Rachel Dolezal has been called many things but according to Rihanna, she’s a “hero.” Say what? Rihanna applauds Rachel, the white former NAACP executive who pretended to be black, for pushing our perspectives of race. “I think she was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit,” the singer says in an interview with Vanity Fair.
“Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black?”
Well, depends on whom you ask. Rachel came under fire this year for lying about her race as the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP. She categorizes herself as transracial and claims, “I identify as black," even though her own biological parents publicly discredited her. Social media was relentless with anger and jokes about what would motivate this woman to lie about her race. Rachel eventually stepped down from her NAACP post after critics blasted her for lying and using the organization.
Rihanna doesn’t see the controversy as such a big deal. “Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people’s perspective a bit and woke people up.” It’s true that Rachel woke people up—but for all the wrong reasons. It’s great that this white woman was moved to be an activist but any good work she did was done under a lie. Even after the truth surfaced, Rachel continued to spin an elaborate web of strange rhetoric (What is transracial?!) that made her look downright crazy. You can feel empathy for other people without hating yourself.