June 13, 2015

YOU’D THINK A TRANS-BLACK WOMAN WOULD BE MORE INCLUSIVE: Rachel Dolezal Once Told A Student She Did Not Look Hispanic Enough For A Class Activity.

Rachel Dolezal once did not let a student participate in a class activity about race and culture because she did not appear Hispanic enough, the student told BuzzFeed News on Friday.

Dolezal, president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, gained notoriety Thursday when her parents disclosed that she has been passing herself off as black for years. The revelation has prompted questions about the other aspects of Dolezal’s life, including claims that she has been the victim of hate crimes and received threatening letters.

The student — who, like many others interviewed for this article, asked to remain anonymous — told BuzzFeed News that she took two courses with Dolezal during her freshman year to fulfill academic requirements at Eastern Washington University.

The student said that the incident occurred within the first three weeks of an introductory course on race and culture. Dolezal introduced an activity she called “Fishbowl,” in which one student sat in front of the class as others were invited to ask them questions about their racial and cultural experiences.

In the first round of Fishbowl, the student said Dolezal sought out a volunteer of Hispanic background to be questioned.

The student, who told BuzzFeed News that she identifies as Hispanic, grew up in a Spanish-speaking country, speaks the language fluently, and, while she has light skin, believes she has a “pretty solid experience of what it’s like to be Spanish.” She raised her hand to participate.

“I think we should ask another student,” the student recalled Dolezal saying in class.

The student asked why she could not participate.

“Rachel said I didn’t look Hispanic,” she said, and that her instructor “doubted that I could share experiences of racial or ethnic discrimination because I didn’t have the appearance of looking Hispanic.”

Well, this is where identity politics leads. Enjoy it, folks.

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