There Is Nothing Wrong With Making And Laughing At Jokes About Ridiculous Ass Rachel Dolezal » VSB

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There Is Nothing Wrong With Making And Laughing At Jokes About Ridiculous Ass Rachel Dolezal

NBC News screenshot

 

Rachel Dolezal’s appearance on The Today Show this morning — and her admission that she identifies as Black — confirms it: She is a turducken of bullshit. A turducken inside of a giraffe inside of a whale that was eaten by a fucking Indominus Rex. Not only is her actual aesthetic an intentional optical illusion, following her train of thought — and the gravel of lies and self delusion paving that trail — is like walking up a Penrose staircase. She is three dimensions of “WTF?”

This story is so ridiculous and surreal and disturbing and amorphous that you can approach it from roughly 217,000 different angles and have a valid point with each. (My favorite so far? Demetria Lucas’s piece at The Grio yesterday making the point that being a blue-eyed, light-skinned Black woman gave Dolezal more social capital and status than being a plain-ass White woman.)

Unfortunately, a particular angle that deeply troubles my Black-ass heart has also emerged. An angle that first started to appear Friday afternoon, and continued building steam with each day.

The idea that this ridiculous, surreal, and disturbing story about this ridiculous, surreal, and disturbing woman is not also funny. That the people making jokes and crafting memes and creating hashtags are somehow wrong for doing so.

Because this is “too serious” of a matter to make light of. Or because Dolezal “deserves some sympathy” and her identity crisis should “urge us to ask ourselves some very serious questions about what Blackness means” because if we make light of someone for taking these desperate lengths to identify as Black, “what does that say about us?” And maybe she deserves some sympathy because she has “done more for Black people than most of us have done for ourselves.

And, you know what? I agree. This ridiculous, surreal, and disturbing story about this ridiculous, surreal, and disturbing woman is not also funny. It is fucking hilarious. It is the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. A blue-eyed White woman who claimed to have been born in a motherfucking teepee enrolls at Howard University as White, sues them for racial discrimination, loses, and basically just says “Fuck it. I’m gonna go full Black now“…and gets some box braids and brown shoe polish and actually does it. For a gotdamn decade!!! You could have locked Paul Mooney, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle in a room together for a year and they wouldn’t have conjured a character as ridiculous as this chick. She needs all the ridicule, all the jokes, all the hashtags, and all the memes. Seriously, if you can’t find humor in this — or if you have a problem with people acknowledging and having fun with this extinction-level absurdity — who and what the hell is okay to laugh at? Knock knock jokes? Cat videos? Big Sean verses?

I will concede that the Dolezal story does put a spotlight on some very serious issues. But, you know what else does? Literally every other thing you can find humor in. And it is possible to have the serious conversation and the funny one at the same time. Possibly even in the same sentence. You can recognize how problematic and delusional Dolezal happens to be and laugh at a #RachelDolezalmovietitles hashtag when you see Gringo Unchained and Pitch Perfect Passing retweeted. You can be mad at her for thinking a membership to Hollywood Tans was all she needed to be a Black chick while also forwarding this picture…

rachel1

…to your friends, with the message “Tears, bruh. Real tears.

You know, I can’t help but wonder if this anti-humor angle is at least subconsciously due to Dolezal being a White woman. Basically, people have more sympathy for her — and whatever it is that’s causing her to do all of this — than they would if she were a man (White or Black). Or a Black woman. And, it’s causing them to at least consider giving her the benefit of the doubt and maybe taking it easier on her. Maybe she’s not just a pathological liar and opportunist; she’s mentally ill. Maybe the good she’s done in her career outweighs the lies and deceit. Maybe she just really loves potato salad. My cousin actually first brought this up to me last week (and Jamilah Lemieux made the same point in EBONY). I didn’t see it then, but I really can’t imagine there being the same type of attempt at understanding if she wasn’t a White woman.

That said, if you personally don’t think any of this is hilarious, fine. That’s your prerogative. Continue not laughing to your heart’s content. Just don’t try to stop my Black-ass heart from experiencing some joy at the expense of one of the few people who actually deserves every bit of it.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • ED

    I’m still below a 4 on an angry scale of 1-10. I’m still laughing at the memes. I still think “transracial” is ridiculous. I still haven’t given this, along with any other issues it’s brought to light, any deep thought and I don’t plan to.

