Somebody left the eggs of identity politics out in the sunlight, and sunlight may be showing everyone what's going on but it certainly hasn't cleaned up the stink. There's something rotten in air. I know what it is. It's people passing for black. Now understand that I don't have much more than a rhetorical puppy in this fight, but I don't expect that dog to be taken down. But I am going to trot it out there.
So enough with the metaphors.
In the news is the story of a nominally black woman who is genetically (nominally) white. What has apparently grasped the imagination of the chatting classes is that this woman is an officer of some local NAACP somewhere and is passing for black. Evidently she has some litany of identity cookies that have ratcheted up her soul quotient, but they are now being called onto the table.
On Thursday, the chapter president's parents claimed she had been deceiving people.
Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal said Thursday that they want people to know the truth, including that their daughter Rachel Dolezal is Caucasian. The Dolezals said their daughter is specifically German and Czech.
Dolezal told KREM 2 News that she does not speak to her parents because of an on-going legal issue.
Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal said their daughter has always identified with the African-American culture and had black siblings who were adopted. They said she went to school in Mississippi and was part of a primarily African-American community.
Just yesterday morning I glanced over somebody complaining that Teena Marie was not 'actually' black. So I take it that as evidence people can actually say out loud that it isn't culture that matters but actual genetic race. Listen to me people. That's a DNA standard we're talking about. Just in case you're curious, the genes in question center around these three:
They lacked versions of two genes—SLC24A5 and SLC45A2—that lead to depigmentation and, therefore, pale skin in Europeans today.
But in the far north—where low light levels would favor pale skin—the team found a different picture in hunter-gatherers: Seven people from the 7700-year-old Motala archaeological site in southern Sweden had both light skin gene variants, SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. They also had a third gene, HERC2/OCA2, which causes blue eyes and may also contribute to light skin and blond hair. Thus ancient hunter-gatherers of the far north were already pale and blue-eyed, but those of central and southern Europe had darker skin.
Why should you care? You shouldn't. Just understand that this is a confirmation that, within the semiotic swamp of today's American media, a new contingent of race baiters have got a couple more fingers on the American flagpole. If you're interested in the quality of democracy as a citizen, you should care. If like me, you simply choose to make yourself immune to its folly, you should recognize these bastards for who they are. One thing they clearly are not, is Black men. They are, in fact, Negroes, only slightly mutated from the sniveling strain I identified earlier several months ago.
You must first allow me to make it clear that I view a Black man in rather the same way I view an Oxford man, which is to say that there is some clear demarcating discipline through which an individual passes that edifies him with a sound, mature and sophisticated worldview that marks him with a certain merit & dignity. These qualities ares not only ratified by his peers but by civilized society in general. This is no small measure; it is cosmopolitan, modern and humanistic. It requires tending. Whether or not one chooses in one's daily life to wave the banner of one's alma mater, the mark is expressed. The point is that the merit and dignity are the products of intellectual discipline.
So here is where I sound, to the casual victim of shallow reading, like a racist. I assert that the Negro lacks the self-possession of the intellectual discipline that yields a sound, mature and sophisticated worldview. He suffers Duboisian dilemmas that cripple his self-esteem and cause him, inevitably to destroy his own capacity to enjoy or defend liberty. He adopts a view of himself and his circumstances that are mostly or wholly not of his own creation. He thus cannot decide if he is a man or a pet. If you ever wanted a $2 definition of an Uncle Tom (as interpreted by various black Americas who may ore may not be made Black, as distinguished from the intents of the author Harriet Beecher Stowe), then it is of the American of African descent who accepts White Supremacist definitions of himself. It seems to me that a proper gentleman of any sort would not use this epithet as it reduces its target to a very specific type of monochromatic deficit. More often than not, it simply means 'acting white', which rather indicts the user of the term. I am satisfied with 'Negro' with all the expectation that at some point, any properly motivated Negro may yet become a Black man.
On the other hand, our society is chock full of functional illiterates.
The problem of course is that far too many editors and publishers and unethical people who function in that capacity do not have the temerity (or heaven forbid the intellectual capacity) to discriminate against such writing rabble. And thus the eggs of their Negro identity are laid at our feet.
The very idea that the genetic background of Rachel Dolezal or anyone so dedicated and consecrated to the ideals of the NAACP is called into question is a fundamental betrayal of the very cause of liberty, dare I say, the clearly ratified American Constitutional cause. Say what you will of what the NAACP has become, it will have never been so clearly welded to racism of the most fundamental, genetic standard, if Dolezal is not defended. I expect that she will be defended in the most weaselly of terms, and ostracized in fact.
The new hashtag #PassingForBlack is thus ironically manifest by those calling foul. An honest Black man, and let us use the James Baldwin standard, would be not only accepting but embracing of Rachel Dolezal. For in 1963 he said of white people:
The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them. And I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love. For these innocent people have no other hope. They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, but, as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case, the danger, in the minds of most white Americans, is the loss of their identity. Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shining and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one's sense of one's own reality.
It is hard for me to imagine that Rachel Dolezal is the sort of person who fears the loss of her white identity or labors under an understanding of history that gives her innumerable reasons to believe that black men are inferior to white men. She doesn't impress me as one with any fear of acting upon what she knows, and she certainly understands that she is in danger.
Nevertheless some media Negroes and their accomplices and masters have decided that a few genes must inevitably seal one's fate, and they call this the attitude of a proper Black man. What kind of man assigns his fate to his genes in a nation dedicated to Liberty? Of all the questions in the world, I do feel properly qualified to answer that one. It is certainly not a Black man, but one who appropriates the honorific. Where I come from that's called stolen valor and it is not tolerated. We are wont to terminate it with extreme prejudice.
I am many things. A Black man is one those things. Anyone who cares to know can read what I have meant by that over the years. Obviously men of my sort disagree on a number of things, but we would betray our own intellectual heritage to cosign this smear based on genetic race. There may come a time when the distinction of Black, estranged as it is today from its cultural sophistication (if you want to call Jay Z 'black'), political distinction (if you want to call Barack Obama 'black') spiritual depth (if you want to call Reverend Al Sharpton 'black')... There may come a time when that estrangement can be called remote entanglement only by the most infinitesimal of invisible particles defying all sense of cause and effect. If that comes to pass, I'll be on my merry way humming a tune familiar to people of my generation...
I'll be around today,
to be available for you to see.
But I am about to go,
And then you'll know,
For me to stay here I got to be me.
That's what it's all about,
You can't take me for granted and smile.
Count the days I'm gone
Forget reachin' me by phone
Because I promise I'll be gone for a while.