a southern thing (I was raised mostly in NC) , because there is so much variation in “blackness” that we kind of see the spectrum. But all around the world, brown people of all stripes give me that nod!

V.G. Grace
4 years ago

Black Americans are an incredibly diverse group of people in general with a wide variation of skin tones and features. I’ve seen people with two Black parents of mixed heritage whiter than myself (Black mom of mixed heritage/White dad). I’ve seen people described by others and themselves as Black, with blond hair, blue eyes and ivory skin. Granted, they’re rarer, but they exist. Especially in a land of mixing such as Louisiana. Blackness, over the years, I have come to view as a cultural and political identity, not solely physical. It’s a very strong identity that’s brought about much social… Read more »

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
4 years ago
Reply to  V.G. Grace

Totally… There are two aspects to “blackness” one is physical identity. One of the main points about why it can be so hard to be black in America 9as opposed to some other marginalized group) Is that if you are obviously black, there is no choice of how to identify. Jews post holocaust could (and did sometimes) choose to lose their Jewish identity and hide in the relative safety of “whiteness”. A black person can not usually make that choice. Thats why its important for all colors and shades and tones and textures to be normalized and then lifted up… Read more »

V.G. Grace
4 years ago

I just saw your reply Mariama and I wanted to say I completely agree with you!

We’re all on some level, experiencing and suffering from the continued legacy of white supremacy, so I strongly believe we all need to support, inspire and uplift one another…of all shades, backgrounds and features. There is true strength in solidarity.

SafflowerOil
SafflowerOil
5 years ago

I would have understanding if there was not blatant lies in her story. You cannot say I did not know until college that I did not look black, but with the same breath say I was called names as a child. Then you say you identified as black but you were the one all your white friends came too, where were your black friends?, in the dust when white was more popular. Someone mentioned where are these women when black women are being discriminated? Where are their voices then? She’s only coming out to speak for other biracial’s, not black… Read more »

SafflowerOil
SafflowerOil
5 years ago

I agree, but black people did not come up with this racial hierarchy, we are the victims of it and people keep addressing the matter to us instead of directing it to the members of the human race who started it. Why did she not go post this on a white forum? Why.

Ericca Brock
5 years ago

I really dont know if I really care. I understand her position in this whole new show your receipts since Rachel but is anyone really asking her. Yes, she gets the shady comment every now . OK, is that worse than what other get?

Ugh
Ugh
5 years ago

Honestly. We sub to the one drop rule so damn much. Every other race has racial purity, but we black people, we accept the 0.000001% of black blood and call everyone black. That’s why we have these mixed, white passing, and black wannabes claiming blackness and are the face of “acceptable blackness”. Who ride of the wings of light skin and white privilege and support colorism. If you don’t look black, you prob are not black and if you are mixed or biracial, you are for sure, not black. We really gotta draw the line on who is black by DNA… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Ugh

That’s not fair, in Louisiana, we have sibs who look completely dif from one another: one will appear White and the other will be identifiably Black. Therefore, how can the one who is darker claim Black while their sib cannot, although they have the exact same set of parents??? Also, no race is “pure” bc they all come from Black anyway, which is why the Black phenotype is so strongly expressed in biracial ppl.

MagnoliaGirl Phillips
MagnoliaGirl Phillips
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Yes, I think some people don’t have variety in their families of skin tones or do not know enough about their lineage…my family is originally from New Orleans and my family is an array of colors from pink, yellow to dark brown…, but we all identify as black…LOL…but I guess we can all have or opinions on things

Camielle Belle Poole
Camielle Belle Poole
5 years ago

You definitely look mixed. My uncle’s wife is Louisiana Creole and you look like her and her people. There’s no mistaking it. I think only a white person would actually mistake you for white. We know our people.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

she is white. she definitely isn’t black. and she shouldn’t be speaking on behalf of actual black people to white people because she knows nothing about that from personal experience — e.g. living as a black woman.

lecia p
lecia p
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Angry little troll aren’t you?

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

Yeah I don’t think I would take her for white unless maybe from a distance where I can’t see her facial structure. I live in NOLA area though.

Yasirah
Yasirah
5 years ago

Can I get your brothers number? One with dreads?

SoleilKiss
SoleilKiss
5 years ago
Reply to  Yasirah

for real though! they’re both cute, but dreads is hot 😉

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  Yasirah

Yes, Lawd. He’s a fiiiinnnneeeee looking honey. But since you called dibs I can take the other brother no problem..

Excepcion
Excepcion
5 years ago

lol she meant well. and she did grow up in a majority white area ..

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

see, a black person would not say something like this. only somebody who coasts through life not bearing the burden/mark of blackness would feel delight over being the go-to spokesperson for black people.

she’s a joke.

Staci Elle
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Please tell it.

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Lol. I know what ur saying. Further I read on, the more certain statements gave away a non-black viewpoint. Being mixed this way simply is NOT the same as being black. As for not being self aware of your colour. Puhleeeze! Children as young as 3 yrs old and younger have self-awareness — that includes the colour they are. There’s no virtue in being ‘colour blind’ — I find such statements patronising & annoying to say the least.

