Talib Kweli & Azealia Banks Sound Off on Rachel Dolezal Scandal
The story around Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president who posed as a black woman, continues to be the hot topic issue of the day. After her appearance on several news programs this week, including the Today show on Tuesday (June 16), fellow rappers Talib Kweli and Azealia Banks offered their thoughts on Dolezal. Both artists feel she’s being deceptive when she states that she identifies herself as being black.
In an essay for Rolling Stone, Kweli blasted Dolezal for oscillating between white and black when it was convenient for her.
“She's said she identifies as black. Cool story, but that's not a real thing – because at any time, she could go back,” he writes. “That is a privilege that people of color do not have. You cannot just jump back and forth between those worlds. It's very disrespectful to the people of color that she claims to identify with to say something like that. When you say something like that, you are not identifying with us, at all, in any way, shape, or form.”
He then adds, “Every quote-unquote 'positive' thing she did to help people -- these are all things that she could have done without pretending she was a black woman. The fraud of it would be hilarious, and that would be the end of it, if it wasn't for the fact that she was using her privilege to occupy spaces that rightfully should have gone to women of color. I don’t see any good in that. I see a self-serving attitude.”
The Brooklyn rhymer ends his commentary with this stinging statement: “You're not a friend or an ally to the movement. You're an enemy. Maybe you're not as dangerous an enemy as killer cops, but you're not down with us at all.”
Banks has a similar viewpoint as Kweli but wonders why Dolezal couldn't perform her exemplary duties at the Spokane NAACP as a white woman.
"Rachel could've just been a white person working for the naacp and everything would've been fine. Why the kinky wig and tangerine tan?" she tweeted. "I think she's hiding something else. Whether it's a mental illness or some sort of weird racial fetishism."
The "212" rhymer then posted a link to a YouTube video of Lou Reed's song "I Wanna Be Black," in which the late rocker pokes fun at white hipsters who want to be black but are ignorant of the culture. Check out Banks' tweets below.