WTF was Netflix thinking by greenlighting this Rachel Dolezal documentary?

Rachel Dolezal and June Diane Raphael arrive to "The Today Show"

Last year, I made the choice to simply start ignoring Rachel Dolezal. Dolezal became a public figure a few years ago, when she was “outed” as a white woman trying to “pass” as a black woman. She was the head of a small chapter of the NAACP, and she had spent years lying about her race and trying to convince people that she was a black woman. The story blew up in a crazy way, and Rachel Dolezal tried to make “trans-racial” into a thing (it’s not a thing). Some people thought she was merely suffering from some kind of mental illness – others thought she was just an a–hole. I got sick of her bulls–t last year when she was promoting her memoir, a memoir in which she traced her “woke soul sista” roots to her early days of reading National Geographic (I sh-t you not). She said a lot of bulls–t about racial identities, and at the end of the day, I agreed with the analysis that Dolezal perhaps represents the “peak of white supremacy.” Perhaps she was also a precursor (and inspo) for Get Out.

Anyway, even though I’ve been ignoring her for the better part of a year, Dolezal is still around and she’s still thirsty as hell. She’s desperate to cast herself as a victim of… something, to be “understood” without having to understand why her whole deal is so offensive. She wants people to listen to her and believe in her… and she doesn’t want to listen to anyone, or believe what anyone else has to say. Her malignant narcissism is about to become glaringly obvious yet again because Netflix will be releasing a documentary about her called The Rachel Divide. Netflix released a teaser clip this week, and it features a conversation between Rachel and her teenage son Franklin, who is also interviewed separately.

The fact that a mother would put her child through this bulls–t says everything I need to know about her. Poor Franklin. I feel sorry for all of her kids – they’re going to be so f–ked up for a long time because of her. I’m enraged by the way she argues with Franklin and then sits there, sighing and looking out the window, like she’s the most misunderstood and victimized heroine of all time. WTF was Netflix thinking with this?

Rachel Dolezal and June Diane Raphael arrive to "The Today Show"

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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133 Responses to “WTF was Netflix thinking by greenlighting this Rachel Dolezal documentary?”

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  1. AideVee says:

    Gosh that poor young man. Saddled with the stigma of this before his life has even really begun. He looks utterly worn out by the poor choices his mother has made. This doc does sound like potentially an exploitative ratings cash cow, but hopefully he has been able to have his voice heard in a way that he finds helpful.

    Strange times.

    • lower-case deb says:

      my heart broke to see how his earnest pleas fell on deaf ears. if she’s beating him down verbally and shutting him out like THAT on television, i shudder to think what she does to them off screen.
      “it’s going to affect more people than just you, mom…” that’s a plea for help, Rachel! your own son!
      but all i’m hearing is…
      “well, yeeee….. ah no. don’t care bout you but me me me me me i i i i”

      she is too preoccupied with her own angst (what gatekeeper? what hardship) that she fails to completely see her own children’s angst…

      you know, the more reality shows are coming out, the more documentaries are coming out, the more i think there should be a thorough overhaul about the whole system.

      she clearly doesn’t need a documentary or a book. she clearly needs therapy and by goodness i hope her children have somebody to support them because clearly their mom surely can’t.

      that boy is so precious. the way he still want to look out for his mother while also struggling to keep himself together…

      • FLORC says:

        Wow. He is absorbing this so well. At least for the intake, filter, understanding, and articulating parts. And she doesn’t get it.
        She’s terrible.

      • Tan says:

        I don’t voice my opinion often, but when he was speaking while covering his mouth with his hands, that said something to me.
        Sometimes he’s afraid to speak his mind, though he’s much stronger than many I know.

      • magnoliarose says:

        It is heartbreaking to watch.

      • Ksenia says:

        The boy is so sweet and sad, and so aware, he breaks my heart. I can’t comprehend the selfishness of this woman, recalcitrantly doing something which even she knows will bring more harm and unwanted attention to her son, just b/c (as usual) it benefits one person: herself. Talk about living in a bubble!! Just as she has never cared about hurting and offending the black community, as she coldly exploited them, neither does she care about the repercussions for her insatiable, exploitive selfishness on her own kids. But, I think there is some fascination in the public w the terrifying, unfathomable minds of truly horrible, despicable people (i.e. mass and serial killers, Nazis and other white supremacists, etc.) so there *is* an audience for this harrowing story out there—and Netflix is just honing in on what they sense will make them money. Just as I choose not to watch reality shows about mothers pushing their toddler daughters into beauty pageants, or parents attempting to nullify their children’s homosexuality through “therapy”, I will choose not to watch this, mainly b/c I cannot bear to witness any kind of child abuse (psychological abuse, in these cases, as w/ Rachel’s son.) But a lot of people may be interested, not b/c they approve of Rachel but b/c they can’t conceive of such a sick woman’s mind, and would like to try to understand more about how such an ugly, devious, callous mind works, its origins. (There were, I think, years back, plenty of coverage–even a show?– about “Octomom.” This is similar: People like to delve into the unknown grotesque.) Of course, it’s dubious whether anyone ultimately will “learn” anything substantial about such people as Rachel—-but it’s natural human curiosity to want to learn at least a little more. My heart truly goes out to her brave, intelligent son, who has already suffered so much under the regime of such a self centered mother, one so cruelly oblivious to him.