Bella
Bella
5 years ago
Reply to  kalexa1

My daughter is 2 years old, and already points out that mommy is yellow, daddy is brown, and she is brown. And these observations were made independently …so yeah, I have to agree with you there.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

maya rudolph isn’t black and neither is this woman. you only believe she’s black because a white person told you she is.

lecia p
lecia p
5 years ago
Reply to  omfg

Sheesh…you are one angry chick! The further back I scroll in comments…you’ve just gotten more & more nasty, defensive &entitled. You seem to think you get to deny ppl of mixed races their right to claim their racial identity! “Maya is NOT black…”. Really? What makes you fit to bar Maya or any other biracial person? She hasn’t benefited from being fair skinned…the only way her skin tone would benefit her and isolate her from the black experience is if she were denying her heritage…trying to “pass”. she hasn’t been spared the black experience because she has not denied who… Read more »

Lauren Walker
Lauren Walker
5 years ago

um. bi-racial isn’t the correct term. We as humans all know it takes two humans to create life. Bi-ethnic is really the correct term. Her mother is Black American + White American father= Bi-ethnic Sometimes people speak in terms of white people not being ethnic it seems. White people are ethnic…

Aïcha
Aïcha
5 years ago

the term bi-racial is not the best to be used, it sounds like we are tlaking about animals or plants. For me there’s only one race, the human race. one race and many colour, many nationality, many languages, a real cultural wealth.

Philly Jawn
Philly Jawn
5 years ago

She looks black to me i think ppl saying those dumb comments are either naive and not culture exposed or from the mountains

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago

You can admire a people / group without deluding yourself and others that you are one of them. There’s a distinction between being ‘with’ them and being ‘of’ them. Seeing that clearly is a sign of being in touch with reality.

soulwoman
soulwoman
5 years ago

i’m board

lecia p
lecia p
5 years ago
Reply to  soulwoman

Bored?

Dawn LaRae Jones
Dawn LaRae Jones
5 years ago

what specifically makes her “look black” to you?

Dawn LaRae Jones
Dawn LaRae Jones
5 years ago

as much as i think rachel dolezal was a fiasco, at this point, since pretty much anyone can claim blacknesss when they want and whatnot, and there’s no clear cut definition or parameter for blackness, then i really don’t see how what rachel did was that egregious in this current climate. all i know is that i’ll never be mistaken for anything but black. i don’t have the ‘privilege’ of being able to say i’m anything but. the only people i recognize as black, are those other women who can say the same as i have about their identity being… Read more »

Dawn LaRae Jones
Dawn LaRae Jones
5 years ago

dang, they came for you hard on this one. i understood what you were saying.

Emmeaki
Emmeaki
4 years ago

So what will you do if you have a baby and it comes out black?” Wow! People are really assholes!

Dani
Dani
3 years ago
Reply to  Emmeaki

Yes they are. I am black my husband is white. We have two boys. About once a month I am asked if I am the nanny. It’s terrible!! I was so mad once I told the person asking yes, the baby who is sucking my tit is my baby.

Tsehaitu Abye
Tsehaitu Abye
5 years ago

This is a real life experience. My mom was born in 1955. She went through this in the 60’s and 70’s and later had children with men that she thought would guarentee her children would be obviously brown. Both of her parents looked like you.. Matter of fact photos from our family tree show several generations looked like you. I wish the 20 generations of these stories could be remembered and heard. Rachel didn’t make it worse for any of us. Don’t get it twisted. You give her the “power” and it’s no longer yours. Our history did that on its own. I’m… Read more »

Mariama Alona Williams
Mariama Alona Williams
5 years ago

This story aside, I have to admit when the whole story broke, I had some similar feelings. There was a meme going around saying now all light skinned people were going to be suspect. It was both funny and I admit frustrating. Before I went natural I couldnt pay some of my white associates to understand that I am black…especially those from outside of America. While I was transitioning I had a woman verbally accost me on a subway saying she was tired of “ambiguously colored women” trying to “go natural”… It was actually scary. That aside, I agree that… Read more »

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
5 years ago

The reason you don’t look Black is because you aren’t exactly Black. You are biracial, so I don’t understand the title of the article

M&J JAMES
M&J JAMES
5 years ago

Is Barrack called black or biracial? Jus becasuse something doesn’t appear to be one thing doesnt mean it isnt. Why cant she be defined as both? Why does it matter what she identifies at. If we want to be specific most black Americans are actually brown not ‘black’ in the true definition of the word

Emma W
Emma W
5 years ago

How ‘black’ should someone be before you consider them to be ‘black’? Shouldn’t the consideration of the individual’s self stated racial identity be the be all and end all of the discussion on whether or not a person is ‘black’?

