Rachel Dolezal and the decay of the self

By now you have heard that NAACP Chapter President and civil rights leader and Teacher Rachel Dolezal is white.  Certainly white people can and should champion the cause of black americans, but rarely, if ever, do they assume the skin color in order to do so.  Never do they intentionally fool people into thinking they are black.

The story immediately reminded me of John Howard Griffin’s novel ‘Black Like Me’ written in 1961 about Griffin’s experience impersonating a black man in the south.  Forced to use different bathrooms, different water fountains, the story exposed the ugly side of racism in its most active and tangible sense.  Rachel Dolezal did not do that.  This was not some defined study aimed at revealing anything that would one day enlighten the masses.  This was a lifelong deception of the highest magnitude.  Dolezal gained financially from her deception becoming President of the NAACP chapter and gaining speaking opportunities across the country.  This was all about selfish gain.  Or was it?

In many ways she reminds me of Elizabeth Warren, who blatantly lied about being a Native American.  Warren, now a Senator from Massachusetts, enjoyed big paychecks and prestige from her appointment as the Native American Law School instructor at Harvard.  Yet, any yick-yack can look at Sen Elizabeth Warren and know for sure she is anything but Native American.  A quick look at Dolezal in high school and she is clearly as white as can be.  Her hair intentionally curled to a tight knap in order to appear black.  She also darkened her skin through coloring or constant tanning.  So it appears to be for financial gain that she undertook all this deception.

But there are others who use similar tactics.  Michael Jackson intentionally bleached his skin in order to appear more ‘white’.  His nose was sliced and diced until almost unrecognizable as a nose.  Many black Hollywood women straighten their hair to be more attractive to larger and wider audiences.  

But sometimes it is just not about the money.  People are unhappy with who they are and want to be someone/something different.  Bruce Jenner is a perfect example of that.  One day he is the American decathlon hero and the next day he is Caitlyn.  How does that happen?  Or did he do it for money too?

Americans are inherently unhappy with themselves.  That is why every woman’s magazine has an article about ’14 Fabulous Makeovers” listed on the cover.  We always have to look better, be skinnier, have more perfect teeth, whiter eyes, fancier clothes, bigger houses, more erectile possibilities, longer orgasms, more income, etc, etc, etc.  Always improving the self.  The problem becomes that eventually we run out of money or things to improve and we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and like what we see, whether it is perfect or not.  

Or could it all be just an elaborate hoax?  Dolezal did all this to pretend she knew what it was like to be treated differently than ‘white’ kids.  She wanted all the experience, but without any of the suffering.  Its like someone who shaves her head and pretends to be a cancer survivor only to be proven a fraud in search of a quick buck.  

What is really sad is that there is a legitimate problem with race in america.  Dolezal undermines the ability of black america to accurately articulate the problem when a leading spokesperson is proven a fraud – a white.  She took someone else’s job and position to speak with experience – just like Elizabeth Warren.  It is kind of hard to build a race campaign based on the slogan ‘White lives pretending to be black lives matter’.  

What should happen to Dolezal?  I think she needs mental help.  She denies her parents and the biological connection to them.  She is now claiming that her birth certificate may be phony.  She is a birthed – perfect.  The biggest question is whether the left will embrace her challenge.  Or will they cast her aside as a phony.  The left is generally reluctant to do so and clings tightly to the machinery that gets them where they need to be.  My guess is they will give it a few days then call her a hero of some sort…

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