Rachel Dolezal was dubbed a “race-faker” after “she was exposed as a white woman who had been representing herself as black.” That latter description, found in a CNN report, leaves out the fact that, as an NAACP leader in Spokane, Washington, she not only represented herself, but other people of color. A story in the British press back in February, reported that “Dolezal is jobless, and feeding her family with food stamps…next month she expects to be homeless.”
Dolezal lost her status as a civil rights activist, and was condemned by those who once valued her as a colleague, because she lied about her ethnicity. Yet her thinking and actions were so consistent with what these activists profess to support and admire, that no one questioned her identity until her parentage came to light. Taking advantage of the bi-racial (by adoption) character of her family upbringing, Rachel Dolezal did everything she could to live consistently with her decision to be an African-American. She changed her appearance. She reportedly developed and passed on to others, anti-white views consistent with resentment against what views influenced by “critical race theory” identify as the intrinsic, racist, socially pervasive institution of “white privilege”.
These reports suggest that Rachel Dolezal was striving to be a “trans-racial” person. Since being “outed”, she has been subjected to harsh abuse and discrimination. Yet there is no doubt that many of the same people guilty of humiliating her profess to be outraged against those who humiliate people who have closeted their sexual identity, when they are maliciously “outed”, fired from their jobs, and decried for their deception. If she had been honest about her real identity; would she have been welcomed as a supporter and fellow-traveler, despite her white heritage. Would she have been judged by her behavior, and the character of her behavior, rather than the content of her DNA?
Her actual experience suggests that her precautions against being rejected in her choice of identity were fully justified. Her persecutors pretend that her “charade” denies and disparages the heritage and identity of the people who can rightfully prove the descent she chose to claim. They insist that she must remain in bondage to her DNA; that her self-willed identity must be sacrificed. Their hostile invective and punitive actions suggest that she had every reason to fear persecution, simply because she was so strongly impelled to express her love for the race of her heart’s desire in a way they disapprove.
Now, when Rachel Dolezal defies her DNA to “identify as Black”, and consistently lives accordingly, she is punished for denying and disparaging the identity she professes to love. Yet when transsexuals defy their DNA to embrace the identity they profess to love, the very people who harshly reject Dolezal as hateful applaud the expressions of “love.” They even seek, by force of law, to compel others to do the same. Rather than penalizing those who have for years dissembled to hide their identity, they cite the need to dissemble as proof of societal guilt, which must be cleansed with compulsory programs of re-education.
For purposes of criminal prosecution, DNA is nowadays taken as scientific proof of identity, regardless of an individual’s self-willed preferences. No matter the gender that appears to result from a sex-change operation, that appearance does not refute otherwise conclusive DNA evidence that an individual has committed murder, for example. The verdict of judge or jury is likely to reflect the DNA, not the self-willed transformation, however thoroughly effected. For purposes of law, do individuals get to claim benefits based on ethnicity when scientifically conclusive evidence of their identity refutes their claim? Does the law follow their will, or the scientifically established proof?
Rachel Dolezal has argued that race is a social construct, not simply determined by physical traits. This argument has particular relevance to the people of the United States. Our common bond is not featured in the human genome. According to the DNA evidence, we are a hodge-podge of different races and regional groups, in various stages of “purity” or “development” or confusion. Our common character is not a matter of physical traits. It is a function of what might be termed our moral and spiritual DNA, evident in the choices and actions we take in respect of the humanity that is, overall, the only DNA identity we all have in common.
The logic of attacks against intrinsically racist presumptions of “white privilege”, and the “critical race” dogma that spawns them, is both unscientific and un-American. Insofar as it pretends to see race as a manipulable construct, but at the same time takes physical characteristics (white skin, for example) as evidence of intrinsic qualities, it is anti-American, and self-contradictory to boot. Self-willed elitism is by no means a racially determined trait. The self-arrogated privileges of all the kinship based ruling cliques in human history were predicated on a community of interest rooted in the physical body’s traits and ancestry. People with “white” skin have no monopoly on such exclusionary arrogance.
What is unique about America’s social culture, however, is the often proven efficacy of a community of interest rooted in the commitment to a common body of moral precepts. It is an intellectual and spiritual body, with no materially identifiable bodily characteristics. Critical race theory aims, above all, to detract from the significance of this moral body, despite the undeniable evidence of its efficacy, since the founding of the United States, if not before. People guilty of no offence except the color of their skin are being punished for existing.
This is the very “crime” that outraged people of good conscience against the regime of legally enforced segregation and discrimination black people had to endure well into the 20th century. Now “people of color” such as those demanding racial re-segregation at American University, are seeking to reinvent that regime for deployment against “whites.” This movement is not about justice. It’s about revenge. It seeks to visit the sins of their ancestors upon posterity, without regard for individual character and responsibility.
But though it caters to vengeful passion, the real aim is not a passionate one. It is, rather, part of a cold-blooded strategy to dissolve the identity of the America people. By inflaming the passions attached to our perceptible physical differences, it seeks to deny and disparage the understanding of right and justice, rooted in the moral sense of our humanity. That moral perception ‘must be acted ere it may be scanned’. To exemplify, articulate and lead us to enact our moral common sense was once the purpose and effect of American statecraft at its best, when our body politic still accepted to be blessed, occasionally, with representatives dedicated to reminding us of our aspiration to be the world’s example of a people capable of justly exercising freedom.
But the disposition to accept that blessing has waned almost to nothing. For, we are more and more disposed to deny the superintendence of God, who still prescribes it for our hearts. Like the psalmist, we once rejoiced in the saying, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” Now more and more we heed those who “set themselves… against the LORD and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds asunder and cast away their cords from us.” So, we agree to detest the distinction God prescribes for the perpetuation of humanity, and exalt the differences that our human self-idolatry most easily exploits for humanity’s destruction. And all the while we more and more neglect the common sense that puts our heart for justice and the exercise of right where it belongs—at the sustaining core of our identity as a nation.