John has delivered a definitive beat down on “The Strange Case of Rachel Dolezal” immediately below, but I can’t help but add to the spectacle by noting that the race-obsessed Salon.com has actually gotten this one right. Perhaps it’s just a “stopped clock” moment for Salon, or Joan Walsh is out of the office this week.
In “Stop Making Excuses for Rachel Dolezal; The Spokane NAACP’s Fraud Is Unforgivable,” Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams doesn’t pull any punches:
It should already be abundantly clear that the still emerging story of Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal is not your typical tale of everyday cultural appropriation. Dolezal, who’s been chapter president since January of this year, is also a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University and chairwoman of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission. She’s come under intense scrutiny since Thursday, when her parents came forward to say that the 37 year-old had been deceptively posing as African American. But while her story is extraordinary, it’s not her behavior that’s going to be worth noting right now. It’s the amount of ridiculous, excusing commentary we’re going to be subjected to about it. So let me just say now, as a white woman who, like Dolezal rather conveniently says, can acknowledge “We’re all from the African continent” – that is some next-level white privilege BS there. Chet Haze, you have been wildly outdone. . .
[S]ocial media is already seizing on the debate over whether someone who “identifies as black” can be “transracial.” As a commenter on the Spokesman Review asked, “What’s wrong with identifying as a different race? Obviously she’s probably felt for years that she was black on the inside and denied it all through her childhood. I mean look at her education and profession. She’s obviously ‘transitioned’ and able to share it with the world. I would think since she’s transitioned and identifies herself as black, than we should just let her be and live her life in peace.” Let me help out here. No.
So this isn’t about being an ally, or making the family of your choosing, or even how one feels on the inside. It’s about, apparently, flat out deception. It’s about how one person chose to obtain a college education and jobs and credibility in her community.
Maybe I should have filed this one under our “Civil War on the Left” series. I’m sure Joan Walsh can be relied upon to provide her usual drivel on the affair shortly. Start the popcorn machine.