    • Megan says:

      He is absolutely correct that she did not chose her words well, but neither did her parents when they outed her. Did they stop to consider how it would affect their grandchildren? Perhaps their cruelty is part of what drives her need for a new identity.

      • Shannon says:

        That’s what I wonder too ^^^ to give her the benefit of the doubt, it did seem pretty a-holish of her parents to out her like that and it does look like she really felt a need to completely disassociate from them. Maybe that took its form in being black – who knows?

      • BJ says:

        Outed her? as what ? a liar
        This woman is a liar.She reported that she received anti black death threats in the mail.The police determined those letters were never mailed because they didn’t have the some mark from the post office meaning they were not mailed to her.
        This woman lied about living in African in a teepee when she was already in college when her parents lived in Africa.
        This woman tried to pass of other people’s artbas hers and posted it for sale on her art website.
        She tried to take a job from an Indian instructor to teach an ethnic studies class.
        This woman who claims she is black sued Howard University for discriminating against her for being white.
        She is a fraud,liar,thief,con artist.I wonder if she still has supporters of this foolishness paying her rent like she did last year?

      • Megan says:

        @BJ The fact that she is a bad person is none of her parent’s business. If they wanted to make people in her life aware of her true identity, they could have done so privately. Making a public statement and up ending the lives of their grandchildren was selfish and unnecessary.

      • Merritt says:


        A person making false reports to the police is wasting community resources and tax money. So it then becomes the business of the public.

      • Megan says:

        @Merritt And it is the job of the police to take the appropriate action when her reports are found to be false. It is not the responsibility of her parents to go on TV to out her.

      • Masamf says:

        She could have disassociated herself from said parents without lying about her her racial identity. She lied about her race for years and used that lie to access the very few resources only available to POC because she knew she would not qualify for the resources available to people of her race, she stole from the poor because she is greedy. She doesn’t get any sympathy from me just because her parents outed her for the liar she is. And she still lying because she fails to own her mistakes, learn from them , and be a responsible mature adult. Instead, she decides to put her poor kids through the wringer again with this BS documentary just so she can continue to soak some fame or whatever! She is a hideous person!

    • TwoPac says:

      It’s really painful. Franklin is at least “using his voice”, but the ache of shame is palpable. I wonder how kids make it w narcissist parents. This documents child abuse, something I can’t watch.

  2. Lilith says:

    Can’t she be an asshole with mental illness?

    • Bethany F says:

      yeah it’s not either or here…

    • DesertReal says:

      Yes yes yes, yes yes. Yes!
      Thank you. All these think pieces on this broad and her narcissitic personality are giving her far far far more credit than she deserves.

    • SuzyQ says:

      Yes. She can.
      She’s opportunistic AND has a personality disorder. I find her, both, repulsive and interesting in that she got away with it for so long. She’s no Frank Abagnale, though. He was fascinating and not mentally ill.

    • low level staffer says:

      Yes, exactly. This whole situation is one more brick in the vapid, exploitative reality tv wall that people like the Kardashians benefit from. Dolezal is a less financially privileged, but more educated, version of that entire industry. Fetishizing other cultures and races while they blithely ignore their own hypocrisy. I wish we’d collectively stop paying attention to all of them, but if one of them is going to use the media to fund their lifestyle we can’t be surprised when others do as well. Theyre not going to change until we do.

    • darkladi says:

      I need to hate watch this 😔

  3. Alix says:

    I think this chick is nuttier than a fruitcake, but theoretically, is transgenderism is a thing, why can’t trans-racism be? She knows as much about the black experience as Caitlyn Jenner does about the female experience, yet one is maligned and dismissed while the other gets trophies and magazine covers.

    Again, in this particular case, I do think she’s straight-up bonkers, but if gender is no longer a fixed state, why should race be?

