Rachel Dolezal in Vanity Fair: I can make up my own childhood
Ok, first of all, Rachel Dolezal probably isn’t making money braiding hair 2-3 times a week. Maybe someone once suggested it after she lost everything. Maybe she wishes she could braid hair to make some money now. But I’m calling her on this. I’m saying that because she said she was, she isn’t.
Everything Rachel says publicly from now on will be called into question. The Vanity Fair article just reinforced the fabricated nature of her life. Unfortunately, the news outlets such as CNN or MSNBC can only report on what Rachel has said, not her intentions.
That is why I love the Internet. I can say anything I think about her. I can hypothesize about what is happening in her brain. I can pick apart her B.S. mountain like Laura Dern did with the triceratops poop in Jurassic Park. It’s a tough job, but fun too.
Speaking of shoveling poo, on to this, the continuation of the breakdown of the Rachel Dolezal Vanity Fair article. We’ll call this part poo, I mean, two.
The focus of this rant/reaction is this: wishes are lies and lies are wishes. Be careful here, I don’t mean that any wish by anyone is a lie. But what is a wish? A desire. Something we would like to be true.
In Rachel’s case, we get to peek at what she really wants by the lies she tells. If we went off of her lies and accepted them as true, then we could put together a pretty convincing picture of who Rachel wants to be.
Ok: two things from the article that Rachel said that the interviewer, or the public (mistakenly) took at face value.
1. She braids hair now for supplemental income. This could be true. If I were an investigative reporter, I would try to find any and all of these ‘clients’ she says she sees. That would be hard to prove, no? Exactly. She is telling lies now that are much more difficult to refute than her old lies. However, as a member of the public, I have personally learned from Rachel that anything she says is subject to the old ‘is it true?’ litness test.
2. Rachel mentioned in the article that she was pulled over by a cop, and the cop just marked ‘black’ on the ticket without even asking her. Is this the truth, or is Rachel wishing again? How did she even see the cop mark ‘Black’ on her ticket? Is there even a box to check on the ticket? Wow. It looks like this is the third time a box to check on a form has played a role in Rachel’s life (#1: No ethnicity box to check on Howard application, and #2: the infamous Spokane Ombudsman form).
Does she wish people just automatically saw her as black? Of course! Did she provide any evidence that she was ever pulled over? No. Could she even provide the details of the stop? Maybe. Again, this would require an investigative reporter to find the police report Rachel describes.
Rachel is making another academic mistake here (didn’t college teach her anything?). There are many types of arguments one can make to ‘sway the audience’ in public discourse. The Greeks used public discourse in their democratic government. For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll focus primarily on two of the types of arguments that can be used: evidential(logical and scientific) and anecdotal (personal and emotional). Guess which type of argument Rachel has been relying on…
First, there is the presentation of facts, and evidence to support the facts presented. Debaters use facts and evidence to support their argument and assertions. Facts are verifiable by an outside source and can be agreed upon by both parties in a debate. As far as I have seen, only Rachel’s parents and the media have used facts and evidence to reveal the truth about Rachel. In all her justifications, I haven’t once seen her pull out an actual drawing from her childhood, or point to a journal entry from her youth.
Now all you pro-Rachelers will point me to a post by Rachel Dolezal where she put up an image of a child’s drawing of a person illustrated with the brown crayon for skin and the black crayon for hair. She posted this as ‘evidence’ that she did draw her ‘black self’ as a child, which brings me to my next point:
If this childhood drawing of Rachel’s was posted any time before she told her story to Matt Lauer, then Rachel would and could point to her drawing as proof. But she didn’t. Rachel posted the drawing after the Matt Lauer interview. Oops. Rachel has learned to retcon her life.
The second type of argument is anecdotal. These are personal stories used to ‘prove’ one’s point. An example of anecdotal evidence is if, say, in a classroom setting, a teacher was discussing how it can take years for someone with cancer to pass away. One student raises thier hand and says: “Actully,my mother passed away from cancer and it took her in less than three months.” Now, that is not to say that this student is wrong in any way, it merely shows that when we hear a personal or emotional story that seemingly contradicts researched data, we tend to side with the emotional (see Fox News for examples of using anecdotal data as an emotional sway).
Scientists and psychologists the world around would never present an anecdotal piece of data to support their claims. Rachel Dolezal uses almost exclusively anecdotal stories as ‘hard data.’ Based on emotion and hard to prove, anecdotal evidence was tailor made for Rachel Dolezal.
Back to the whole retcon thing. In short, retconning is a trope used in literature where an author changes the past events in a story to fit in with the current storyline. Comic writers do it, George Lucas did it, and Rachel Dolezal does it. The only difference is the comic writers and Lucas write fiction. Wait…there is no difference.
She is literally scrambling to justify her statements about always feeling black since childhood, while the facts point to her making her transition after her divorce while she was living in her uncle’s basement with her son in Northern Idaho.
My next blog entry will deconstruct Rachel’s biggest mistake from the Vanity Fair. Coming soon