While some do not have an issue with former NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal passing as a black woman for almost a decade, Talib Kweli is disgusted. After being outed as a white woman by her parents, Dolezal visited the Today show to break her silence had no problem she identified as a black woman and was not apologetic about deceiving people. In fact, she said she would do it all again if she could.
Kweli spoke with Rolling Stone to share his dismay with the situation. View an excerpt of his response below.
She's said she identifies as black. Cool story, but that's not a real thing – because at any time, she could go back. That is a privilege that people of color do not have. You cannot just jump back and forth between those worlds. It's very disrespectful to the people of color that she claims to identify with to say something like that. When you say something like that, you are not identifying with us, at all, in any way, shape, or form.
I read that she sued Howard University in 2002 for discriminating against her for being white. She said she was denied a position because of her race, and that a professor there took her artwork off the walls because she was a white woman. To me, that exemplifies the worst aspect of this story. She tried to take advantage of the university by suing them, and then later she advanced her career by playing black. She has a history of taking advantage of the situation.
With all due respect to the NAACP, working with them doesn't prove you're not an asshole. They're the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and we don't even call ourselves colored people anymore. I saw NAACP people in Ferguson when I was down there, but I also saw that they were down with Donald Sterling. Anyone can start an NAACP chapter. So I don't think that's the best judge of her character.
Read the full response here.