    • bros says:

      this is actually the subject now of a lot of academic debate and writing. it’s completely a valid question and a logical corollary. Fixed identity, of any kind, is now up for debate, as it should be.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Ethnic identity is fluid and self-selected. Race, however problematic, isn’t. Race indicates relatively recent shared biological predecessors, and that just isn’t something one can simply decide. However, adopting social norms, languages, and behaviors associated with certain ethnic groups is. Rachel is just an idiot because she insists on calling herself trans-racial, when really all she is doing is attempting to assimilate into what she believes is African American ethnicity.

      • Nobes says:

        So, how it would work in reverse? I mean issues of gender and fixed identity are valid topics, academically and socially but when we use the word “trans” we are talking about a sort of “crossing over”. So, how would Dolzeal’s “transracialism” work in reverse? She’s a phenotypically average white woman; blond hair, light eyes, light skin. She darkened her skin with cosmetic bronzer and used some kinky-curly extension hair and sought out acceptance and a type of privilege within the black community. A very small sub-section of the black community, but still.

        So, how would it work in reverse? How would I, as a phenotypicaly average black american woman with dark brown skin, dark eyes, kinky hair, how would I be able to alter my physical appearance and be accepted in predominantly white spaces and claim whiteness because I personally identify as white? If I did, would I be taken seriously? What if I demanded acceptance?

      • SuzyQ says:

        “So, how would it work in reverse? How would I, as a phenotypicaly average black american woman with dark brown skin, dark eyes, kinky hair, how would I be able to alter my physical appearance and be accepted in predominantly white spaces and claim whiteness because I personally identify as white? ”
        Ask Sammy Sosa.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Nobes, you’re right, it wouldn’t work in reverse because it doesn’t work in this case either. White is not an ethnicity, just like black is not an ethnicity. You COULD, however, adopt social norms and customs of, say, Danish people and, over time, integrate yourself into Danish ethnicity.

      • Leigh says:

        @Nobes very thoughtful points, thank you!

      • Betsy says:

        @Nobes – isn’t that what passing was, to an extent?

    • greys says:

      I agree that this is a valid question. I have a trans gendered nephew and I am so THANKFUL that he is alive in 2018 instead of 1958 or even 1988. I am so glad that our society has opened our minds and there has been scientific studies and academic research on the topic of “trans-” identities. Maybe in the years to come there will be an acceptance that race identity isn’t a fixed state.

      • AideVee says:

        I agree I think that sounds great in theory- I think everyone deserves to find happiness in the skin they feel they ought to be in. I am going to read up on all this though because my mind is completely boggling that trans-racial can be a Thing. I can kind of grasp that transgenderism can be achieved through hormones and surgery but how can someone self identify as a completely different race? I am really worried now about not understanding this (at all) so am off to read up. I think this documentary sounds awful, but if it can get simpletons like me to engage in these issues and educate ourselves, perhaps there can be some silver lining.

      • Cky says:

        Race is a social construct, but ethnic and cultural identities are real and she is piggybacking on the suffering of people. You can’t just decide to literally re-write history and adopt someone else’s experience as your own. The difference between Rachel’s experience and one of an actual woman of color is that she can always go back to being white, they don’t have that option.

        Also, my Nigerian friend pointed out that her taken name is from three different African identities, it wouldn’t even make sense when strung together like that. Dumbass.

      • Merritt says:

        You cannot compare the two. It is offensive. You cannot change ethnicity.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Race is absolutely not a social construct. Ethnicity is. Race is USED, however, to create social norms, caste systems, classes, groups, etc.

      • TrixC says:

        Baby Jane, the rest of the world doesn’t distinguish between race and ethnicity the way Americans do. In my country ethnicity is the only acceptable term, it would be considered old fashioned and vaguely racist to refer to someone’s race. Possibly because a lot of us are mixed and we think self-identity matters more than how many brown ancestors you had. I identify as indigenous but have mixed ancestry, the only people who have a problem with this are white people who seem hung up on whether I’m brown enough to identify the way I do.

    • Renee2 says:


      She also claimed to be Native American and to be a cancer victim. She attended an HBCU and plagiarized her final thesis project for her MFA so when the school would not give her credit for it she tried to sue the school for racial discrimination. She is also tried to tell one of her students of color that they didn’t have the right to claim a racialized identity. The woman is drawn to claiming whatever identity that she thinks will get her the most attention. In her mind, that was being black so she went with it.

    • Chloeee says:

      I think because the expression of gender/sexuality/sexual identity is in its natural state is a spectrum and has been around since the dawn of time in different forms whereas the constructs of ethnicity and its social implications have evolved with our societies. I also think it’s because for her it’s about co-opting a struggle. She wants to appropriate the pain and struggle of a group of long oppressed people when she really has no ties to it and that is not cool.

    • broodytrudy says:

      Race is determined biologically. Sex is determined biologically. Gender is not.

