I officially need a flowchart to handle the strange and offensive racial evolution of Rachel Dolezal.

Last week, the internet exploded with stories about Rachel, a white woman who has spent the majority of her career “identifying” as an African-American woman. While I still haven’t figured out how one can with a straight face “identify” as someone of another race, especially in the historical context of slavery and discrimination, I think it’s pretty clear that Dolezal’s actions have activists on both sides of the aisle crying foul.

Today, The Smoking Gun revealed that she has a history of playing both sides of the race card. Back in 2002, Dolezal (then Rachel Moore) sued Howard University on the basis of racial discrimination after she claimed she was discriminated against—as a white woman:

Dolezal, then known as Rachel Moore, named the university and Professor Alfred Smith as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C.’s Superior Court. During the pendency of the civil case, Smith was chairman of Howard’s Department of Art.

According to a Court of Appeals opinion, Dolezal’s lawsuit “claimed discrimination based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender.” She alleged that Smith and other school officials improperly blocked her appointment to a teaching assistant post, rejected her application for a post-graduate instructorship, and denied her scholarship aid while she was a student.

The court opinion also noted that Dolezal claimed that the university’s decision to remove some of her artworks from a February 2001 student exhibition was “motivated by a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over” her.

As detailed in the court opinion, Dolezal’s lawsuit contended that Howard was “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult.”

Both the DC Superior Court and the DC Court of Appeals dismissed the claim, and held Dolezal responsible for court costs.

Leftists may be running laps trying to cover for this legitimate (at least in the hyper-racial context) instance of cultural appropriation, but the pressure still seems to have been too much for Dolezal and her activist colleagues.

Today, she resigned her post with the Spokane NAACP:

…And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.

I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion. Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.

While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome. The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person’s story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!

I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.

It has become clear that Dolezal is going to defend this strange controversy for as long as she can. It’s a distraction from other major issues affecting our culture, but it might turn out to be an important one. If one activist can redefine what it means to be a member of a protected class, how long until that definition takes hold and moves beyond “the national conversation” and into the realm of law and order? We’ve seen it happen with regards to gender and sexuality; is race forbidden territory? Or are we looking at the beginning of a new faux-crusade?

Only time will tell.


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