On Saturday, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry wondered if “it’s possible” that Rachel Dolezal “might actually be black,” despite having white parents, The Blaze reported Sunday. Dolezal, the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, has maintained for years that she is black. Her parents, however, told the Coeur d’Alene Press that she was born white.
Dolezal, The Blaze added, had married a black man and at one time claimed to have biracial parents. As we reported earlier Sunday, she reportedly warned her adopted black sibling not to blow her cover when she came to Spokane. Perry, along with guest Allyson Hobbs, author of “Chasing Exile,” a book about passing as another race, discussed the possibility that Dolezal could be black.
“But is it possible that she might actually be black? The best way that I know how to describe this and I want to be very careful here,” Harris-Perry said. “Because I don’t want to say it’s equivalent to the transgender experience.”
“But there is a useful language in trans and cis, which is to just to say some of us are born cis-gendered, some of us are born trans-gendered,” she added. “But I wonder can it be that one would be cis-black and trans-black, that there is actually a different category of blackness, about the achievement of blackness, despite one’s parentage?”
Hobbs agreed, telling Harris-Perry it’s “absolutely possible” there’s “certainly a chance that she identifies as a black woman and there could be authenticity to that.” She cited Dolezal’s claim that the issue of her race is “multi-layered” and complex.
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