Michael Eric Dyson — MSNBC political analyst and Georgetown University professor — said that, in a cultural sense, black people are more willing to accept Rachel Dolezal than Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.” (RELATED: MSNBC Guest Says Dolezal Could Identify As A Martian, If She Really Felt That Way)
Dyson: It’s striking to me that her parents want her to pledge fealty and fidelity and loyalty to her true roots. But what Rachel has suggested, is that she has embraced an African-American culture, a black identity, that seems to run counter to what her parents desire.
Now I understand people getting upset about this on the black side, on the white side saying, “Look, just be who you are and still stand up for what you stand up for.”
I get that Ed, but what those of us who define race as a social construct, that it’s more complicated than that — Bill Clinton was the first black president, though he didn’t try to claim he was black — it means that she may not be African-American, but she could be black in a cultural sense.
She’s taken on the ideas, the identities, the struggles. She’s identified with them. I’d bet a lot more black people would support Rachel Dolezal than, let’s say, Clarence Thomas.