Rachel Dolezal has quit her post as head of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Why is that big deal? She’s the white woman who ran the organization, declared she is African-American, even though her obviously white parents say she lied about her racial identity.
She’s going to move on, I guess, to pursue other interests, as they say.
Here, though, is where I think this story needs to be told in fuller fashion.
Why is it such a bad thing for a white person to head an NAACP chapter? The only serious misdeed here has been Dolezal’s lying about her race. She changed her appearance over many years. She darkened her skin, curled her hair, married an African-American man, with whom she had two children. She “identified” more with black Americans than with white Americans. That’s all fine.
But she lied about her race.
Back to my point. Why did she have to lie to become accepted by the Spokane NAACP chapter?
I’ve noted before that the organization’s name doesn’t stipulate any racial requirement. Individuals can become champions for the “advancement” of a race of people, even though they aren’t of that particular race. Can’t they do that?
The NAACP has white people in its rank-and-file membership. These are individuals dedicated to the cause of advancing the fortunes of Americans whose ancestors once were enslaved by other Americans. Theirs is a noble cause.
It also speaks to the issue of racial diversity. If we are to proclaim the need to diversify the ranks of, say, elected bodies, such as Congress, to include more African-Americans or other “people of color,” then it stands to reason that we could issue calls to diversify the leadership of organizations dedicated to helping ethnic and racial minorities. That would include the NAACP.
So what, then, if Rachel Dolezal is white. Had she merely been truthful about her background, her DNA, her heritage, there ought to be no problem at all with her serving as head of an NAACP chapter.
However, she’s a liar, and liars aren’t to be trusted, no matter their race.