In 1986, a charming little movie starring James Earl Jones and C. Thomas Howell was unleashed upon the American public. In this cinematic masterpiece titled “Soul Man”, an incoming freshman at Harvard pretends to be black (By horrifyingly painting his face.) in order to claim a scholarship from the school that is reserved for African American students, hilarious right?
Not even. And if you think along those lines, kindly go to the shoe store and order yourself a cheese burger after you finish chugging down a coffee spiked with anti-freeze. This film was rightly criticized when it came out and thankfully no one ever attempted anything so foolish.
Well, as much as I hate to say it and all my exes love to, I was wrong. Just recently in my former neck of the woods in Washington State, a local President of an NAACP chapter has gotten herself into some hot water with the public and several members of the world’s media.
Rachel Dolezal, a 37 year old woman from the City of Spokane and the current President of that city’s NAACP chapter, was recently outed by her estranged parents as a full blooded Caucasian.
Yes. Apparently we’ve somehow traveled back in time to 1955 and people who normally know better can be fooled and made to look blind by a crazy middle aged woman with a decent tan.
Now, the comments online about this woman are largely and thankfully in the “Holy Shit, she’s hat shittingly insane” column, but like the occasional Japanese soldier who popped out of the woodwork decades after World War Two came to a close, so too did the crazies make an occasional appearance, with arguments so illogical they would give Mr. Spock a stroke.
On one Facebook page, a commenter wrote “Well why not? In this day and age with liberals… It’s all about feeeeeeelings. You feel like a woman? Lop it off. Want to be a man? They can make you a flap of skin that looks like external plumbing… Feel like being black? Sure! Hell, Michael Jackson felt like being white.”
First of all, Jackson was a very mentally disturbed man who suffered from Vitiligo, he never “Felt like being White”. Also, I would argue that there’s a big difference between someone who has a sex change and someone who lies about being a part of a minority class for personal gain. When a woman chooses to become a man or a man chooses to become a woman, they’re openly inviting scorn and derision to be levied upon them for the rest of their lives. In the case of this Dolezal woman (Who once castigated the white author of “The Help”.), she lied for personal gain.
Had she always claimed to be white, she likely wouldn’t have gotten her NAACP position or the university job she once had at Eastern Washington University. Like one of my crazy relatives who still lives at home in his or her 50’s, she would have spent the rest of her days unnoticed and forced to live out an unremarkable existence on the east side of Washington.
But, she chose to lie and now she must suffer the consequences. For falsely claiming to be of a different race, I hope she is forced to carry around a mark of shame for a very long time.