Nearly one week after her saddened missionary parents outed her as being white, Rachel Dolezal, the Washington civil rights leader at the center of an ethics probe for pretending to be black, has broken her silence.
Despite garnering backlash for misrepresenting her race, Dolezal has unapologetically maintained that she still considers herself to be black and she also explained her controversial decision to previously sue Howard University for racial discrimination.
"I identify as black," Dolezal, 37, said in a candid interview with "Today" show host Matt Lauer on Tuesday. more >>
With the nation captivated by the discovery that the leader of a civil rights organization is a white person who has been pretending to be black, some conservative pundits have drawn a comparison with Bruce Jenner claiming to be a woman who now goes by Caitlyn Jenner. If one can be transgender, they argue, why not transracial? The comparison is problematic, however, and could undermine the conservative argument against gay marriage.
Dolezal's parents reported on Friday that the leader of the NAACP of Spokane, Washington, was white. In a KREM 2 News interview the same day, Dolezal seemed to suggest that one's race is whatever they identify with.
When asked if she's black, she answered, "I do consider myself to be black ... that's how I identify." (She also noted that she prefers "black" to "African-American.") more >>
Rachel Dolezal, the white Washington civil rights activist at the center of an ethics probe for pretending to be black, announced on Monday that she's stepping down as president of the NAACP's Spokane chapter. One local pastor, who once served on an all-black panel with Dolezal, also described the controversy as "puzzling."
In a heartfelt and lengthy post on the organization's Facebook page, Dolezal, 37, announced her resignation before naming Vice President Naima Quarles-Burnley as her successor.
"In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP," she wrote, while insisting "this is not me quitting; this is a continuum." more >>
This Memorial Day weekend marked a historic uptick in violence in many US cities. Three cities seem to symbolize our national woes the most - Baltimore, Chicago, and Ferguson. In Baltimore 9 people were killed and 29 shot. Chicago marked 12 killed and 44 wounded. The police in Baltimore and the other cities seem to be moving with unprecedented caution. Further, self initiated policing has slowed down significantly. The morale of law enforcement officers is at a decadal low. Therefore, both violent and petty crimes may flourish in several "hot spot" cities this summer. In Ferguson, sky rocketing crime rates continue despite greater civic involvement by citizens and a massive change in municipal personnel. Law enforcement seems to be becoming more difficult in key cities.
Does the violence in these cities mark the unofficial beginning of a new season of urban violence? Is this the beginning of the worst season of both rioting and lawlessness the US has seen since 1968 after the assassination of Dr. King? Last September I wrote that rioting in DC was possible after the Ferguson riots broke out in August 2014. I had no idea that there would be such a dramatic increase in both incendiary rhetoric and demonstrations. Our cities are still vulnerable to problems and riots. 175 metro areas supported the "hands up don't shoot" initiative and 50 cities protested the death of Eric Garner with "I can't breathe" demonstrations. A myriad of cell phone videos from South Carolina to Mckinney, Texas have started to erode public respect for our policemen. There is no reason why there will not be more riots and spontaneous violence this summer - except for the grace of God.
We can turn this bus around, though! But it must be done very decisively and strategically. Smoldering "urban anger" is still burning. This is not just a race problem. There is interplay between class, poverty, and race. When all three of these things converge, people feel disenfranchised and excluded from the American dream. more >>
I do not for a moment want to minimize the very real struggles of those who identify as transgender nor do I want to ignore those individuals who have genuine biological or genetic abnormalities.
I simply want to state once again – really, I want to shout it from the rooftops – that perception does not change reality, and so Bruce Jenner is no more a woman than Rachel Dolezal is black.
In the last week, a steady stream of articles has drawn comparisons, both positive and negative, between Jenner and Dolezal, with not a few stating that Dolezal's actions are harmful to the transgender cause. (The opening lines of Ben Shapiro's fairly comprehensive article, detailing many other claims made by Dolezal and dripping with sarcasm, are classic.) more >>
Before the nation had a chance to digest the spectacle of former Olympic star Bruce Jenner transitioning into a female by the name of "Caitlyn," another pretender has emerged. It seems that the NAACP President of Spokane, Washington is actually, heaven forbid, white. For years, Rachel Dolezal claimed to be an African American, but now her cover has been blown by her own mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, who informed the media that her daughter is indeed white.
In an interview with the Spokesman-Review, Ruthanne Dolezal lamented "It's very sad that Rachel has not just been herself. Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable, and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody."
Rachel Dolezal has been estranged from her real white parents for years. She claims to have been abused by her parents, although they deny the accusations. Their real crime is their skin color and any self-respecting African American NAACP leader cannot be seen with white parents! more >>