      • Cky says:

        Ethnic backgrounds and cultural identities are very real, but race is something that needs to be phased out as a demarcation between people. For example, when you check stuff on the census form, they list Caucasian as a race, and you can select Hispanic (white) or (non-white). It’s a poor way to classify people that has no real meaning. That being said, Rachel is Co-opting an experience that is clearly not her own and her son, among other people, are bearing the brunt of her increasingly poor decisions.

        What a turd

      • Baby Jane says:

        Ethnicity is to Race as Gender is to Sex. Sorta.

      • Sal says:

        No – race ISNT, look around at the scientific study being done – you just think it is because it suits your beliefs and that’s fine.

        The ONLY biological reality is Sex, everything else is a construct.

      • magnoliarose says:

        That is what I learned too. Someone came up with this and decided it when it really doesn’t make sense. A person’s culture determines their identity not skin color.

    • Tania says:

      We used to attend, regularly, a Native American center so I could be with my people. It started irritating my non-Native American husband though, to see people as white as he is claim hardships for identifying as Native American, knowing the racism and ceilings I have had to face. We go infrequently now because to hear people talk about their difficult lives when they truly don’t know the struggles made him so angry it raised his blood pressure.

      I can empathize with people who don’t have a sense of belonging that they choose to believe they have a Cherokee Princess grandmother, but I care more about my husband’s well-being than hearing stories of angst that truly aren’t stories of angst but a form of cultural appropriation.

      • DSW says:

        There is an advertisement running for one of those DNA testing kits where a voiceover talks about the struggles of previous generations of Native Americans. Then the voiceover mentions finding out through the company’s DNA test that he is Native American. A chart is shown on the screen, and I immediately noticed that the chart indicated that the voiceover person is only 6% Native American. After that, the voiceover person talks about connecting with a relative who educated him about his “ancestry”. I was like, seriously?

    • Aiobhan Targaryen says:


      Race and sex are not the same thing. While both are social constructs, they have very real implications in our world. It frustrates me when people use the social construct argument to discredit or dismiss poc and transgender people. These arguments are carefully worded dogwhistles meant to discredit people and their experiences. This needs to stop.

      Her idea of being black is based on an outsider view of being black. She has poorly constructed an idea of what blackness is, hot glued it together along with delusion and a victim complex to form whatever she is trying to pass off as now. She has decided that fetishizing an entire race of people is how she will get the attention that she never got from her parents or anyone else in her life. And the thing of it is, she is being rewarded for it.

      She can wipe the makeup off her face or let the spray tan fade, take out the extentions and change her name back to Becky Beckerton. She’s not black. She’s white and wanting to benefit from the positive aspects of black culture that black people worked hard to create while ignoring the fact she CANNOT and WILL NOT EVER know the actual experience of being black in the US. She will never know what it is to experience prejudice as a black woman like drive while black. or taking out a loan while black or shopping while black. Black people CANNOT scrub the black off or faces, to make it easier to deal with cops, banks, etc. She can walk away from it at anytime.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Neither race nor sex are social constructs. At all. Ethnicity and gender are. Had Rachel insisted she identified as ethnically African American, there would be a lot more legitimacy to her claim. Race, however misappropriated socially, is biological, and so accurately claiming to be black when not is simply impossible.

      • Megan says:

        If Rachel had said “historically I am white, but I have a strong affinity for black culture that I have fully embraced,” I would still be appalled by her actions, but I would be more inclined to see them as a seriously misguided attempt to join a community that is not her own. She is not looking for acceptance by the black community, she is merely appropriating black culture for her own crazy ends.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Megan, you have an interesting point of view, but I would disagree with you on one point: the idea of black culture. There are subgroups within black peoples that have cultural identities, but to categorize it as “black culture” is insinuating that the culture of Nigerian nationals is the same as African American southerners, or black people in Detroit, or Jamaicans.

      • Megan says:

        @Baby Jane Please don’t insult my intelligence by suggesting I think black culture is a monolith. I was commenting on Rachel’s motivations since, based on what she has said, she appears to identify black culture as a monolith.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Damn, no one is insulting you. Well, I mean, I wasn’t… but now, maybe.

      • Merritt says:

        @Baby Jane

        You have been insulting people. You keep telling people they are not thinking, which is a flat out lie.

    • Merritt says:

      Transracism or whatever you like to call it is not real. You cannot take on another ethnicity. And to do so is wildly offensive. And given Dolezal’s own history prior to her playing dress up, she embodies why it is not a real thing.

      • Baby Jane says:

        You absolutely CAN take on another ethnicity. If a white American couple traveled to South Korea an adopted an infant, moved back to the US, and raised that child here, are you indicating that child would just default to speaking Korean and writing with logograms and insisting on kimchi at every meal? No, that child would likely have been raised with whatever pan-European white identity of the parents.

