HER CRIME? LOOKING BLACK WHILE NOT EMBRACING HER PROPER WHITENESS.
But identifying as Black as Black in our society is apparently so outrageous that we’ll ignore truly important stories, like the international impotence is helping innumerable desperate refuges caught between ISIS and unsympathetic Turkish soldiers, or that scientists discovered that climate change is accelerating, of that TPP is still a blade hanging over the necks of millions of US workers. It certainly stopped discussion on the imbalance police violence rendered against the Black community; at least in the status quo media. Still, the Dolezal issue persists in the Afterschool Special we once called a nation.
There is far more to Ms. Dolezal, that I am not going to cover here. All of it supports a lifetime of closeness and parity with Black members of this society. This is not so much a defense of Dolezal as an effort to highlight how much of a distraction this issue is. More than that, for all the white folks in the media fixated upon this who assert they are not racist; the obsessive attention to this story to the detriment of true conversations on minority issues in this country most certainly adheres to the long history of racial division in America. You are what you support. That goes both ways. At least Dolezal’s support attempts to martial resources and attention to rescue a beleaguered part of our American family.
First of all, identifying as Black is nothing new. Anyone who has living in an urban area knows full well there are thousands of people in minority dominated neighborhoods, male and female, who identify as Black, Hispanic or whatever. Sometimes it has to do with security. Often it has to do with identifying with the community you live in, and the community you grow to become comfortable with. I know Asian and Middle eastern youths who identify more readily with communities of color in America than white communities. Guess why that is Pamela Geller and FOX News?
Who did Dolezal hurt? She didn’t sneak her way into the position in Spokane. She was chosen for her advocacy for people of color. Spokane’s NAACP chapter is a patchwork of races and identities. Most of them support her. The organization as a whole supports her. She didn’t trick the organization into picking her over an authentic Black person. The Press is cherry picking individuals with criticisms of Dolezal within Spokane’s NAACP. I have worked in offices where far more people were adamantly opposed to the type of pizza we were to have for office parties.
Dolezal had 2 children with her Black ex-husband. She was the target of racially based harassment significant enough for her to file police reports in Idaho and Washington. A Swastika was placed on the door of the Human Rights Education Institute where she worked, so apparently the local white supremacists also thought she was Black, or at the very least a race traitor.
Finally: So what? While I understand and sympathize that the best advocates for issues endemic to women of color are women of color, Dolezal is likely as close to that issue as a white woman can hope. As far as her “blackness” or “whiteness,” maybe if more of us in the white community identified as Black, or identified more with our Black neighbors, friends and family we might have stronger more productive and honest conversations on Race. The answers to those questions really have little to do ultimately with race, but rather having the best, most efficient, more just and more productive nation.
But fixate on what one woman wants to call herself, and who she epitomizes and champions. Likely you’ll draw satisfaction when she quits in shame, at which point the race-shepherding media will then fixate on what is wrong with the NAACP that they could have the freedom and internal sovereignty to hire someone like Dolezal. You have faced the true menace to America: Rachel Dolezal and “blackness.” Meantime, Republicans in Congress are slashing the budget of NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the heels of a report that man made climate change was accelerating far faster than previously realized. When that hammer comes down race identity won’t matter. Instead we’ll either identify as permaculture subsistence farmers circa 1640, except, that is those remaining Ayn Rand-ian conservatives cannibalizing each other into oblivion on the remote island once known as Texas.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers. .