Others feel they’ve been victimized by a system that belittles or erases them.Passing is problematic because it’s a hack on a racially biased societal construct that shouldn’t exist.Others are passed on by gatekeepers, who see in the person they’re passing some kind of kinship, an element that says, “You’re like me.Tags: 4 Step Problem Solving ProcessEssays On Egyptian ArchitectureWriting Five Paragraph EssaysFive S ThesisCall To Action For A Persuasive EssayEssay On Importance Of Holiday Homework
Why, then, did “#Black Rachel” fascinate and outrage so many of us?
The answer lies in the complex phenomenon of “Passing,” as Brando Skyhorse notes in his essay, “is when someone tries to get something tangible to improve their daily quality of life by occupying a space meant for someone else.” Many Americans believe—or insist—our country operates on a color-blind system of meritocratic fairness.
America has a long and complicated history of passing.
We’re familiar with the stories of African Americans who passed as white in the past in order to improve their social mobility.
Patrick Rosal, who writes about being mistaken for the help at the National Book Awards, asked if we had considered disability passing.
Ashamed of his hearing impairment, Rosal realized he was pretending his tinnitus didn’t exist and was passing as a man without hearing loss.
Rachel—or “#Black Rachel” as she trended online—never once “broke character.” Later that month, the reported on Andrea Smith, an Anglo woman and esteemed professor of Native American studies at the University of California, Riverside, who presented as Cherokee for over twenty years.
She had a long history of American Indian activism and published articles and books purporting to speak on Indian issues despite not a trace of Indian ancestry being found after two rounds of genealogical research.
Our writers have been fearless on these pages in how they explored fluid identities, code switching, and assimilation.
They share how passing transcends race, religion, ethnicity, and various kinds of orientation.