- Politics and Social Issues
Rachel Dolezal-Character Matters
Ms. Rachel Dolezal
NAACP and Rachel Dolezal
Melting Pot Theory
“Separation of people will continue if we focus on the nationality of humanity rather than character.”
Each year millions of people become victims of the Melting Pot Theory knowingly and unknowingly. How many of you have taken surveys, tests or had to create a profile? The questions on each profile created ask for your name, gender, spouse, income, employment, number of children, phone number, address and nationality. It is rather fair to say that consumers and producers who ask these questions should have information on each prospect. Years have progressed, movements for change have been initiated and people are still being judged by their nationality, rather than content of their character and knowledge. The trend of being judged on other factors will continue as long as people are misinformed and focus on nationality. My take on the Melting Pot Theory is why can’t we all just be American and be judged by our character? It is very obvious what category each person would identify, but if everyone could be considered American if that were true or foreigner, I believe we could curtail some of the injustice in the world. The conversation on history in relation to the People of Color has always been tabled because we have allowed ourselves to become victims of the Melting Pot Theory. Black is a crayon, white is a crayon and yellow is a crayon, but there are no other nationalities that can be identified with crayons, which means that 25% of how we classify people is incorrect and 75% of how we classify people is true. This article seeks to inform people of the Melting Pot Theory and to provide some true knowledge of who you really are so you will not become a victim of mistaken identity.
The purpose of this article is to rescue some people from the Melting Pot Theory, while educating those who may currently be in the Melting Pot or getting ready to take a leap. Within the realm of the Melting Pot theory, I have two questions that I will answer to inform people of what a Melting Pot Theory is and how to transition out of the pot and be the best you. The first question that I will answer in this article is, “What is what is the Melting Pot and Assimiliation.The second question I will answer in this article is, “Who is Rachel Dolezar and what factors shall we consider that may play a role in her decision to play colored.”
Exposure to the Melting Pot Theory?
I first became interested in the Melting Pot Theory when I joined the military. The military is the most uniform place in history and a great resource for understanding the Melting Pot Theory. In the military each soldier is expected to wear the same attire, because that represents unity. While training, each soldier is to be in uniform or gear, because once again that says, “We are a team.” While the Melting Pot Theory may be an excellent choice for the military, it will be an integral piece of history to rescue some people who have fallen into the assimilation process of losing their value of identity or being misinformed about his or her identity.
The Melting Pot Theory will serve as an integral piece of history that displays why we still have segregation, bias, gangs and some misinformed historians. Within the MP theory, many readers will find that they have been thrown into this theory and each exit door is locked. Due to the assimilation process, one find that some Americans of all backgrounds disown their own nationality, want to be someone else or completely change who they are to fit into the Melting Pot. The purpose of this article is to focus on the question as to why it is important to understand and know who people are and their background.
What is the Melting Pot Theory?
According to Webster’s dictionary, the Melting Pot Theory is an area in which many ideas and races are mixed. In my undergraduate courses, I learned that an effective Melting Pot Theory is really the salad bowl method in which various races are put together and ideas are shared. Within this effective Melting Pot Theory, I understand that each person within the pot represents a nationality and just because there were some commonalities within some of the nationalities, it was not assumed that everyone was from the same origin. So we rewind and fast forward to history and reality. When filling out any type of paper work, the only box for People of Color is the African American race box with the assumption that all people of color sailed in from Africa. Our children and others need to be informed of history, so that we will not continue to make the same mistakes by judging people according to their skin while omitting their character.
What is assimilation?
I believe the late Dr. Martin Luther King mentioned in his speech that he wanted his children to be judged by the content of their character. How is the theory of seeking one’s heart instead of seeing ones color working? Currently, I have pressed the fast forward button of life on my upward climb to some of the ills of the world and drawn several conclusions based on the actions of people that make headline news. The process of assimilation suggests that each group of people who are classified within a culture have unique characteristics. Within the characteristics described within the group, each person is welcome to embrace their heritage without the fear of a person or group interfering or influencing their beliefs. The process of assimilation is often the place of refuge for those who were unable to comfortably adapt to the Melting Pot. Within the process of assimilation people go through an identity crisis in which he or she decides to deviate from their culture. In order to simplify the process, if you are a size 10 and buy a size 8, you will have to either continue to hold in your stomach or be uncomfortable. The thought of wearing small clothes is uncomfortable and no matter how one tries to make it fit, it just does not fit properly. As a result of an inability to adapt to a culture or place, one takes the flight of disowning who they are, replicating other cultures or nicely suggesting that he or she represents another culture rather than their own. Some individuals will go to the extreme to play the part well and adopt the styles and behaviors of a certain culture, while others will be a sounding brass and tinkling symbol and express who they would like to be through words, association and actions. As we review Ms. Rachel Dolzer without our glasses of judgement, finger pointing and blame, we will carefully analyze how she became a woman of color in her mind. While analyzing how she became a woman of color in her mind, let us not forget how the world came to believe she was a woman of color.