        RACE is the identifying marker one cannot simply adopt.

      • Merritt says:

        You are confusing culture with ethnicity. They are not the same. Your example is how to respectively take on another culture.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Ethnicity IS cultural. Race is not. Ethnicity is a cultural identity common to a group of people who share those elements of culture (norms, language, family structures, food, religion, etc.)

      • Merritt says:

        No it really isn’t.

      • Baby Jane says:

        No, it really is. I am sorry you don’t like it, but that’s simply the definition of the word ethnicity. It is a CULTURAL identity shared by a group of people. You are welcome to move on to other topics, but if you’re going to be unmoved by the actual language, there is nothing more anyone can do here.

      • Cky says:

        Ethnicity is your ethnic background, your genetic makeup (hence why sites like 23andme and were founded, because people like to know where they come from…although 23andme was originally pioneered to eradicate diseases.) Race is something people essentially made up to categorize others. Cultural identity can be fluid – the example given about regionalism, adoption experience, etc., but Rachel Dolezal is not African-American and no amount of her feeling that way will change that fact. Also, she’s clearly embarrassing and hurting her son.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Ethnicity has absolutely nothing to do with DNA. Now, people of a common ethnicity may be more likely to share genetic similarities simply due to proximity, but it is entirely cultural. I am not making this up…

        “The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition” – Oxford English Dictionary, also, common sense .

      • Merritt says:

        It is not about whether I like it, it is a fact that you cannot change ethnicity and frankly it is racist to suggest otherwise.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Merritt, I don’t understand what is keeping you from acknowledging that your understanding of the difference between race and ethnicity, or the similarities between ethnicity and culture, have been incorrect, but it’s OK. Your refusal to accept the very meaning of this term is frustrating, but I guess that is your cross to bear now, not mine. People can and do SELECT their ethnicities every day with the behaviors they undertake. Every time they speak or write a language, eat or cook a food, practice (or abstain from) a religion, wear certain clothing items, assign gender roles, maintain expectations of their children- ALL of that is wrapped up in an ethnic (CULTURAL) identity. Which is separate from, but often incorrectly misattributed to, race.

      • Merritt says:

        @Baby Jane

        It is called facts and reality. You may not like it because it means that you are wrong, but that is how it is. You cannot change ethnicity. You can however respectfully appreciate another culture and incorporate parts of that culture in your own life.

      • Baby Jane says:


      • aang says:

        My father is a tribally enrolled Native American. I was born , and lived as a child, on a reservation. My mother is white. As our tribe is matrilineal I am not enrolled. I self identify as mixed race. On the census and other forms Native American is a box to check but it also says “maintains cultural ties to the community” or something similar. Native American is the only group with such a qualifier. No other group is asked if they essentially act black, or asian, or hispanic enough. Not even Alaskan Natives or Pacific Islanders, who are oddly enough often grouped together. I look native but I no longer live on the reservation, and am not religious. There are no native speakers left in our tribe. Now do I check the N A box or no? It seems as though the government thinks it is possible to change ethnicities or race based on cultural practices. And it annoys me.

      • Merritt says:


        Census forms are awful. It has only been since the 2000 census that people could check more than one box, which completely left out anyone who was biracial. These forms are unfortunately not designed with real people in mind.

    • aenflex says:


  4. lower-case deb says:

    why do people insist on giving her a platform? have they run out of genuinely interesting people, cuz if they have then they’re either not looking hard enough or they’re plain reprehensible. what a slap to the face to the black community, not to mention her own children.

    • Elkie says:

      The genuinely interesting part of the story is Rachel’s relationship with her fundie parents, their “white saviour” adoptions of black children and abusive “Christian” home schooling regimen that makes the Duggars’ abhorrent blanket training seem almost quaint in comparison.

      THAT is the documentary I would like to see made.

      • Chaine says:

        ITA. But this documentary… The clip of her whining and blubbering and talking about “what happened” as if she is a helpless victim and this whole sordid series of events had nothing to do with her entirely conscious choices and actions, argh, I want to slap her and I want to rescue that child and take him away for there!

  5. Play it Again says:

    Oh my god. That poor kid. You’re right—the fact that she’s putting her son in that position merely to prolong her own 15 minutes of fame is despicable. She must be nuts.

    • bros says:

      I feel the same way when I watch toddlers and tiaras or Intervention. parents routinely do shitty things to their kids and its put on TV all the time for viewers like us to have the same discomfiting reaction and think, god, I will never do that to my kids.

