from Charles P. Pierce--there just isn't a lot of benefit in trying to piece together what her story "means" against the backdrop of "race in America" or some larger narrative about the extent to which an individual can choose their identity. Some of the kinder takes I've read assume that she has a kind of mental or emotional issue or trauma--although I think it's unfair to people who are struggling with their mental and emotional issues or personal traumas who do not engage in a damaging imposture regarding their personal narratives. It's also been pointed out that there was very little she had done as an ersatz black woman, that she could not have done as well as a white woman, whether it be acting as a civil rights advocate or a parent to black children, except with a difference of style. She traded being accused of being a poseur for being an actual fake.
But stripping back the layers of things she has claimed against the false assertion of her heritage, it really seems like there is something pathological here. Something about her claims of regular discrimination (both as a white person and as a black person) seem like a very political sort of Munchausen's Syndrome. Paired with claims of a bout of cervical cancer (which may or may not be real) and certain other fabulous embellishments, it becomes very hard to pinpoint what her actual damage is. When paired with allegations of horrific sexual abuse occurring in her family, one can only be concerned that something awful has happened with her, but be thoroughly unsure of what, because we already know her narrative to be unreliable about important details. In victims' rights and civil rights, it's a truism that "there are no perfect victims", but in her case, we have a kind of worst case scenario.
I feel pretty distinctly though that she definitely needs help. Her personal and professional life are a shambles, and I am not sure what the media will leave of her carcass. If she hasn't sought professional counseling, I'd encourage it as a very good idea. (And by that I certainly don't mean a media expert or a literary agent.)