Who is Rachel Dolezal?
In little Rachel’s early life, she was home-schooled and upon completing school, she attended Belhaven University in Jackson Mississippi (BS in 2000). Rachel then went on to Howard University (MS Fine Arts), which is historically people of color.
Throughout her life, Rachel received scholarships from universities based on the assumption that she was a woman of color. While attending one colored university, Rachel received a scholarship based on how she spoke and the assumption that she was a woman of color according to Wikipedia. Once again, counselors and the admission staff were baffled because they had reason to believe they awarded a woman of color the scholarship based on how she sounded on the phone. According to reports, Rachel was no stranger to controversy. During Rachel’s college years, she wrote a thesis at Howard University about a series of paintings presented from the perspective of a colored man, and sparked controversy with Dean Tritobia Benjamin who questioned her ability to tell the story as a non-colored student. From 2005-2013, the process of assimilation was working in Rachel’s favor. Rachel may have been that student who entered your training workshop to receive her Diversity trainer license. She was your former Director of Education at the Human Rights Education institute where over 3,000 to 23,000 people attended to help create Black history in the curriculum. Rachel could have been your art teacher who taught in the public and private school sectors. She is the lady on the featured magazine, “The Artist’s Magazine.” Rachel Dolezal is/was the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as of 2014). Rachel Dolezal hit the ground running as NAACP President and adopted some concepts such as #BlackLivesMatter and stop the violence in the streets. When the people of color marched, Rachel was marching alongside many civil rights activist, but why? Rachel Dolezal had a right to march, she had a right to believe she was a person of color, but did she have a right to deceive so many people?
Rachel Dolezel can be thought of as a well-oiled actress. Dolezel was able to enter into a diverse setting and take on the phrase, “Since I am in Rome, I will act like the Romans.” Those with science backgrounds understand that animals, plants and people adapt to environments to survive. Rachel had many environments that she could have selected to adapt to according to nationalities, but she chose the colored race. Many critics do not know what experiences Rachel had in order to make her resent who she is and her natural skin color. Previously, I informed readers that there is a mechanism in nature called, “Fight or Flight. Due to the surrounding intake of Rachel, she chose to disassociate herself (Flight) with her nationality. Disassociation for the purpose of the article means to deny who she is and create someone new. According to the exposure and experience Rachel had with people of color, she is well qualified to call herself a woman of color without the struggles.
Melting Pot Participant
The Melting Pot is not a mixture of different people with diverse measures. A Melting Pot is rather a group of people who by definition are classified as a race of people, without taking under consideration that everyone did not come from the same background. Each person in society is uniquely made and every person adds something to the Melting Pot Theory. In the case of Rachel, she refused to be a participant in the Melting Pot Theory and jumped from one frying pan to the next. The Melting pot theory so she suggest, did not fit who she wanted to be and certainly did not match up with her desires or goals. Due to the misalignment in Rachel’s mind of her identity, she forfeited her plight of being categorized as a participant in the society of her natural heritage.
After leaving the Melting Pot, Rachel begins experiencing success in the Assimilation process. Some of Rachel’s successes include receiving scholarships from colored universities, becoming a college professor for African Studies and most of all, she could really relate to the people of color. The process of the hair change (Afrocentric) look is a natural right. People of all colors dye their hair for various reasons and it does not necessary mean they would like to be someone else. If you recall, I indicated that according to Rachel’s bio online, the admission office mistaken her for a colored woman because of how she spoke and therefore; she was given a scholarship. In 2014, her big break came and she was officially elected to become the National President of the NAACP. Within her presiding role, she appeared to make a smooth transition into the culture that she always wanted to be affiliated. The transition to assimilation appeared to be a nice transition from the melting pot. With assimilation under the auspices of another identity Rachel could exhale, but for how long? As the equation of assumption became a factor in deception, Rachel once again found herself in another controversy.
Assumption equals Deception
A few days ago, a lady by the name of Rachel Dolezal became a national phenomenon almost overnight. Every station one could think of highlighted the breaking news that Rachel had deceived communities for years concerning her nationality. In previous years, I have only known of Ms. Rachel Dolezal as the NAACP President of the national branch. In recent days, Ms. Dolezal has become the talk around social media, world news and local news. While researching and connecting with Ms. Rachel Dolezal on social media, I discovered that many people are asking, “Why would a person portray him or herself as another culture?” Some critics would suggest that Ms. Dolezal portrayed herself as another culture for attention, gain or because of a synapse that would not allow one to rationally think things through before adopting a culture. Once I began to watch the news, study information and really learn more about Ms. Rachel, I find that she feels comfortable with her identity as a woman of color. Many critics can sit all day and rationalize why a person would have the audacity to become a new creature. The answer to the question of how could Rachel deceive so many people can be explained through what I call the Assumption equals Deception theory.