  • Medium Meech

    Holy fuckity fucknuggets they are launching a remake of final fantasy 7.

    • overandout

      YASSSSS

    • Epsilonicus

      I am excited. My soul feels joy

  • TJ

    I give up on Miss Rachel. I GIVE UP. I’m going to take a nap. I’m going to wake up tomorrow. Then I’m going to take another nap. I GIVE UP.

    I can take all these naps knowing that she knows deep down inside she can identify as Black, but she isn’t Black. She uses the word “identify” for a reason, because the JIG is UP!

    Going to take a nap.

  • Shy Glizzy’s Twin

    This. I’m going to laugh at this 600 levels of batshit insane WHITE woman forever and a day. I will also have many conversations about white privilege and the constant bullshit that is cultural appropriation. I WILL DO BOTH….because I’m a talented multi-tasking motherfucker. lol

  • Courtney Wheeler

    Okay gang..who should play her in Rachel Dolezal Lifetime biopic? My pick would be Jennifer Coolidge.

    • Shy Glizzy’s Twin

      Meryl Streep. Just because only Meryl could play a woman with this many psychological problems.

      • Tristan

        Meryl Streep can play anyone

        • Shy Glizzy’s Twin

          As she should. She should be allowed to play anyone who’s ever walked this earth.

          • Jennifer

            Zoe Saldana! She’s already done blackface for the Nina Simone movie, so she could relate it this character. Too soon?

      • And Halle Berry- the only difference is that Meryl is acting…

        *shots fired*

        *looks at camera*

    • K Lust

      Angelina Jolie. Cuz she’s done it before

      • PhlyyPhree

        BWAHAHAHAH. I love that you and @sigma said this at the same time….

        • K Lust

          Lol great minds!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Angelina Jolie….she has experience.

      • K Lust

        Get out my brain man.

    • Glenn Close…Fatal Attraction, enuff said.

      • Charlene

        THAT’S the exact person I thought of when I saw Rachel’s mugshot on FB w/a side of Meryl Streep for added flavor ????

    • Whocares

      Yes, yes, yes!

    • Medium Meech

      Jenna von Oÿ.

    • Nick Peters

      Lifetime, VH1, or BET?

      • Courtney Wheeler

        If it was BET they would find a way to incorporate Boris Kodjoe in the mix.

        • Nick Peters

          The D…

          • Courtney Wheeler

            If it was VH1…Joseline Hernandez

      • TVONE

        • Nick Peters

          not big enough… maybe the O Network

      • K Lust

        O…M…G

        • Nick Peters

          but she can’t act….

          • Cleojonz

            Since when is that a qualifying factor for a tv movie?

            • Mimzi

              asking the hard questions.

            • Elowwole

              ESPECIALLY one on lifetime?

          • K Lust

            Neither can Rachel Dolezal….

      • IsitFridayyet?

        I vote straight to DVD movie that can only be found in the $5.00 bins in rural Walmart’s

        • Nick Peters

          But that ruins the twitter fest that would go along with the movie

          • IsitFridayyet?

            That’s true

        • Cleojonz

          Nah they’d make no money straight to DVD. Bad tv movie gets ad money.

        • J. Cleark

          Im thinking more along the lines of a Netflix original

        • Frankly

          A step further: Dollar General

        • cakes_and_pies

          I once saw someone digging all up in one of those like a gopher and it made me sad.

          • Boo Radley

            That might have been me. I found the dvd box sets of both Firefly and Daria for $5 each and have viewed those bins as treasure troves ever since. I regret nothing.

            • cakes_and_pies

              What the Hale is Daria doing in a bin? I always see DVD boxes of sadness featuring “You ain’t dead yet?’ actors.

              • Boo Radley

                “Back to School Mom” wasn’t that bad.

      • J. Cleark

        Vh1, Lifetime is sure to disappoint.

        • Nick Peters

          Don’t want the old white version?

      • Phoenixrising212

        Only VH1 or BET can do this hot mess.

