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Does Rachel Dolezal have some splainin’ to do?

Does Rachel Dolezal have some splainin’ to do?

Some people think so.

Rachel Dolezal is the president of the Spokane branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She is also a professor of African American studies at Eastern Washington University. She has been passing herself off as mixed race with an African-American father for years, until she was outed as white by her parents this week. This has resulted in considerable controversy and twitter is on fire.

The NAACP issued a statement today that race is not a prerequisite for membership in the organization or a disqualifier and it does not appear that anyone in the Spokane branch is going to call for her to step down. Nevertheless, many people are wondering why she identifies as black.

I cannot help but think about Caitlyn Jenner and wonder if Rachel Dolezal believes she is a black person born with white skin.

I judge people by what they do. Acts matter to me and if she has been doing a good job, I support her.

She does not have anything to explain to me.

What do you think?

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.

  • bsbafflesbrains

    I judge people by what they do. Acts matter to me and if she has been doing a good job, I support her. I heartily agree. Obama has more explaining to do than this person. We all have to start recognizing the frailty of human nature and realize we all have failings. Humans are and have always been successful collaborators. The people doing good are good and the people that say one thing and do another seem to be the most upset. Diogenes and his lamp couldn’t find a 100% honest man but could find someone who at times wrongly demanded that degree of honesty from others. We are all hypocrites and liars at times but judge us by our deeds and grade on a curve.

  • cathyx

    If affirmative action is to work, then lying about ones race is wrong.

  • Unkawillbur

    Just like?

  • dubinsky

    and just like Ward Churchill

  • Rachel

    Radley Balko ‏@radleybalko 15m15 minutes ago
    A thought for conservatives: You don’t necessarily need to “get” trans people. Just treat them like human beings. http://reason.com/blog/2015/06/12/dont-confuse-rachel-dolezal-with-caitlyn

  • Chris Maukonen

    The law in nearly all southern states use to be that if one had even one drop of black blood in them IE any ancestors at all that were black, then they were considered black.

  • bsbafflesbrains

    Then we all are Black according to the Stanford Genome Project. The scientists traced everyone in humanity back to a tribe in the Sudan. Somebody in that tribe could not dance and moved to Europe and became my ancestor. 🙂

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    You’d be surprised at all the false claims made about race here in the Isles, seems like everybody has some Hawaiian in ’em…! 😉

  • bsbafflesbrains

    Wish everyone had some Hawaiian in them. Aloha is a state of mind that should catch on everywhere. Have a daughter that lives in Kona and after many years found her ohana.

  • http://firedoglake.com/ CTuttle

    *heh* It’s a state of being, bs…! 😉

  • Brea Plum

    I judge people by what they do. Acts matter to me and if she has been doing a good job, it is irrelevant. Her acts were lies and fraud.

  • drmyk

    She doesn’t have to explain anything to me. But she did claim to be african american on a job application. And she did lie about who her father was. And she misrepresented herself by claiming a heritage that was not hers to people for whom that may be important. If the basic question of ‘who is your father, and is he white or black’ can’t be answered because you’re trying to obfuscate, I would have issues with having that person work with me.

  • Palli

    It’s none of our business. It is business of the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP. Besides by the one drop rule that sustained suppression and segregation for hundreds of years: she is, little doubt, black. We all know a few people who are human beings in name only.

  • sandbun

    Now believing you’re born with the wrong skin is a thing? Look, if her chapter thinks she’s doing a good job then I don’t really care – although lying about your background and family would seem to be a red flag IMO. But no, I’m not going to buy believing you’re a different ethnicity is a real thing on the level of being transgender. It sounds like a privilege thing for those who don’t have enough problems to complain about so they adopt other people’s real issues to get attention for themselves or give themselves an inflated opinion of how they’re so great and high minded. “Look at me, I identify with these people’s struggle!’ You don’t get to just adopt another heritage/race for your own.

  • Coach Bill

    Does Rachel Dolezal have some splainin’ to do?

    No.

  • Coach Bill

    That logic would also make us all ………………. Neanderthal.

  • dubinsky

    you’re correct. she is free to lie and to misrepresent herself

  • TullyMOI

    By claiming that her adopted brother is her son and that she, his adopted sister, is his mother, has caused psychologically harm to the child and adoptees already have a difficult path to walk. It is bad enough that she asked another adopted brother to lie for her and participate in the cover up. Growing up as a transracial adoptee is really hard and identity is a very sensitive and difficult issue. Having someone who is a family member hiding their own identity would be very harmful. If the boy hadn’t been re-homed, she would have had to apply to become an adoptive parent per the law and if she had been honest, would not have been approved to have the child in her home.

  • dubinsky

    Morning Mix
    Rachel Dolezal cancels Monday NAACP meeting where she was to discuss her race

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/15/rachel-dolezal-cancels-monday-naacp-meeting-where-she-was-to-discuss-her-race/

    apparently she aint eager to do any ‘splainin’…..

    and this…..

    ” The city of Spokane is also investigating whether Dolezal misidentified her race in an application to the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, on which she serves. Dolezal said she had several ethnic origins on the application, including white, black and American Indian.”

    she DID NOT, despite any snide rumors, claim to be part Martian and also part Chihuahua