    • emma33 says:

      While I was watching it I was thinking ‘who is the child, and who is the parent?’, because he seemed much more grounded in reality, sensible and articulate than she did. She was like a 5 year old having a tanty, and he was like a rational parent.

      This is so sad, she wants to be the victim, her needs take up all the space, so there is no room for his needs and legitimate feelings. So sad. There is a doco to be made here, but this isn’t it.

  6. bros says:

    Im pretty sure netflix is thinking “let viewers decide what they think and how they interpret this piece of media/art/movie/play/song/etc’ as should any distributor of cultural productions. I am glad to live in a society where I can access all pieces of information, regardless of what the state or ministry of information thinks about its use value. I do not need bureaucracy to pre-censor or determine what should be seen or not seen. I have seen lots of documentaries where the main protagonist is in earnest but is clearly crazy or terrible or whatever. Just because we disagree with rachel’s schtick doesn’t mean cultural productions having to do with her shouldn’t be seen. We don’t live in China, folks.

    • Kaiser says:

      1. Netflix isn’t a government agency.
      2. This documentary involves a mother emotionally abusing her minor children on-camera. Netflix should have shut it down.

      • Dee says:

        He’s a beautiful boy, and when he answered the question What don’t people Know, “Nothing I want them to know” my heart broke for him.

      • LadyT says:

        I agree completely. That young man is in such pain. It’s cruel to allow his mother to keep dishing out more for the camera. So wrong.

      • bros says:

        yah I just don’t agree with you that this is somehow in the realm of ‘things that are so damaging to society that we should be prevented from seeing them.’ already, the people who have watched the clip are forging their assessment of her behavior and correctly feeling uncomfortable and upset about her. she is subjecting her son to some questionable behavior but it’s not child abuse or child porn by any legal definition; we are not watching a crime in action, sorry. Ive seen far more awful things on documentaries and what they do is raise awareness of all kinds of issues, uncomfortable as they are. I am glad I can watch her thought process in action. As I would be if I watched a documentary about a white supremacist’s thought process in action. we can’t understand what needs to be changed in society unless we have access to all pieces of information. I don’t need netflix acting as a surrogate of the state either.

      • Anon33 says:

        I love that reasoning. “I’ve seen worse, so this is nothing!”

        Nope. Not how life works.

      • Megan says:

        If Rachel represented a growing social trend or shift in public thinking, then the documentary would have merit. But this is a voyeuristic look into a crazy woman’s mind with the unfortunate side effect of inflicting emotional harm on an innocent child. I do wonder what the hell Netflix was thinking. A trailer showing a child’s emotions being exploited is really disturbing to me.

  7. kate says:

    Friendly reminder that this scam artist sued Howard U back in the day for racial discrimination. Bceause she was white. Again, for the people in the back: my racial identity as a black woman is not something white folks can steal and play with.
    Honestly, the whole thing is bonkers. Racist white people are incredible. After stealing land, people, entire god**n countries, y’all are gonna steal our IDENTITIES now???!!

    • Baby Jane says:

      No. Not y’all. Just this one.

    • Sherri says:

      So I will just throw this out there but………a few years ago we said that we could not change gender. Is ethnicity like gender that you are what you feel like inside. Many people of color feel certain ways (that I cannot understand – just like for me I cannot understand how a man feels). Does this mean then that with new advances that perhaps a white person who feels marginalized could have their skin color changed and then consider themselves a POC. Could this be the new world?

      • Baby Jane says:

        Yes. Ethnicity is a shared CULTURAL identity, which one can change with behaviors (like the language one speaks, the religion one follows, the familial structures one adheres to, the worldview one shares with others).

      • Merritt says:

        No they are not the same and trying to compare them is offensive.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Stop. Read. Think.

      • Merritt says:

        Stop excusing white privilege.

      • HK9 says:


      • Megan says:

        Ancestry is a predominant component of ethnicity. Han Chinese are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world. I can adopt their culture, customs, and norms, but I cannot, as someone of European and Middle Eastern dissent, become an ethnic Han.

  8. hey-ya says:

    ….she’s not fake tanning her face any longer so don’t worry about yet another con artist getting air time..thats bread n butter for the entertainment industry…

  9. Shannon says:

    I’m not going to lie, I’d be curious to watch it because I’m curious what led her to make the choices she made. When the whole thing blew up, I was honestly curious and still am. But omg I feel so bad for her son there – what an awful position to put him in. And I agree with his words – if she wants to “identify” as black and spray tan and whatever else, that’s her business. But trying to be the head of the NAACP, lying on an application, having and keeping this whole thing in the limelight?? It’s wrong to do that to her kids.

  10. Melanie says:

    can I just say that transracial is a term that has been used for many years by those of us who were adopted by families of a different ethnicity.