Bea
Bea
5 years ago

This is why we should evolve past caring about race. What makes a person black? Having black ancestors? Looking black? I am confused…

Chrissie
Chrissie
5 years ago

I really enjoyed this piece! I am biracial, and according to others I looked mixed or black. It’s interesting to hear another perspective. It is unfortunate that some of these readers are so close-minded that they dismiss the experience of someone else simply because they are biracial and lighter skinned and therefore “must be bragging.”

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

Sorry, but she just looks like the average redbone Black person to me. You see Redbones everywhere, especially in large cities and particularly in Louisiana. I went to school with one. They don’t try to pass for Anglo; when in public, they generally let people assume what they wish. I crossed paths w/a ‘white’ Black lady when I was in New Orleans. She looked at me, I looked at her, she nodded her head, I nodded back …it was an instant understanding that I wasn’t mad at her –and that she could go on her way without any shade or being called out.… Read more »

caramelizedbabe
caramelizedbabe
5 years ago

I don’t agree she does look like she has a lot of black in her . She doesn’t look “very white” definitely biracial though. I can see the black in her face.

Ms. Vee
Ms. Vee
5 years ago

Interesting. I didn’t consider that this whole fiasco would make it hard for a biracial person to identify as just that.

Rose
Rose
5 years ago

I really loved this author’s essay, and honestly, more stories with her point of view need to be known. It shows that race is a social construct. I am not offended by Rachel identifying as black. She is no less black than I, with two Nigerian parents, am. There are two forms of identity–one we choose for ourselves and one people choose for us. Racial hierarchy was created to divide us. We are all literally one race, and that is the human race.

darklady
darklady
5 years ago

but what do these people want? All of a sudden black has become a trendy fashion?Being white is not something that they don’t feel at ease? This is white privilege, because these people are aware that their skin will not find obstacles to access to more high levels or positions, because their racism that they suffer is never comparable to black or brown people!

more
more
5 years ago

UMMM she is not black she is mixed !!

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago
Reply to  more

Thank you.

Ms. Vee
Ms. Vee
5 years ago

If you don’t look black.…then you most likely aren’t.

*shrugs*

SophieBeans
SophieBeans
5 years ago

When I first saw images of Rachel Dolezal I suspected she was white (the skin color looked like self-tanner), but the woman above although really light skinned does look biracial to me. I know a lot of really fair skinned people who consider themselves all black (their parents are two light skinned black people and can’t trace back to any specific racial mixing) so even though I sometimes make wrong initial assumptions I feel like I’m not shocked by people outside the “norm”. That woman was an anomaly, and I’m certainly not going to go around thinking every light skinned… Read more »

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago

People would stand up for a biracial woman who Idensities as black, a white person who identifies as being of mixed ethnicity but not a white woman who went out, educated herself about black history and culture- more than some black people I know- and identifies as black. If it truly is ” just skin” no one would be bothered by this anyway

april Guscott
april Guscott
5 years ago

She actually looks like Maya Rudolph whose mother was Minnie Riperton. I didn’ know she was half black from looking at her but she is. I think it’s so unfair to be judged by your skin color. There are factual identities and then those that we assume about ourselves and others that people project on us. I wish black people didn’t tear each other apart like they do. Some black people even believe that if you’re light skin and still have black features that you’re not really black. It’s just crazy. I would never come for anyone’s identity. Dolezal however… Read more »

Staci Elle
5 years ago

I am honored to be the one my white friends go to when they have questions about black people.”

sigh…

Thanks
Thanks
5 years ago

People are so damn stupid and ignorant. Being “black” doesn’t mean that you’re an African American. An African American is my Nigerian friend or the teacher I had in school whose parents were from Kenya. This is from Wikipedia: “For example, in North America the term black people is not necessarily an indicator of skin color or ethnic origin but is instead a socially based racial classification related to being African American, with a family history associated with institutionalized slavery.” I am not an African American and I doubt many of this site’s readers are either. But, the above definition… Read more »

Simone White
Simone White
5 years ago

I found the article to be an interesting read to say the least. Though I empathize with her plight, I honestly feel that as long as you know who you are that’s all that matters. Where was it written down that one had to prove their heritage? Granted I am not biracial so her experience is a lot different than my own and I recognize and respect that, all i’m saying is; you know who you are, your biracial, people can either except that or not. You don’t have to prove a damn thing to anybody.…. Screw them!!

redants79
redants79
5 years ago

I am from England and I am multicultural or mixed-race as they say here, my eyes are blue and green my kids complexions are very similar to what i am now and what I was when i was younger. It is not new, it is not original nothing is when it comes to Mother Nature, i do not have to explain myself and my kids to anyone, because the real beauty is that Mother Nature is complicated and i am happy with that. Humans are always finding ways to surprise themselves and sometimes they aren’t good ones. I do not understand why… Read more »

Mischling2nd
Mischling2nd
4 years ago

This woman, like too many, embraces the one-drop myth and considers herself unworthy of her whiteness but a genetic prize for blacks.
http://multiracial.com/site/index.php/2004/09/01/white-racial-identity-racial-mixture-and-the-one-drop-rule/

Cindy Snyder
3 years ago

You and your family are lovely human hat God created. Dont let anyone bring you down.

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