It’s hard imagining a scenario where Rachel Dolezal isn’t one of the most popular costumes of this year’s Halloween season. For a specific type of person, Dolezal hits all the necessary notes: A weird and troubling story that captured the attention of the national media, a readily identifiable character, an easy costume to assemble. All it takes is a skirt, micro braids, and an industrial tub of bronzer, and voila: the former president of the Spokane NAACP. (Granted, it also requires a certain lack of empathy, or, barring that, common sense.)
Indeed, what Dolezal tried to pass off as “transracialism” becomes all too common during this time of year, as the winds cool, the leaves lose their color, and some white folks suddenly seem to gain more pigment. Watch as Pumpkin Spice season slowly yields to a Blackface Halloween. (It should be noted: In Holland, Blackface Christmas is far, far worse.)
Maybe Dolezal’s deception shouldn’t have been so surprising. Every Halloween, it’s more than apparent that segments of Americans don’t see any problem with playing dress-up in someone else’s identity.
Each year around October 31, give or take a few days, the photos and videos start to trickle out online. The couple dressed as Ray Rice and his wife Janay. The friends outfitted like George Zimmerman and a bloody Trayvon Martin. It’s already started this year, with the white elementary school teacher who dressed up as Kanye West. And the Florida teenager who thought it was a good idea to cover herself in shoe polish to pull off an authentic Nicki Minaj.