Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

An Open Letter to Rachel Dolezal

Dear Rachel Dolezal,

On behalf of all black people everywhere, we offically reject you.
Let the misplaced rage of our community that has sometimes been aimed at lightskinned black folks–that fury too dangerous to show to white people in a land of lynching burning crosses and police guns and chokeholds
That rage that we sometimes turn on the lightskinned next best thing, vulnerable proxy
Let black rage rain on you today like a blight, like a plague

We reject you
With the virulence of the shame we’ve been taught to feel about those of us labeled too black or told we were acting too black or ghetto and the shame some of us felt when we saw them and we were trying to work our respectability politics—in the name of that you’re ruining it for the rest of us shame we reject you
And with the shunning for being too different we’ve aimed at every punk rock, alternative, nerdy, sci-fi digging, feminist, hippie nature loving or queer we take the you ain’t black that’s been ringing in our ears for maybe decades an turn it to shriek at you like a car alarm, like a smoke detector, cause you’re the liar liar pants on fire.

We reject you
With all the self-loathing that’s been brewing these 500 years since we were stolen and broken and violated and couldn’t stop it from happening to us and couldn’t stop it from happening to our children and their children and today our children still bear those scars and we turn that shame onto you. Shame on you Rachel Dolezal
How dare you claim to have done anything for our community while you mock us with your entitled masquerade. Any good you’ve done in policy is tainted by your fallacy, the stench of your foul hatred of yourself, your own twisted sense of inadequacy. Go work that shit out. Don’t put some bronzer on it and present it to us as help, as liberation.

We reject you in the name of the living testimony of Alicia Walters about the lack of love for real black women in Spokane…

We reject you in the name of the Living Testimony of the truly transracial: people of color whose communities have been devastated by racism and US wars, whose birth parents have been devastated by white racism and US wars, or whose white mothers reject them because brown children are so inconvenient, only to have white families, US families, the face of the enemy ride up on a white horse calling themselves saviors, and adopt them into families that very rarely speak their languages, have taken the time to understand their experience, or even know how to call them by their true names, yet see themselves, not as representatives of the raiding party, taking precious children as spoils of war but as saviors.

You

You are not a savior
You are a parasite
A pestilence

You’re like the diseases that plague our communities from the white sugar, the white flour, the white power of the white powder we snort, smoke, shoot, sip trying to transcend the trauma of our inheritance.

We reject you in the name of the living testimony of my own mama mistaken for white except when she and her family were being discriminated against and harassed and outcast for being colored. For the rejection she encountered from brown people all her adult life, a rejection that should have been reserved for you. A certain hold up! wait a minute! that we shoulda put in a money market IRA certificate of deposit 401K where we couldn’t spend it recklessly on one another with penalties for early withdrawal leaving us bankrupt.
We shoulda saved it up.  It coulda been burning a hole in our pocket–our brown fingers itching to spend it, so when you came along we woulda coulda hurled it full force at your mocking macking blackface mimicry.

I’m an old school feminist, and I don’t use the b-word, but I swear the title of bitch is itching the back of my throat today.

I feel it today as the name of the latest victim of bloody police violence will have changed by the time I finish reading this poem.

Today as the government of the Dominican Republic prepares to expel generations of Haitians too black for that nation’s dictator-terrorized internalized anti-black self-hatred.

But all eyes are on who? You. The white girl. With your doe eyed plantation mistress, fake ingenue, preparing your “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers” victim face for the cameras.

All eyes on you, the Hannibal Lecter of white girls, skinning us black women and wearing us as a pelt. I name you grotesque, an aberration, an abomination

I speak the word rejection today

In the name of
Phyllis Wheatley
Harriet Tubman
Harriet Brent-Jacobs
Sojourner Truth
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Fannie Lou Hamer
Ella Baker
Nella Larsen
Zora Neale Hurston
Marie Levau
Lorraine Hansberry
Audre Lorde
Toni Cade Bambara
Vega Correal
Octavia Butler
June Jordan
Veve Clark
Barbara Christian

And with the power of every black woman of God in the name of Jesus Allah Hashem Buddha Orisha Loa and all our ancestors we banish you. Not in hate but in love for ourselves. That there be no void inside us that you can slither into. This is not a hate spell but a love spell that we black people have so much love for ourselves and each other that we don’t need your tacky fake tan facsimile, Miss Anne. The black people have spoken. Take ya white ass back to Spokane

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2 comments on “An Open Letter to Rachel Dolezal

  1. Blow Pop
    June 17, 2015

    Brava!

  2. @@@
    November 1, 2015

    Where on earth did you get the idea that you get to speak on behalf of “all black people?” Where on earth did you get the idea that you are the equivalent or better of Harriet Tubman and other great black women, so that you get to speak for them?

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This entry was posted on June 16, 2015 by in Uncategorized.

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