SPOKANE, Wash. — In a wide-ranging interview spanning everything from her upbringing to her ill-fated rise within the NAACP, controversial activist Rachel Dolezal told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday she sometimes identifies as a “unicorn, a can of Bush’s baked beans or a 1985 Buick LeSabre.”
Dolezal’s comments come on the heels of her insistence to “Today Show” host Matt Lauer on Tuesday that she identifies “as black,” a seemingly incorrect self-assessment when considering her biological parents’ undeniably Caucasian heritage. Dolezal’s misrepresentation of her ethnicity has not come without consequences, as she resigned her post as president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP earlier this week and has been the subject of ridicule on social media since her bizarre claims began to draw national attention late last week.
But rather than avoiding the spotlight and letting the news cycle run its course, Dolezal has chosen to “double-down on her crazy,” according to noted psychologist J. Roderick Henceforth, a specialist on the psychology of racial identity whose 1999 book, “If You’re Black, Then I’m a Giraffe,” explored the phenomenon of people intentionally misrepresenting their ethnicity.
“It’s interesting that she is not attempting to put out the fire she created, but instead adding more fuel to it by claiming she sometimes identifies as a mythical animal with a straight horn protruding from its head or even a serving of sometimes baked, but often stewed, beans,” Henceforth said in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “I can assure you she is most definitely not a delicious, cholesterol-lowering serving of baked beans any more than she is a popular American-made sedan from the mid-80s.”
While the outing of Dolezal last week sparked outrage among African-American activists and others appalled by the 37-year-old educator’s misleading accounts of her ancestry, Wednesday’s comments elicited more humorous responses on social media, where users have spent much of the last week enjoying a field day at Dolezal’s expense.
“She thinks she’s a unicorn now?” tweeted @CaptainBlackSparrow. “Is she a black unicorn or a white unicorn or a white unicorn impersonating a black unicorn?”
But while whites and blacks alike have joined together in harmony to mock Dolezal, the much-maligned masquerader has begun to garner support from the notoriously unfeeling unicorn community, which has gone to great lengths to overcome a series of centuries-old stereotypes that incorrectly promoted the notion that all unicorns are wild creatures that can heal sickness and only be captured by virgins.
“The virgins thing was tough to overcome, and a lot of my non-unicorn buddies still bust my especially large balls about that one,” said Balthazar, a Milwaukee-based unicorn and certified tax accountant. “Like we’ll drive past an all-girls elementary school on the way to a Brewers tailgate and they’ll tell me to duck out of the way so the schoolgirls don’t get any ideas about lassoing me and selling me to a sorcerer or something like that.
“But those jokes are going to pale in comparison to what I’ll hear now that this crazy broad thinks she’s a unicorn when she isn’t pretending to be African-American. But worry about this Rachel woman, not me. At least I am a unicorn. She’s just some disturbed white woman in a weave.”
If Balthazar and his fellow unicorns are sympathetic to Dolezal’s possibly fragile mental state, 1985 Buick LeSabres are considerably less supportive.
“I’ve been a 1985 Buick LeSabre for all of my miserable life,” said an upstate New York 1985 Buick LeSabre that’s sat atop cinderblocks outside the mobile home of Ronald “Uncle Ronnie” Thibodeaux since 1993. “And I can assure you Rachel Dolezal is no ’85 LeSabre. Takes a lot more than rear-wheel drive, a V8 engine and a run-of-the-mill delusional identity disorder to be an ’85 LeSabes, brother. Holla!”
Though her detractors have remained vocal throughout the week, Dolezal has remained largely silent since her eye-opening GMA interview, updating her Facebook page just once, when she posted a reminder that baked beans always go better with franks.