Did Rachel Dolezal Pretend to be Black Because the NAACP is a Racist Organization?

NAACP Spokane leader Rachel Dolezal claimed she was black, passed herself off as black, and got a job working for the NAACP because the organization believed she was black. She has since resigned from her position after her family finally outed her as a freckled-faced white woman whose “family’s ancestry is Czech, Swedish, German and Native American heritage.” One has to wonder what took her parents so long in telling the truth about their daughter.

According to a letter posted on the NAACP chapter’s Facebook page, Dolezal wrote, in part, “It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley.”

I have a few questions.

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First, why is the NAACP still using the “C” which stands for “colored”?: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. There has been serious liberal outrage over the Washington Redskins’ name, but nobody is condemning the NAACP for still using the “colored” designation.

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Second, why does a person have to pretend to be black to support “the cause of racial and social justice”? Must a person be black in order to have a voice for justice? Many blacks don’t want to hear white opinions about race. In fact, a white person can’t have an opinion about race, white privilege and all that.

Rachel Dolezal, 37, is the head of the local chapter of the NAACP and has identified herself as African-American. But her Montana birth certificate says she was born to two people who say they are Caucasian. She is seen as a teenager at left in an old family photo and in a more recent picture from Eastern Washington University, where she teaches classes related to African-American culture.

Third, can a white person head up either a local NAACP chapter or serve as the head of the national organization? If not, then it seems to me that the leaders of the NAACP are engaged in racial discrimination, and someone like Rachel Dolezal, who wanted to be a part of the racial justice movement, felt compelled to lie about her racial makeup so she could work for the organization. What’s implied is that the NAACP is involved in racial discrimination in its hiring policies. White people can support racial issues, donate to the NAACP, but they can’t hold leadership positions in the organization.

Fourth, can you imagine what would happen if a black person felt compelled to pass himself/herself off as white in order to get a job because the company doing the hiring required that only white people need apply for management positions?

Fifth, is anybody concerned that Dolezal lied to get the job no matter what her intentions were? If you or I lied on a résumé in order to get a job, we would be immediately fired. Rachel Dolezal’s adoptive brother Ezra had this to say:

“I believe that the first most important thing regardless of what a person does is that they have integrity. Rachel has done really good work fighting against racism and police brutality … but she went about it the wrong way. She said ‘I was born black. I grew up black and I know what it’s like growing up as an African-American in this world.’ She does not.”

Sixth, are we surprised that Dolezal has tapped into the new “fluidity” movement as part of her defense of pretending to be black? She is “challenging the construct of race” and believes in the “evolut[ion] of human consciousness.” If a man believes he’s a woman, then he is a woman even when biology says otherwise. In the same way, a person can be black even when her DNA says she’s not. Everything is up for grabs because even if biology isn’t evolving, human consciousness is, and if you don’t like it, then it’s time you take your seat at the back of the bus.

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