The real evil of pretending to be black

When Rachel Dolezal was outed in 2015 for being a white woman pretending for years that she was black, my first reaction was ‘she meant to do it.’

One does not pretend to be black just for the hell of it.

Now, along comes Jessica Krug, another apparently white woman who for years has passed herself off as black.

Krug outed herself a few days ago, explaining that her years of lies perhaps can be linked to “unaddressed mental health demons” she’s fought over her lifetime.

My first reaction when I read her story: ‘Her fraud was deliberate.’

One does not pretend to be black just for the hell of it.

The Guardian reminds us these two women are not alone in lying.

Last year a British theatre director called Anthony Ekundayo Lennon, whose parents and grandparents were white, was accused of “passing” as black and collecting grants and funds meant for people of colour.

Was it not enough for these people to understand the brutality of slavery and the systematic racism that has outlived it? Was it not enough for these people to know that efforts to eradicate racism, one step at a time, must be built on integrity? Was it not enough for these people to know in damaging themselves they also were damaging others?

There’s nothing wrong with being black.

There’s something very, very wrong with pretending to be black and supporting blacks when you benefit from your deceit.

The evidence we have today suggests the people who faked their blackness gained from their lies. They advanced their careers at the expense of men and women who ARE black. They took honors, positions, financial awards and more from men and women who ARE black. They were respected by men and women who ARE black.

The real evil here is not lying about being black. It’s profiting from it.

Their careers might be toast, but their evil is not.

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