Assumption=Deception Theory Explained
Have you ever walked into a clothing store? I am sure every person reading this article would suggest that he or she have walked into a clothing store. As you walked into the store, it was implied that you are coming to buy some of the products. The person within the store approaches you and ask that famous question, “Can I help you find something?” Some people are offended at the question because it appears as if they are being watched, while others innocently say, “I’m just looking.” We will come back to the phrase, “I’m just looking.” Throughout the life of Ms. Rachel Dolezal, we all know that she grew up with at least one person of color. Throughout Rachel’s life, we know that she attended Mississippi College and served as an integral part in the community as a Civil Right activist. During the time of her service, I am pretty sure that many people asked, “Can I help you find something or help with your vision, some were offended and some once again stood on the side lines and said, “I’m just looking. When Rachel attended Howard, it was assumed that she was a woman of color and therefore; she was given a scholarship. Upon the discovery that Rachel was not a woman of color, the scholarship was up for forfeit, but Ms. Rachel filed a lawsuit. The basis of assumption of Ms. Rachel was placed into effect due to the voice tone of Ms. Rachel and many people may have been offended when they discovered she was not a woman of color, while others said, “I am just looking.” As a student, Rachel ventured off into art at Howard University and was challenged by a professor when she wanted to explain an art concept of a colored man. With Rachel’s actions, she once again offended some, while others stood by and said,” I am only looking.” Fast forward 2015, Ms. Rachel’s parents came on national television and told America that their daughter Rachel was white. Once again, Rachel would be guilty of offending some and hear those who stand idle and say, “I am only looking.” There are several ethics that can be taken into account when reviewing the next steps and how can the NAACP recover from a knock-out of justice.
The first question that needs to be posed is what type of harm did Ms. Rachel cause to the people and organization? Although Ms. Rachel did not cause any bodily harm, there is a lot of mistrust that has surfaced within the NAACP and the community. Secondly, the question is what specifications were placed on the position when Ms. Rachel filed to become President? The NAACP embraces diversity and advocate for social justice for all individuals, so did Ms. Rachel breach any regulations? Finally, did Ms. Rachel have a right to claim the title African American on her paperwork? All questions appear to be of a simplistic nature with the exception of the third question.
When filling out the paper work, each applicant has a right to clearly define who they are or not. In the case of Rachel, a qualification was not a person of color, but many people feel mislead because they were told she was a woman of color. Once again, many people knew Rachel personally and some were offended that she would lead a colored organization, while others said, “I am just looking.” With the track record of Ms. Rachel, we all can see that there were many people who knew the truth concerning the real identity of Ms. Rachel and were just offended or said, “I am just looking.” The concept of assumption and deception does not equal integrity. What is in question is the integrity of a leader, leading a group of people who was different, or were they?
The question of, “Why would Rachel Dolezal deceive so many people and be of great service deserves an answer?” Surprisingly, the answer to the question is that Rachel finally found a group of people in which she felt comfortable. The culture was something she looked up to and something she was able to experience success within. When looking at different groups that form, we find that people join gangs because they are assimilated into a group where they feel most comfortable. Not only did Ms. Rachel find the culture of color appeasing, but she found that she was heavily supported and could bring about liberation for people of color. Once again, while Ms. Rachel worked, some people were offended, while others said, “I am just looking.” What would have happened if someone would have stepped forward and informed the world of Rachel Dolezal? What would have happened if Rachel’s parents did not inform America about who Rachel Dolezal really is and how she was deceiving the people? What if Rachel was honest upfront? All of these questions are what if and when Rachel was seen as a public icon for people of color, some were offended, while others said, “I am only looking.
Call to Action
Clearly it is time to take action to ensure that organizations define expectations of who they are seeking to fulfill a position. Secondly, it is time for America to focus on character, rather than seeking to find the nationality of individuals. In order to truly understand who a person is, their heart must be examined first (AEL). Also, it is important to note that the Melting Pot Theory is obsolete in that we have shifted into assimilation and embrace different cultures. Finally, we must be true to ourselves and know who we are before we expect the world to understand our view points.
In conclusion, I believe that many people was aware of who Rachel Dolezal was, but was offended or said, “I am only looking.” During Rachel’s childhood, I am sure there were people in her circle who realized that she had jumped from the melting pot to assimilation and some were offended and yet some were only looking. As Rachel grew to become a young woman and participated in Civic duties, some who knew the true story were offended, while others said, “I am only looking.” A few days ago, the spectators were tired of looking and the commentators were tired of being offended, so many voiced their concerns. Currently, the organization is at a loss and the world will never know the real reason why someone would disown who they are. Rather than being offended and looking, we should be more observant, truthful and serve with integrity. If Rachel did not teach America anything else, she taught us that character, rather than color matters most. It matters not who one stand with or eat with, what really matters is for what purpose. When we speak of character, we are not speaking of one or two infractions or mistakes; we are speaking of action taken to make this world a better place. I wish the NAACP and Ms. Rachel Dolezal the best and hope that America will be more character driven than crayola based!
Dr. Alfreda Love
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