Keri Hilson is sure to be on the chopping block according to the Twitter world, who had a plethora of unkind things to say about the Pop singer. All, of course, stemming from Hilson’s support of Rachel Dolezal’s NAACP accomplishments. Although her intentions may have been pure and kind-hearted, many of the artist’s fans thought that Hilson was more than disrespectful for thanking Rachel Dolezal for pretending to be black.
The scandal began when Dolezal, president of an NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, was outed by her parents for not being a real black woman. Dolezal’s parents expressed in an interview that she had not been in contact with them for the last few years, however, they believe that her obsession with black culture began when they adopted four African-American orphans. They both felt it was time to speak out about their daughter’s transgression after reading an article in which Dolezal claimed to be of mixed heritage. Dolezal’s parents felt, at that time, that this charade had gone on long enough, the truth had to be revealed.
Dolezal’s accomplishments reach far and wide with the organization, however, much of the claims that Dolezal has made throughout the years have, according to her parents, been false. Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal have provided media with old photos, birth certificates, and other paraphernalia that prove their accusation to be true. When Rachel was interviewed and ask directly about her ethnic background, Dolezal said she, “…didn’t understand the question.” After which Dolezal walked out of the interview.
Though her lies have been many, the reality of the situation is that Dolezal as had esteemed positions as an activist and an educator within the African-American community. A student of Howard University, Dolezal had been teaching Africana studies at a local school for higher education. Among teaching this class she was also a member of her local police oversight commission and of course the largest accomplishment; becoming president of her Spokane chapter of the NAACP and holding that title for the last few years.
Hilson speaks to these accomplishments when she tweeted, “…she does more than most us do for ourselves,” a comment with which many fans had substantial issues. With the media now coining Dolezal as “transracial” and comparing her to Caitlyn Jenner, the transgendered female formerly known as Bruce, social media users say that Hilson is playing into the delusional hands of White America with her tweets. They can not understand why Hilson would, in laymen terms, thank someone like Rachel Dolezal for pretending to be black, accomplishments or not.
Fans took to Twitter saying, “@KeriHilson why would you ever praise a cultural appropriator and oppressor?” To which Hilson simply said that we should all be thanking Dolezal for her accomplishments despite the very real issue of her lying about her race. Other fans were more direct in tweeting Hilson saying that she herself may not be doing much for the black community, but that is not an indication that other activists, who actually are of African-American decent, are not doing incredible things within black cultural lines.
In all of the hoopla surrounding this very controversial issue, the NAACP released a statement saying they support all of Dolezal’s accomplishments. They further went on to say that they do not discriminate against any who wishes to help them achieve their goal. Especially, not over color, race, gender, or the like. Although many believe that the NAACP is treating this with the utmost diplomacy, other’s are blaming the organization for not properly vetting Dolezal during the consideration process of her being a presidential candidate.
As for Hilson, thanking Rachel Dolezal for essentially pretending to be black may be a matter of perspective considering Hilson’s string of tweets supporting her own views on the topic. Yet this is not the first time she has put her Twitter bird in her mouth and received backlash from fans and non-fans alike. However, as always, she continues to stay true to what she believes and how she views the issues. Whether she supports the accomplishments and disagrees with the deceit or if she truly believes that one can be transracial, the fact is very clear, she is bound to speak her mind.
By: Danyol Jaye
Time- Singer Keri Hilson Says We Should Thank Rachel Dolezal
Billboard- Keri Hilson Suggests People ‘Thank’ Rachel Dolezal, Twitter Disagrees
People- Keri Hilson Criticized for Saying People Should ‘Thank’ Rachel Dolezal Amid Race Scandal
Feature Image Courtesy of Eva Rinaldi- Eva Rinaldi’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License