My Thoughts on Fraudulent Behavior


In this episode of Leadership Gone Wrong…

Fraudulent behavior explained: I’m not into name-calling so it’s hard for me to straight call someone a FRAUD but exhibiting fraudulent behavior – I’m all in. Just like I don’t call children “bad children” but will instead say “you are making bad decisions” or “you are doing bad behavior.” This is me being a good example for my kids who may read this some day:-)

This story is several days old but I wanted to give the accused a chance to answer for herself.


Now that I’ve heard her response, I’m still calling shenanigans.

I consider myself a reasonable person. I do my best to not judge people on how they choose to live their lives. Every time I hear something more off the range than usual, I chalk it up as “if they want to live their lives that way, that’s their lives.” For some reason though, Rachel Dolezal’s story has gotten under my skin. I have co-signed this view and read various academic and sociological deconstructs yet wanted to add my own words to this. It reminds me of all the “white savior” movies I’ve stopped watching because of how insulting they were. This woman really took it to a whole other dimension.

It’s not the optical changes she made. It’s not that she was leading an NAACP chapter. I don’t see any jobs as specifically owned by people of any specific race so I’m not pressed about that either. Fairness of the ability to “switch” races aside, my biggest issues with this situation are:

  • Her manipulation of people with straight, bold-faced lies

    The fantastical story of her upbringing and constant victimization. How was she so harassed by racists with “hate crimes” but rarely, if ever, followed up with the police to see if they caught anyone for the crimes?  As a victim of a hate crime in my childhood, I call B.S. Does she see the black experience as one where we are constantly, consistently victimized or oppressed? In all that, what is the true irony of her failed lawsuit against Howard University for discrimination as a white woman, then not too much later, deciding to live life as a black woman?

  • Her idea that she is here to save black people from whatever she thinks we need saving from

    In her interview, she expressed concern that her adopted brothers would not feel connected to being African-American and wanted to actually provide that connection. She even accused at least one brother of acting too white. In her resignation letter to the NAACP, instead of truly stepping back for the sake of the cause, she goes down this list of things she did for the NAACP… still not understanding all of that is stained by her lack of integrity. The people she was so-called mentoring can’t possibly look at her the same.

  • The rush to defend these shenanigans

    As usual, the biggest eye-openers are the reactions from others to this woman’s actions. The memes are one thing and to be expected nowadays. The NAACP, Rev. Al Sharpton, even some of my friends and family – not understanding the issue with what she’s been doing??? I’m so confused by that. I’ve never seen anyone okay with blacks passing as whites, why is the opposite okay? With all the recent conversations on cultural appropriation, unfair biases in ethnic minority vs white criminal behavior… and she does this times 1000!

One of my family members even said that everyone has a touch of mental illness… this was hers on display. I agree that we all have our own quirks. I don’t agree with that being the go-to excuse for bad behavior. When does manipulative, pathological lying, con artist behavior cross the line from mental issues to criminal? If it’s all mental malfunctioning, let’s just get Bernie Madoff some treatment and send him on his way. This situation is not just about the fact that she lied about her race (a race in which she felt so oppressed, she decided to sue and then appeal when it didn’t go in her favor). Her fraudulent behavior has affected thousands of people negatively… and she doesn’t care. She clearly has no remorse.

At the end of the day, I see a book or two in her future. Maybe even TV. She’s probably weighing the offers now. What better time to enhance her platform than now?  Apparently she enjoys attention.

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About Yolanda

Yolanda Brown, MBA is the CEO & Play Strategist of Fun Spaces, Inc, and Board Treasurer for Urban Ministries of Durham. She has been writing for over six years to inspire and empower entrepreneurs in optimizing their business and life pursuits. When not working, this recovering industrial engineer is shuffling her sons to their various activities, pursuing another half-marathon medal, and praying for the next miracle. Connect with her online to join in the fun!

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