    So it most definitely is a ‘thing’ but not the way this waste of oxygen uses the word. Infuriatingly, she has two brothers who actually were transracially adopted

  11. MerrymerrymonthofMay says:

    She’s so condescending the way she talks to him… (“It’s called rebuilding, it’s called rebuilding”). I want to punch her in the face

  12. dodgy says:

    I feel sorry for her son. I hope her children can find a good ‘team them’ (in terms of people looking out for them) as they get older.

  13. Jayna says:

    She didn’t just identify to the pubic as a black woman. She lied, created a fake backstory, presented herself in this grandiose fashion, that none of it was true. She is a pathological liar, and I do believe she believes all of the crap she is trying to sell.

    I think her son will eventually become estranged from her. He is very insightful, just from this brief clip, but his mom still doesn’t get it. I will probably watch it now because of the clip of her son. He is what interests me, how this narcissistic woman’s actions are affecting her son, who is black. She doesn’t interest me, but how it has affected her children does.
    The fact that she ignores her son’s plea to stop putting their lives out in the media shows just how narcissistic she is.

  14. Lori says:

    She needs therapy, not more attention. Poor kids. Her son sounds thoughtful and intelligent, hopefully he will be ok.

  15. Luca76 says:

    Irony of ironies she’s raising a black man in this society at this time and her biggest focus how she’s being perceived and is a victim. Wow this woman is ill.

  16. HK9 says:

    This is not ‘rebuilding’. She’s using the love her son has for her for her own purposes, which in my opinion is a form of emotional abuse which makes her a manipulative POS. You can tell the weight he carries because of her life choices. She needs to sit down with a mental health professional (or two) to figure out why she can’t accept herself. You don’t need to be black in order to to any of the things she did in her former life, and we all know when being “black” didn’t get her far enough she went back to being white when it suited her. There are plenty of white people who are vocal about racial inequality and don’t have the need to reject their own identity to do so. She needs to examine why that is not enough. I for one, wish she would go away.

  17. Cherryl says:

    I actually think it’s quite interesting. It’s a documentary. It doesn’t mean you need to like the people in it or be okay with what they’ve done.

    • Anastasia says:

      This reminds me of the documentary called The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. Just about every single thing about that family was appalling. The worst of humanity. But I’ve watched it twice, for reasons I can’t quite understand. It’s compelling.

      Here’s a clip:

      • Jayna says:


        The last documentary I watched was about singer/songwriter Nick Cave and the last stages of making his 2016 album. It begins six months after his 15-year-old son died tragically and follows him as he completes the album. His son and a friend were going to try LSD for the first time. He began hallucinating and didn’t know what was real or not and fell over a cliff. They don’t address the circumstances of his death. Arthur’s name isn’t even mentioned until an hour into it. It’s just there in watching him reeling, and his wife, in subtle ways, and their son’s twin brother is briefly in it. He did the documentary so he wouldn’t have to give interviews promoting his album, but so that fans could have insight into his mind while finishing it. The music is haunting. He let the director make it the way he wanted. He was upset when first watching it, but decided ultimately he wouldn’t step in and ask for changes. He and his wife never wanted to be seen as exploiting his son’s death. This documentary doesn’t. It’s very tasteful and you feel the love they have for their son and their loss. He now feels differently about the movie and sees how much it has helped others grieving.

        It was heartbreaking. My eyes were filled with tears for most of it. You felt the heaviness of their grief as they tried to move forward. It’s called, “One More Time with Feeling.”

        A clip.

      • Pinetree13 says:

        Wow jayna that clip is so moving and hauntingly beautiful

  18. SJhere says:

    Do not give this woman any more attention. Period. No, just no. I certainly will not watch it and I think it’s a truly bad idea from Netflix.
    Netflix would better off showing something in nature or animals or flower gardening. At least those shows are more worthy of attention vs. her. Ugh.

  19. Nan says:

    She’s not woke at all, she’s sound asleep and not reachable – “me, me, me”. No wonder her son is so deeply sad and alone. Netflix is trying to capitalize on this family’s pain because they are a freak show. She lives a lie and subjects her kids to the lies, without acknowledging how much pain she is subjecting family members to – and all Black people to – by making being Black all about her, and not about actual Black people who are in fact actually Black. Wtf? I don’t even understand how she’s allowed to raise kids.

  20. N. says:

    Wait, that delusional unhinged freak has children?!

  21. marianne says:

    Because its controversial and therefore people will click on it out of curiousity. Thats what they’re going for.

  22. Kiki says:

    Wow! Her beautiful son is way more grounded than she is!

