In a interview with Vanity Fair published on Sunday, Dolezal described her clear cultural appropriation as, ““not a costume.”
“I don’t know spiritually and metaphysically how this goes, but I do know that from my earliest memories I have awareness and connection with the black experience, and that’s never left me,” she continued. “It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really [was] and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be—but I’m not.”
Dolezal remains defiant to declare herself as black but not African-American — a truly vital misunderstanding on identifiation coming from someone so knowledgeable on black identity.
“I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”
She categorizes her “blackness” as not evident from heritage, but instead on appreciation and connection to black culture. Yet again, someone with her expertise you would assume would have enough awareness and knowledge to understand that how you construct your identity is not based upon how much you adore another’s culture.
But with a shamed reputation, loss of friends and jobs, Dolezal is running out of money and now working as a hair stylist out of her home to make ends meet. But she refuses to let go of the sheer myth that she is black, continuing to style her appearance in what can only be termed as modern-day black face.
“I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody. If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty.”