In Too Deep (No, Seriously. In Waaaaaaay Too Gotdamn Deep): The Rachel Dolezal Story

NBC News screenshot
NBC News screenshot

Thoughts about the post-racial Imitation of Life.

1. You know those news stories and segments that'll pop up every couple months or so about a White mom who has no damn clue what to do with her biracial daughter's hair? And the piece will always be accompanied by a pic of the clueless mom and the happily oblivious daughter with Legos and pretzels and shit in her hair?


Rachel Dolezal has somehow managed to be both that mom and the grown-up version of that daughter.

2. I still need to see some receipts. Because I'm still not completely convinced she doesn't have a couple teaspoons of Black blood in her. Because if this story was reversed, and she was a Black woman suspected to be passing as White, my reaction after first seeing her pic would have been "Yeah, nigga. They caught you. The jig is up. Figuratively and literally."

And no, I don't give a damn what her mom said, I need to see a complete genealogical study. With Henry Louis Gates, Toni Morrison, an Alex Haley hologram, and the ghost of Ben Affleck's slavemaster uncle as the judges.

3. There is actually a historical precedent for this. But it's not Imitation of Life. It's Robert Downey Jr.'s "Kirk Lazarus" from Tropic Thunder.

Film Title: Tropic Thunder

You could summarize this entire ordeal using nothing but his quotes from the movie.


"I know who I am. I'm the dude playin' the dude, disguised as another dude!"

"Man, I don't drop character 'till I done the DVD commentary."

"Everybody knows you never go full retard."

Kirk Lazarus: "Took a whole lotta tryin' just to get up that hill. Now we're up in the big leagues, gettin' our turn at bat. As long as we live, it's you and me, baby…"


Alpa Chino: "That's the theme song to The Jeffersons. Man, you really need help."

Kirk Lazarus: "Just because it's a theme song don't mean it's not true."

4. Seriously, though, if Dolezal actually has nil drops of Negro in her, you do have to respect her commitment to quasi-Blackness. Just look at her resume — president of the local NAACP chapter, Howard grad, Africana Studies professor, a side gig as a "freelance hair artist" specializing in Black hair, intentional trolling of Tyrese, etc. There's literally no difference between her adult bio and the bios of half the women reading this right now. It's like she read a Blogalicious pamphlet and cherry-picked the speakers' info. She isn't just a Black chick Catfish. She's a Black Twitter chick Catfish.


I mean, look at these pictures!!!


This is the exact same face, pose, caption, camera placement, hip/hand placement, accessories, and sweater seen when literally every 24 to 39 year old Black woman I know uploads a new pic to Facebook. This is past peak Catfish. She's a motherfucking doppelganger.

5. Before today, if you would have asked who I'd choose if I could have dinner with any man alive, my answer would have been Barack Obama or Neil Degrasse Tyson or Kyrie Irving or some shit.


Today? Rachel Dolezal's husband.

I want to meet that nigga. I don't drink beer, but I want us to have a beer summit. I want to have one of those conversations with him that men in Black movies have when they're half hooping at some random park. And I want the conversation to begin with just me saying "Bruh?"


6. I want every network to make a movie about her. Lifetime, HBO, Spike, BET, MTV, Bravo, VH1, the Food Network, it doesn't matter. It could star anyone from Nicole Kidman to the kid from the Cheerios commercial. I'd even watch an ESPN 30 for 30 called "White Woman. Right, Woman?"

It is 9:22am. Which means I've known about this for 10 hours now. But I can already say I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever tire of hearing/reading/talking/watching stuff about her.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I am going to cash in on this and give Rachel a small cut when I finish her tell all book. Possible titles below:

“For White Girls Who Have Considered Blackness/When the World Was Not Enuf”

“An Imposter in the Sun”

“8 Years a Fraud”

“White No More”

Also, why Rachel trying to be me??