Trend Watch


Fascination with Rachel Dolezal's racial identity ...


Lookups spiked on June 11 and June 16, 2015.


Fascination with Rachel Dolezal's racial identity continued with her appearance on the Today show, where Matt Lauer asked her: "When did you start deceiving people?" She claims not to have done so, saying, "I was actually identified when I was doing human rights work in north Idaho, as, first, transracial," and subsequently as "biracial" and, finally, as "a black woman." She did not correct these assumptions.

Later, talking with Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC, she said: "I've never said, like, 'I'm transracial'."

Transracial means "involving, encompassing, or extending across two or more races." The usage example given at the dictionary entry is <transracial adoption>, and some transracial adoptees feel that the term is being misused in the case of Rachel Dolezal. Her story has sparked a discussion about the definition of racial identity and even the definition of the word transracial.

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