    • Ving Rhames

      • Oh damn lol

      • blogdiz

        Robert Downey

      • towninc

        i’m crying at work. he does like playing chicks

    • miss t-lee

      Dana Delaney

    • Ari

      Emma Stone.

      • Nick Peters

        #@$$too$m@ll

    • Iggy Azalea could do the soundtrack.

    • SuperStrings

      Angela Basset. Angela Basset should play every role in film. That’s my default, canned response to any “who should play. . .” question.

    • Courtney Wheeler

      All i know is…we must keep this project away from Wendy Williams. She’ll ruin it like she did with that Aaliyah film.

      • Cleojonz

        I think that would be the beauty of the film. If they royally botched it. Have the darkest person ever play her. That would be the way to go.

        • Courtney Wheeler

          I think we all just accidentally wrote a Key and Peele skit

          • Cleojonz

            LOL!

          • Epsilonicus

            I want my cut

          • ZindziZenani

            I think this IS a Key & Peele skit.

    • JennyJazzhands

      Zoe saldana is playing Nina Simone so the possibilities are endless.

    • Val

      Keri Hilson will want to produce it and write the songs for the soundtrack.

    • Kim

      perhaps rebel wilson as the young coolidge/delusezal?

    • Deeds

      Perhaps the one of the Wayans, they played white girls before. Maybe one can play a white woman playing a black woman.

      • Epsilonicus

        Some Inception type ish

    • psantillana

      Amy Sedaris, Maria Bamford, or Amy Schumer. I have already given this MUCH THOUGHT.

      • Alison Spencer

        Oh, Schumer would kill it. While Bamford can do the voice transformation for different ages/races, I think only Schumer is fearless/shameless enough to take the role all the way.

  • Yellow Tail

    I don’t know what more people want out of this story. In this woman’s heart and mind she’s black so just let her be want she wants to be! She seemed like she was doing some good work with her NAACP chapter so just let her rock in her own reality. We really have much bigger issues to be concerned about. Also, if she wants to be black then she’s subject to roasting by black twitter. This whole thing is absolutely hilarious.

    • Shy Glizzy’s Twin

      No. That’s not how this works.

    • miss t-lee

      “In this woman’s heart and mind she’s black so just let her be want she wants to be! She seemed like she was doing some good work with her NAACP chapter so just let her rock in her own reality. ”

      https://33.media.tumblr.com/0f77a9dc37aa4df4b0e2b0a22ca82e20/tumblr_mu9lvuRvSq1s7mdj8o1_400.gif

      • K Lust

        LMAO everybody’s argument is “but she did so much good work for us!” SO! That ain’t never stopped someone from getting made fun of, and she is DEF a joke.

        • miss t-lee

          She gets no points.

        • KB

          I need receipts of all these so called “good things” she’s done for black people. those who cape for her always bring this up, yet fail to provide any substantial proof. Kneegrows acting like she is Malcolm X, TUH!

          • towninc

            “Kneegrows acting like she is Malcom X, TUH!” THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • PhlyyPhree

      She seemed like she was doing some good work with her NAACP chapter so just let her rock in her own reality”

      That’s not how this works. That’s not how ANY of this works.

    • Nick Peters

      I must disagree….you can’t overlook many of her actions…

    • Uhh, nah…

      I for one think this is a hilarious story, great movie like Catch Me if You Can with Leonardo DiCaprio based off the life of Frank Abnagale.

      To be fair, I’m not shocked by this, the whole idea of identification subjectivity based on personal psychology (“we all live in our own reality” mindset) set the precedent for something like this, and it’s the black class of intellectuals that have constantly made these kind of arguments in politics and the social sciences who are responsible for this. They should be scratching their head and re-thinking their theories rather that express outrage, since their theories have produced a result they didn’t expect, and I’m sure in the near future there will be a lot more.

      To the vast majority of black people race = color + experience, two things that Ms. Dolezal lacked and manufactured. What makes her interesting and hilarious, is the levels to which she was able to go, to make up for or replace those two things.

      • Epsilonicus

        “To the vast majority of black people race = color + experience, two things that Ms. Dolezal lacked and manufactured. What makes her interesting and hilarious, is the levels to which she was able to go, to make up for or replace those two things.”

