Blogography Logo



Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Dave!A disclaimer before we get down to it... I'm a big fan of Michael Jackson's music.

I have all his albums. His musical talent continues to amaze me even today. When The Way You Make Me Feel comes on my iTunes, I come very, very close to dancing. And I don't dance. He was The King of Pop and I think he earned that title a half-dozen times over.

And now about that Rachel Dolezal thing.

For anybody who's been living under a rock lately, Rachel Dolezal is a white woman who has been pretending to be Black in Spokane, Washington, three hours away from where I live. This alone wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary... a whole generation of white youth has been pretending to be Black ever since Rap & Hip-Hop took over the music industry. What makes Rachel Dolezal so unique is that she actually lied about being Black. Something she did so effectively that she became the NAACP Chapter President of Spokane.

To me, this is a clear case of appropriation, and all efforts to equate it to being transgender (as I keep seeing over and over) is categorically absurd.

I could write about this crazy-ass mess for days, but entirely too many people have already done that. One of my favorites being Larry Wilmore, who devoted an entire show to the topic...


No, the reason I am bringing this up at all is because I got sucked into a comment thread yesterday where somebody was claiming that Michael Jackson "dyeing his skin white" was no different than Rachel Dolezal lying about being Black.

When I attempted to explain that Michael Jackson never lied about being white, and the reason his skin appeared white is because he had a pigmentation-destroying disease called vitiligo which he concealed using makeup, I was told to "shut the fuck up" because I "don't know anything about it"... at which point the conversation went down a spiral of how Michael Jackson should have been using Black makeup instead of white makeup so he wouldn't be lying about his race.

Which is when I dropped out of the conversation.

Because, in fact, I actually know a hell of a lot about vitiligo.

The reason being that I have vitiligo, and didn't feel like battling it out with an asshole who clearly doesn't give a shit about the truth.

And, yes, I understand your disbelief. Mainly because if you've ever heard of the disease, you're picturing this...

Vitiligo Hands
Photo by James Heilman, taken from Wikimedia Commons

Which isn't me.

Vitiligo for me is a very different story because of two reasons...

  1. Until recently, my vitiligo hasn't been in a place where it's easily spotted. And,
  2. I'm probably the whitest person you know, so my vitiligo doesn't show up as readily as it does on a person of color.

Which is to say, if you were to meet me in person, it is extremely doubtful you would realize I have vitiligo even if you were staring right at it.

But I really do have it, and over the past three years it's started appearing on my hands too. It isn't terribly prominent yet but, if it follows the same progression as other parts of my body, eventually it will be more visible. But for now? It appears as white splotches on my fingers above the knuckle...

Dave's Vitiligo Hands

If I had a black light, you'd be able to really see it. But since I don't, all I can do is up the contrast on the above photo...

Dave's Vitiligo Hands

As I said, you probably wouldn't notice it if you were to see me in person (unless you were seeing me naked for some reason)... but there it is.

And, let me tell you, even if it doesn't show up on your skin very easily, you are still going to research the shit out of vitiligo when the splotches of white start appearing on you. So don't tell me I don't know anything about vitiligo when I assure you I've learned absolutely everything I can know about it.

Needless to say, my limited experience with the disease has fostered no small amount of sympathy for people who have a very different experience from mine. Yes, I have vitiligo, but it showed up very late in life and is (for now) so negligible on my appearance you could say it's not even a factor. For most people dealing with it, that's not the case at all...

In his early years, Michael Jackson had more Black skin than white, so he actually did use Black makeup to conceal his vitiligo. But eventually his case was so severe that he ended up with more white skin than Black, and it was easier to switch to white makeup than paint his entire body Black. And that's it.

So, yeah... vitiligo is not even remotely in the same fucking ballpark as some crazypants white lady lying about her race... for whatever reason she's been doing it.

And while there may be some room for debate on how to view Rachel Dolezal's appropriation (and other aspects of Michael Jackson's life)... you have fuck-none justification if you are stupid enough to drag how Michael Jackson dealt with his disease into the conversation.

That holds true whether you are a big fan of his music or not.

Tags: , , ,
Categories: News – Politics 2015Click To It: Permalink


  1. LeSombre says:

    I too have Vitiligo. Had it for about 10 years now.

  2. Suebob says:

    I wish we lived in a world where it was ok to have vitiligo and not cover it up. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it looks beautiful to me.

Add a Comment


I love comments! However, all comments are moderated, and won't appear until approved. Are you an abusive troll with nothing to contribute? Don't bother. Selling something? Don't bother. Spam linking? Don't bother.
PLEASE NOTE: My comment-spam protection requires JavaScript... if you have it turned off or are using a mobile device without JavaScript, commenting won't work. Sorry.



Your personal information is optional. Email addresses are never shown, and are only used by me if a public reply would be too personal or inappropriate here. The URL link to your web site or blog will be provided, so only fill this in if you want people to visit!



Blogography is a place to learn and grow by exposing yourself to the mind of David Simmer II, a brilliant commentator on world events and popular culture (or so he claims).
Dave FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dave Flickr Gallery:
Dave Contact:
Blogography Webfeeds:
Entries Feed
Comments Feed
Dave Social:
Blogography Tumblr
Blogography Instagram
Blogography on Pinterest
translate me
lost & found
Search Blogography:
thrice fiction
Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
free iphone app
Ask Dave iPhone App
Put Dave in your pocket with this FREE app for iPhone and iPod Touch. All life's answers await you with the Ask Dave app!
dave tweets
hard rock moment
Visit DaveCafe for my Hard Rock Cafe travel journal!
travel picto-gram
Visit my travel map to see where I have been in this world!
mobile photos
Visit my Flickr Page
Subscribe to my Mobile Feed
Blogography Badge
Atom Syndicate Badge
Comments Syndicate Badge
Apple Safari Badge
Pirate's Booty Badge
Macintosh Badge
All content copyright ©2003-2015
by David Simmer II
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.