Rachel Dolezal says she thinks the world might be confused, but she's not.Posted by Vanity Fair on Monday, July 20, 2015
Rachel Dolezal's Vanity Fair interview dropped over the weekend, and in it she gives many more choice quotes about her chosen identity as a black American, despite everything she's been through after her parents revealed her entirely European ancestry to a Spokane, Washington newspaper. It's been a little over a month since Dolezal stepped down from her role heading the Spokane chapter of the NAACP and became the stuff of national headlines, morning show discussions, and countless memes, though in news-cycle terms she's definitely been overshadowed by bigger things, including the Charleston shooting, and her story of transracial identity and discrimination feels not only old already, but impertinent.
But Vanity Fair took the "exclusive" on anyway, complete with new photos of Dolezal's latest black hairstyle (blond weave, cornrows, braids). And true to the fact that one of Dolezal's biggest strengths in pulling off her persona as a black has clearly been her hair, she reveals that she's been making ends meet after losing her jobs to this scandal by doing braids and weaves out of her house three times a week. And, "she says she developed a passion for taking care of and styling black hair while in college in Mississippi."
Luckily, they went with a short-form profile and interview.
A few more quotes from the piece, which is not likely to appease any of the frustrations you already had with her:
"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."
"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.”
“I would like to write a book just so that I can send [it to] everybody there as opposed to having to continue explaining,” she says. “After that comes out, then I’ll feel a little bit more free to reveal my life in the racial social-justice movement.
And, of course, the piece has only prompted a new round of Twittering.
Rachel Dolezal got fired so she started doing hair. That's black as hell. She's dead serious about living this life.— Larry Beyince (@DragonflyJonez) July 20, 2015
Only thing could make this story better is if they said Rachel Dolezal braided Kylie Jenner's hair. http://t.co/5ZvLqlRN8S— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) July 20, 2015
Rachel Dolezal in her article with Vanity Fair that she doesn't identify as African American she identifies as Black https://t.co/S0nrEbfno8— Johnny Boy ☮ (@JohnTheFame) July 20, 2015
I hear Rachel Dolezal wants to write a book about her experiences but is struggling with the title. May I suggest “Fifty Shades of Nae Nae”?— Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) July 20, 2015
Are people actually talking about Rachel Dolezal again or are drafts from last month accidentally going live— Rembert Browne (@rembert) July 20, 2015