        Dope equation that works well for this

      • Freebird

        “To be fair, I’m not shocked by this, the whole idea of identification
        subjectivity based on personal psychology (“we all live in our own
        reality” mindset) set the precedent for something like this, and it’s
        the black class of intellectuals that have constantly made these kind of
        arguments in politics and the social sciences who are responsible for
        this.”

        Said so much here.

      • Wild Cougar

        I could say a word here and tell VSB I TOLD YOU SO……but this is a day for jokes. I’ll go on my TOLD YOU SO tour on a later date.

    • Yellow Tail

      I’m not saying to accept her lies. However I am saying that this woman has made up her mind of who she wants to be so we can’t make her change her life. Any actual “Outrage” or whatever you wanna call it that I’ve seen directed at her is just such a waste of time. These feelings we may have can be better used elsewhere like all the crazy stuff going on in the DR etc. As for the roasting and the jokes, like I said…carry on! After all this is just one story about a delusional blonde white woman in Spokane, WA that wanted to be black.

      • Wild Cougar

        Dude. She made up her mind after Howard threw out her discrimination case when she thought she could drop off a resume and be crowned white queen of the art department. She got white girl mad and decided to play black.

  • miss t-lee

    I have to use “turducken of bullsh*t” soon.
    That’s seriously the best way to describe the f*ckery that continues to follow this woman.

    • As if a turducken could get any more disgusting.

      • Cleojonz

        Have a turducken and GET.YO.LIFE! I’m serious, they sound gross but are super delicious. It’s all about the right dressing though.

        • Nah… Y’all can keep dancing with the devil though.

        • miss t-lee

          Is it rice dressing?

          • Cleojonz

            The one I had was with a sausage dressing. There are rice and cornbread ones too.

            • miss t-lee

              Hmmm. I had some rice dressing one xmas down in Southern Louisiana and it was bomb.

      • Nick Peters

        Having a fried turducken for Thanksgiving is on my bucket list

      • miss t-lee

        Haven’t had one yet, but like most food from Cajun country,I’m sure it’s good eating.

        • I’m sure it’s good but a gentleman must have standards young, Teesh.

          • miss t-lee

            You wearing velveteen as you type this, Wu?

  • Charlisia Nwachukwu

    I am still not mad …. just more amused than anything. I love the memes but I feel sad for her. She could have just been honest … when you have shady family you have to be honest. I feel like her family was the kind to adopt black kids out of pity and refer to them as a project to their other white friends .. and poor girl went to Howard and got jealous of all that black girl magic.

  • Thanks for this.

    I refuse to handle this story to the killjoys of the earth.

    http://www.kappit.com/img/pics/201506_1944_eddef_sm.jpg

    • Cleojonz

      This was one of my favorites. But you KNOW Rachel knows the answer HA HA HA!

      • Nick Peters

        Im 100% sure she put in her negro culture studytime

      • PhlyyPhree

        There have been SOOOOO many, SO many. I still stroll through the hashtag upon occasion when I’m feeling sad because that is guaranteed laughs right there.

        • Cleojonz

          I spent WAY too much time on twitter and instagram on Friday because of this mess, cackling the whole time.

          • PhlyyPhree

            I was legit mad that I had to work on Friday and I couldn’t dedicate as much time to the foolery as I wanted to . LOL

            • Cleojonz

              This mess completely ruined work for me. I got NOTHING done.

              • DiamondIsMyRealName

                Same here, got to work late, took a lunch and left early, 0% productivity… foolin up with yall and black twitter! #ThanksRachel lol

            • LMNOP

              I woke up for no reason at 3 in the morning on Friday, saw a few articles about her on Facebook then read everything I could about her and just thought “this is going to be a great day to have internet” and I got home from work and realized exactly how right I was. I love how each new bit is even crazier though, like she sued Howard for discriminating against her for being white. So crazy. And hilarious.

  • TeeChantel

    She did this to herself.

    OAN, I need to have a chat with a few of my non-American friends. With stories like this, they must think Americans are just batshit crazy. No wonder people no longer take USA seriously.

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