An Open Letter to Rachel Dolezal

Subject: An Open Letter to Rachel Dolezal
From: Tia Ann-Lenae
Date: 16 Jun 2015

Dear Rachel,

I wanted to start this letter off by saying that I don't hate you.

I know that 99.999 percent of the people on the planet dislike you with an intense passion and I wanted you to know that I don't feel that way. But your viewpoint and what you did is extremely dangerous and I want you to know why.

As a 15-year-old mixed race girl I fully understand the struggles you pretended to know. I am either too white or too black and I never fit in. I have had racial insults thrown at me more times than I would like to admit and I don't fit in anywhere. I can't walk into a store without being looked at as a thief. I am an anomaly. And for you to pretend to be me because you "feel black" is more offensive than you will ever know.

Growing up at a little black girl at 5'3" I was always told that I should look like you. Tall, blonde, skinny, white. For you to don a false haircap and darken your skin hurts. I understand that you had every intention of being helpful but you weren't. I would've much rather had you be honest.

I don't care that you're white, I care that you manipulated your way through the system and pretended to know what I and millions of other little girls go through for your own gain. I am a proud black woman. I am glad that you respect and admire that.

The scariest part is that you don't understand why what you did was wrong. You pretended to be something you weren't. You donned an Afro and what you thought was "black" so you could claim to know our struggles. Do you have any idea what kind of precedent you've set? Or the stereotypes you've perpetuated? Do you even care?

I don't hate you, but what you did wasn't right and you should know it.