Rachel Identity Disorder

TitleRachel Identity Disorder
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFunke, MB, Funke, RD, Greer, S, Myers, GA, Potthast, A
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
AbstractA new Netflix documentary The Rachel Divide delves into the life of Nkechi Amare Diallo, best known by her former name, Rachel Dolezal. Diallo was the subject of much controversy in 2015 when it was revealed that her biological parents were white even though she claimed to be (and had passed as) black for ten years. While many resent any further attention being paid to someone accused of both exploiting white privilege and appropriating black culture, one aspect of the issue has sparked an especially incendiary and divisive debate: Diallo’s claim that being transracial is relevantly similar to being transgender. On the one hand, philosophers and social scientists argue that both race and gender are social constructs, and it seems to follow that, as such, both concepts can change over time to be more or less inclusive. On the other hand, critics of the comparison argue that there are relevant dissimilarities between being transgender and claiming to be transracial that render the comparison a false analogy.
Notes©2018 Association for Practical and Professional Ethics   Case from the 2018 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Regional Competition