Sylvia Thompson column
Rachel Dolezal is a product of our times
June 18, 2015
Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who claims she is black, has become the latest bit of strangeness onto which the media can fixate. I am what Ms. Dolezal wants to be, so I will add my take, as a black woman, to the conversation regarding her “preference” to live as a black woman.
Before I begin, let me state that Ms. Dolezal lacks integrity and that is her problem. What she wants to be and how she chooses to look is irrelevant. What she has done is lie and perpetrate fraud to the point of denying her natural parents’ existence. What she is is a product of our leftist, degenerating culture.
It is clear to me that this incident has less to do with playing race games and much more to do with the influence of a rotting culture that turns reality on its head and insists that there is only “subjective truth.” Many media and pundit types have had a field day either mocking or praising the ludicrousness of a white woman selfishly abandoning her family to pretend to be a race that she is not nor ever could or will be. This situation is similar to the mock/praise dichotomy of responses to Bruce Jenner’s sad claim of being a gender that he is not and can never be. But through it all, not many will acknowledge what both these cases represent – a twisted denial of objective truth. Truth established by Almighty God, which is absolute, unchanging, and for all time. Your race is set; your gender is set. In God’s reckoning, that is the end of it.
As a black woman I have no problem with Rachel Dolezal wanting to look black. After all, many black women choose to process the kinks out of their hair and wear extensions. Her turning the tables and choosing to make her hair nappy and wear frizzy braids is not an issue for me. If it’s okay for black women to look “white” to some degree, at least by the head, it should be okay for her to look “black.” Only hypocrites would deny her that choice.
I also do not have a problem with Ms. Dolezal’s desire to identify with the cause of black people. She could have chosen, however, to frizz up her hair and tan her skin as a white woman, and just as effectively identified with the plight of blacks, even by serving as a chapter president of the NAACP. It is historical fact that Moorfield Storey, the first national president of the organization, was Caucasian, as were most of the organization’s founders. There is, of course, the possibility that given the current racist nature of black culture – perpetuated by Barack Obama and the Left – she might have been denied the role because she is white. Be that as it may, an “I am white but I care” tactic would have been far more genuine and noble than the lie that she chose to concoct.
I recently read an article regarding the Dolezal incident that interestingly addresses the issue of so-called blacks living as Caucasians throughout black American history. It’s called “passing.” It is true that in black history some individuals with a degree of black genetic mix (who looked more like their Caucasian ancestors) chose to live their lives as Caucasians. They did so for the practical reason of avoiding discrimination that they would have suffered had they identified as black. They did not look black, so there was no rational reason to identify as such and subject themselves to the injustice of unjust laws.
I in no way compare those people to Rachel Dolezal. The people who passed back then and those who may be passing today are so genetically Caucasian as to be unidentifiable as anything else, so why shouldn’t they live as Caucasians if they choose to do so? It’s part of their heritage; they have no need to change their hair or their skin tone. They are already there. That is not the case with Ms. Dolezal, however. There is no evidence, according to her parents, of any black genetic mix. It’s all in her mind. Interestingly, on the one hand she sued a traditionally black school (Howard University) for discriminating against her because she, at the time, was “white,” and on the other hand, more recently complained to police that she was racially threatened because she is “black.” There is nothing practical or rational about Ms. Dolezal’s behavior. She should be viewed as a product of our very mixed-up times.
Rachel Dolezal lacks integrity and displays a severe disconnect from reality. Those are grave flaws, no matter a person’s race. I have no sympathy for her behavior, but I suspect that she is unstable and in need of professional and spiritual guidance. I hope she will receive such help when the media notoriety eventually fades. And it will.
Sylvia Thompson is a black conservative writer whose aim is to counter the liberal spin on issues pertaining to race and culture.
Ms. Thompson is a copy editor by trade currently residing in Tennessee. She formerly wrote for the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley California Newsletter and the online conservative blog ChronWatch, also out of California.
She grew up in Southeast Texas during the waning years of Jim Crow-era legalized segregation, and she concludes that race relations in America will never improve, nor will we ever elevate our culture, as long as there are victims to be pandered to and villains to be vilified. America is better served without victims or villains.
© Copyright 2015 by Sylvia Thompson