Can we be done with Rachel Dolezal? I think we’re ready to be done with Rachel Dolezal.
If the left’s reaction to the general backlash against a decades-long exercise in blackface is any indication, we may be nearly free of seeing her face in the news. Acknowledging that the story is quickly fading into the background, Salon (#SalonPitches, still going strong!) published a missive dragging the issue back into the racial limelight: “What we can’t afford to forget about Rachel Dolezal: A master class in white victimology.” I’m not going to pull a quote from this thing, because to do so would be to jump down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and into a world of intellectual pain; suffice it to say, the author attempts to make academic hay and fails (or succeeds, depending on how you feel about academia) spectacularly.
On a more serious note, officials associated with the NAACP and other organizations continue to take Dolezal to task, bristling at the idea that we can change our racial heritage as a matter of “identity.”
The rest of the world, however, seems happy to hand over the story to comedians and the entertainment establishment. On a recent episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph succumbed to demands that she take on the character and pulled it off with flair (and an afro):
The wig! The face! The whole thing is 100% the truth, and reflects how people (at least people I know and follow) feel about this circus.
SNL has lampooned Sarah Palin, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and George Bush, but their parodies haven’t always signaled a pop culture death knell for their subjects. Plus, Rudolph has been off the sketch comedy show for 8 years, so it’s unlikely that producers will revive the character in time for their fall premiere.
That being said, Hollywood is having a ball creating fantasy casts for the “inevitable” Rachel Dolezal biopic.
According to Variety and BuzzFeed, it is “inevitable” that Hollywood will make a movie about Rachel Dolezal. So they have gone straight into stunt casting, with BuzzFeed suggesting 17 white actresses to play Dolezal — from Kate Hudson and Lindsay Lohan to Anne Hathaway and Taylor Swift — with Variety deciding that Amy Schumer was their favorite option.
They’re having fun with the idea, maybe too much fun, but it does seem like Hollywood won’t be able to resist telling this story, whether in a Lifetime movie or big screen biopic. If you’ve been hiding in “Orange Is the New Black” or “Jurassic World” screenings and don’t know, Rachel is the (now former) president of the Spokane, WA chapter of the NAACP whose parents revealed she was born white, not black, eroding a series of details Dolezal had shared about her own past.
As the above article notes, the glitterati are divided on the issue, but the difference between this issue and others is that this time, those who think Dolezal has beclowned herself aren’t shutting up.
Kelly Osbourne took to Instagram to mock Dolezal as well, using the hashtag #WholeNewLevelOfWrong to speak her mind, and spicing things up with a more natural look of her own:
Creepily on point.
I think that, at this point, the best thing we can do is watch and let this whole narrative circle the drain. Liberal outlets will continue to resurrect it during future National Conversations About Race, but once you’ve gotten mainstream Hollywood to go public with the general opinion that the whole thing deserves to be mocked, you cash in your chips and walk away grinning.
As far as pop culture is concerned, it’s as close to “winning” as conservatives have come in a long time.DONATE
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