By Ryan Velez
Chances are that you’ve probably forgotten about (or tried to forget about) Rachel Dolezal, with her memoir about trying to pass as Black coming out earlier this year. According to Bossip, she has fallen on hard times, trying to stave off homelessness with a variety of bizarre items for sale on her website, that are likely to raise some eyebrows.
These items include what appears to be a hodgepodge of random items targeted towards “black interest.” These include homemade lollipops, in flavors like banana pudding, grape soda, and ripe watermelon. Also for sale are scented candles, signed copies of her book, and rag dolls in a variety of skin colors. Perhaps the most shocking thing is that by all accounts, some people appear to be buying what she is selling.
Her 2018 calendar, featuring poses of Dolezal as well as Black History facts, is actually sold out at the time of this writing. Gag gifts are a common and cheap way to have fun at Christmas. Perhaps that is what is going on, either that or there is a hidden fan-base that no one has heard about.
Dolezal, the former head of the NAACP’s Spokane, Washington, Chapter became national news after her parents came forward and said that she had been disguising herself as Black. They presented a copy of their daughter's Montana birth certificate, and said that she is of German and Czech heritage, with "faint traces" of Native American ancestry.
In interviews following the controversy, Dolezal tried to explain that she identified herself as Black, trying to introduce the idea of race as a social construct, similar to how some transgender activist do for gender. Both Black academics and gender experts rejected her ideas, and Dolezal ultimately had to vacate her post. In October 2016, Dolezal legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo, but said she would still use the Dolezal name as a “public persona”. In February of this year, a story came out saying that she was estranged from friends, living on food stamps, and nearly homeless. Selling lollipops isn’t likely to shift the tide by itself, but people have to do what they can to get by.