This story amused me. If you are not familiar with the story, the woman, Rachel Dolezal headed NAACP chapter in her town in Washington. The unusual part of the story is that she is white. She claims she identifies as black and indicated on her application to the NAACP and other places that she is a black woman. She wears makeup which makes her appear blackish and wears her hair in a style which is also blackish in style. I couldn't read it and think, gee, the woman is a nutjob.
Now, there are contentions with some of her recollections about her childhood (i.e. when she began to identify as black). I don't want to get into the personal attacks on this woman. It'd be like hitting the broadside of a barn with a bazooka.
I do believe, though, the heart of her issue is no laughing matter. She is, essentially, claiming to be black because she "feels" black. She is saying, to hell with genetics, ancestry, et al. and saying she is black because she is choosing to identify as black. Not a white woman who just really likes black men, smooth jazz, and over the top weaves. Nope. She IS black according to her. Even African-American. Why? Because she chooses to identify as such. And really, is this at all bat-**** crazy? We've allowed folks who wish to proclaim their own gender, regardless of their actual genes and genitalia. So, why can't someone reassign their skin pigmentation? We have decided to accommodate sex change surgery for prisoners and the courts have rules taxpayers must pay the bills. So, I say, why not tanning booths for women who wish to be more black? How about nose jobs for Middle Eastern folks who wish to identify as European. I don't see why not. Society created labels to help us understand people that are different from ourselves. Sometimes those labels get twisted and turned into something disturbing. Most often, they are used to make reasonable choices as we go about our lives. There are some labels we get to choose. If I want to change my name, my clothes, my zip code... fine. If I want to identify with a particular religion. Fine. However, when it comes to our genes and our actual ancestry, this isn't some subjective decision. This is who we are. Like it or not. I don't find this woman, Rachel, any more ridiculous than a transsexual who insists on being called "she" even though he has a penis. I'm sorry Ms. Dolezal doesn't like to be considered white. Some things just are. We cannot change them no matter how much we try to wish them away. Perhaps, her case should give us cause with the things like the gender fluidity movement. Can't we accept men like to appear as women without changing their gender? The alternative is that Ms. Dolezal is truly black. And the next time I apply for a job where they are actively employing minorities, maybe I'll just "become" black too.