  23. Nibbi says:

    Man i feel bad for that kid. He’s clearly asking her to think of him and the other kid and what they have been and WILL BE AGAIN going through with all of her famewhoring, he’s asking her not to put him in the limelight again- to no avail. HE is actually being victimi.zed here, really and truly, as he is unfortunately mature enough to be aware of to top it all off, because it’s clear this whole new chapter is just hurting him.

    i can only hope that the whole thing could end up helping him in some way, but it’s hard to see how.

    I do think she must have very weird psychological issues to have done such things and they clearly stem from stuff with her upbringing and family, and I’ll admit that I would have originally been interested in the documentary because I’ve never been able to make up my mind about her (this clip certainly helps, tho…) , but yeah, this definitely does have that exploitative whiff of trashy reality TV wherein young people, minors, are being thrown up on screens and scrutinized and regarded and becoming known around the country. i’m starting to think that there should be some sort of law protecting kids from this sort of stuff.

  24. derpshooter says:

    I see she hasn’t changed a bit in the last 20 years. Still asking black people questions and then not listening to them because she doesn’t like the answer, and trying to railroad them with her “better” ideas about how they can “better” themselves. BSA should’ve come down harder on her.

  25. Verbellion says:

    Baby Jane, I learned in multiple diversity courses in college (and have had it affirmed in several times since) that race (black, white, etc) is the social construct while ethnicity (which can but doesn’t have to include cultural aspects) is determined by genetics.

    Google “is race a social construct”, and you’ll find that leading sociologists disagree with you.

    Many are also beginning to define ethnicity as a social construct for some of the same reasons that race has long been considered a social construct, but you seem to have you definitions reversed.

    • TrixC says:

      I agree. ‘Race’ is based solely on physical characteristics, while ethnicity is a broader term including a person’s biological and cultural heritage. Due to modern genetics we now understand that race is an artificial construct i.e. the labels that people have developed to categorise people on the basis of physical appearance are not backed up by biology. In many countries the term race has actually been phased out and ethinicity used instead.

  26. hkk says:

    Her son is begging her to let this go away.
    I feel so bad for him having gone through this and now even more…
    I will not be watching this – did she coerce him into being on this show?
    This just seems so awful for this young man who clearly loves his Mom but does not agree with her on this – at. all.
    Peak White Supremacy is the perfect way to identify what she is doing right here.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      I wonder if he had any choice but to participate because she’s his legal guardian? That would be horrible!

  27. ash says:

    listen white people and white society…. yal cant say transgender is a thing and NOT trans-racial… and i say this as a bio american american black woman…. the flood gates are open and you cant just think someone is mental for wanting to (perping lol) blackness…. its has to be seen under the same microscope honestly

  28. Blackbetty says:

    Why can’t she just admit the truth and be a white woman and be for equality like a normal person?

  29. Cara says:

    That poor kid. My God!! I assumed when she got busted for faking her ethnicity, she would stop faking her ethnicity. WTF?? Her trying to be the victim is beyond my comprehension. 😱

  30. Kelty says:

    She and Shaun King–the darlings of the left. Hilarious.

    • A says:

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, but Rachel Dolezal is definitely not a “darling” within the left. And your accusation about Shaun King is not only old, it’s tired and sad and it says a lot about the koolaid you drink on an hourly basis.

  31. CrazyCatLady says:

    I love to watch crazy on documentaries. So yes I would definitely watch this. Have no problem with Netflix greenlighting it. Actually I have no problem with Netflix greenlighting anything, It’s not like they come to your house and make you watch it. Find it offensive? Don’t tune in. But don’t think you can censor on my behalf. And I won’t censor what you watch. It’s that easy,

    • Lori says:

      Yeah Im watching it too. Unfortunantly. Wish I didnt want to, but i find mental illness and race very interesting.

  32. raincoaster says:

    Maybe they’re thinking that crazy is good television? Or that racism and white privilege are? It goes incredibly deep. Today on Twitter a German guy tried to convince me that Bavarians are black “From ebony to mixed black shades.” People can convince themselves of anything.

    • Lara says:

      Since the german regional cultures like Bavarians or im my case Rheinländer are not defined by ethnic criteria but only by cultural criteria it is perfectly possible for a Bavarian to be black.
      At least where I live, if you take part in the traditions (especially Carneval) you are a Rheinländer, no matter where you are born.

  33. Dirtydishes17 says:

    Whatever she gains…what she’s losing is so much more important. Her children and their well-being should be more of a priority than making a point or being “heard”. She’s teaching them nothing and she’s learning nothing from their experiences.

  34. phaedra says:

    What I saw on that video was textbook emotional abuse by a mom with untreated Borderline Personality Disorder. That was disturbing to watch. How can you film that for “entertainment” and go home and sleep at night? Who is looking out for that kid?