Entries from June 2015 ↓

Mind over matter

So last month Bruce Jenner declared that he has a female’s soul in a man’s body. He used cosmetic surgery to feminize his facial features and give himself artificial breasts, and now refers to himself as a woman by the name of Caitlyn. The press then lauded for her being brave.

Another story broke today. Rachel Dolezal is the head of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington and also an Africana Studies professor at Eastern Washington University. She had claimed she is of white, black, and Native American descent. Her parents revealed to the AP that her ethnic heritage is Czech, Swedish, and German, with possibly a “trace” of Native American.

The NAACP issued a statement supporting her. In it, they claimed “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership.” I do not know of any other NAACP chapters headed by a non-black member. I doubt she would have been appointed to head that chapter had it not been for her claimed black ancestry. Still, good for the NAACP. Let’s see how long it lasts.

The controversy over Dolezal has lead to the creation of some Twitter hashtags including #wrongskin (as in, Dolezal was born in the wrong skin being that she is a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body), and also #transraciallivesmater.

So if one Bruce can arbitrarily declare that his physiology of a man is irrelevant, and that he is actually a woman, why should Dolezal’s racial identity be any different? After all, recent pictures show that her claim of being a black woman is more convincing of her racial claim than Jenner’s claim of being a woman (even with cosmetic surgery and Photoshop).

If “gender” is a matter of will, why not race? I don’t see how you can make an argument for the first, but not the second. So welcome to the struggle Rachel Dolezal. I hope you succeed in the fight of your people.