This inspiration for my writing this week isn’t local but it has implications across the board.
Beginning last week, a national story was breaking about Washington state NAACP official (now ex-NAACP official) Rachel Dolezal. If you haven’t heard the story, you are living in a non-news bubble which isn’t always a bad thing.
Here is the Cliff’s Notes version of the story. Dolezal is a white woman living as a black woman. No crime there. Dolezal’s parents, when questioned by a reporter, went on the record saying that she is a white woman. So what? Dolezal, when questioned by a reporter, bumbles about and avoids answering the question. Again, so what?
It’s all about the lie.
Yes, she’s an ex-official but it isn’t because she lied. Seattle City Council President Ben Stuckart said that, while heading a police oversight commission, she discussed confidential names of whistleblowers in open discussions. That would be an ethics rule violation. The timing of the release of the ethics violation investigation report couldn’t be more perfect. The complaint was filed in mid-April and boom, the you-know-what hits the fans on Wednesday. They didn’t have to address “the lie”.
Back to the lie.
Did she lie to get her position with the NAACP? According to spokespeople for the the NAACP, that wouldn’t have been necessary since many of their employees are of other races. An investigation is ongoing as to whether she lied on past applications throughout the years (colleges, jobs, etc) where she would have gotten preferential treatment as an African-American versus a Caucasian.
She says that she identifies with the black population. Yes, that is possible. I identify as a young, tall, athletic woman. Does that make me one? Nope.
She has permed her hair, tans and/or wears dark makeup. Is that a crime? Nope. But put it in this context if you will: also in Washington state, a photo of a white female high school student with a bad tan appeared in the yearbook. Text over the photo said “do you think this is my color?”. OMG, you would swear the world was coming to an end!!!! She was accused of wearing “blackface”, the school had to issue an apology and is putting stickers over the photo. I also hear that she is being cyber-bullied. Imagine that.
So we have one woman who deliberately makes herself look darker and one who over-did it with a tan. One is receiving incredible support from most of the black leadership – the likes of Al-Tawana-Brawley-Media Whore-Sharpton. If you don’t know the story or need a refresher, look up Tawana Brawley Rape Allegations.
The other young girl, with no apparent agenda, is being called racist, insensitive, blah, blah, blah. The internet trolls are doing their best to destroy her life.
Supporters of Dolezal are claiming she is a victim of her parents — they are the bad guys. Look, I have the feeling there is plenty of dirty laundry in that family. Personally I don’t want to hear it. I quit watching reality shows and all the watch-the-poor-rich-people-have-problems shows. I don’t need that drama in my life. I get mad with myself if I get suckered into a “click-bait” link on the internet (says its about one thing but when you click on it, its about something stupid like a performance enhancement drug or, worse yet, a Kardashian. Yuk!) and I now treat the internet as the modern day National Inquirer. Only believe a fraction of what you read unless it is on a reputable site. Sorry, that’s just the way it is now.
Supporters of the badly-tanned high school girl are saying that she didn’t even think of it as a racial thing – it was a bad tan and she was trying to make light of it (pun intended).
Back to the lie.
When I was little, I learned very quickly that lying wasn’t worth it. If I did something wrong, I got in trouble but it wasn’t as bad if I fessed up to it as soon as possible. When I continued to lie or told another lie to cover the first lie, look out. Hell hath no fury like my mom armed with a wooden spoon or the washing machine stick (if you grew up around a wringer-washing machine, you know what I’m talking about).
I don’t know what the final chapter of the Dolezal story will be. She will likely continue to live as a black woman which is fine. If she’s smart (I already know she isn’t honest), she’ll identify herself as white when asked. She’s had her 15 minutes of fame and all will be forgotten soon.
As for the high school student, this one silly photo will probably follow her the rest of her life.
The one who deliberately deceived will be forgiven. The unintentional offender will never be forgiven. All I can say is life isn’t fair.