#RachelDolezal, #AskRachel and #Transracial Break the Internet

I literally have no words to describe this story, except that Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane NAACP chapter and Africana Studies professor, is a white woman pretending to be black, and has been living as such for years. Not only that, but she’s pretended her adopted brothers (who are black) are her sons and she identified a random black man as her father.

According to Buzzfeed, Dolezal’s real parents have said Dolezal’s ethnicity consists of “Czech, Swedish and German” ancestry with “possible traces of Native American.” A pin could be stuck in that last part, but I digress. The short of it is: Dolezal’s white.

The kicker is that Dolezal could have been a member of the NAACP and a professor of Africana Studies without pretending to be black. This is the zaniest thing I’ve ever seen in a long time.

Could she have a mental illness? Sure. But she could just be perpetuating blackness just to do it. Regardless, I want to know more about this story, no matter how much it bends my mental processes.

You can read more about this wild story at these links. This ends the news portion of this post.

Now begins the Twitter portion. You know Twitter had a field day with this. This story couldn’t have been a better gift to Twitter. The story spawned three different hashtags, #RachelDolezal:

#Transracial, since some people legitimately tried to make an argument that Dolezal was purposefully playing with the idea of racial constructs and that changing from white to non-white is the same as being a transgender person (thankfully, there were people here doing the good work of rebutting that nonsense):

And #AskRachel, filled with questions that would test Dolezal’s “blackness” with references to collective African-American experiences:

In short, it was a night to behold.

What do you think of this story? Give your opinions in the comments section below. Also, keep the conversation going on Facebook and Twitter.

Rachel Dolezal side-by-side from Twitter