Dolezal, who has been living as a black woman for at least five years and was head of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP before being outed as a blue-eyed, blond-haired white girl by her parents, told Matt Lauer on the Today Show that she has identified as black since she was a child and even went to the mostly-black institution Howard University.
Goldberg, rather than feeling slighted that a white woman would try to take a position of power away from a black women through deceit, was actually supportive — and so was Raven-Symoné.
"If she wants to be black, she can be black," Goldberg said. "Look, just like people say, 'I feel like a man, I feel like a woman, I feel like this.' She wants to be a black woman, fine. Everything that comes with that she is prepared for. OK."
"She definitely owned it," Goldberg insisted, adding, "She's passing as this woman for over five years. If this bitch don't know by now what's it's like [to be black], she's never going to know."
Raven-Symoné added, "And what makes a black person, just your skin?… Black women straighten their hair every day. Black woman do it all the time… White women can't do the same thing?"
The problem with those statements is that they are completely illogical.
Pretending to be someone of another race and being transgender are completely different things. Explains Meredith Taluson, herself a trans woman, in an essay for The Guardian, "The fundamental difference between Dolezal’s actions and trans people's is that her decision to identify as black was an active choice, whereas transgender people's decision to transition is almost always involuntary… Dolezal might feel an enormous affinity to blackness — so much that she decided to identify as black — but her decision to occupy that identity is one that was forged through her exposure to black culture, not a fundamental attribute of her existence."
As for Raven-Symoné's comments about black women straightening their hair, they aren't doing so to deceive society into thinking they are white. It's an entirely different scenario.
Despite Goldberg's vehement disagreement, Rosie Perez put it best when she said, "Another part that people had a problem with her is also that she was speaking to a lot of young black youths and telling them, 'I know how you feel. I've been through blah, blah, blah.' She doesn't know. You can't know."
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