Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King: When black activists are white

Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King: When black activists are white

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Does it matter what our color is?

Shaun King - Missye Clarke - Rachel Dolezal
Shaun King - Missye Clarke - Rachel Dolezal

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 26, 2015 — Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King have put a new twist on the question of race. Media have seized on both Dolezal and King, with supporters and critics commenting publicly and often. The issue prompted one notable radio talk show host to make his now-well-known comment, “Liberalism is a mental disorder,” which drew ire from the left.

This threadbare topic is worthy of a take from a unique perspective: mine. I am a black albino with mixed ethnicity (Lakota, Scottish, Bermudan, West Indian), which gives me an incredibly original perspective on the question of race, appearance and ethnicity.

In June, Rachel Dolezal, the former president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of NAACP, was revealed to be a Caucasian woman trying to pass as black.

Critical Conversations: Rachel Dolezal’s little black lie and the ethics of truth telling

When her parents were invited on  the “Today” show to speak with Matt Lauer about the controversy, anyone could see that Rachel’s features were similar to those of her Caucasian mother and father.

However, Dolezal continues to insists that her ”identifying as black, indeed means she is black,” saying it isn’t a problem and that those who don’t agree with her choice to identify as black are inherently racist.

Shaun King, the latest member of the what I-identify-today-as-in-being-black, is pulling a “Dolezal” of his own. The #BlackLivesMatter activist and (far left/ George Soros-funded) Daily Kos correspondent has, after months of speculation regarding his heritage and inconsistencies in his recent history, laid out an emotional blog post detailing his story.

While it seemed King tried to ride the storm out, online media, including Breitbart.com, persistently pursued whether he lied to Oprah Winfrey, telling her his father was black. King received a full scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta from Winfrey, a scholarship that could have gone to a less fortunate black man.

“Oprah Winfrey paid my way through Morehouse,” King boasted in his Daily Kos diary in 2014. “The leadership scholarship that I received from her is why I have a college degree today.”

Shaun King fraud revealed by SandraRose.com
Shaun King fraud as revealed by SandraRose.com


As an albino black woman, I have been ostracized by blacks for my skin tone, despite my features, which indicate genetic similarities. I have been scrutinized by whites, despite my skin tone, as my features carry markers that say black.

For example, my husband, who is Caucasian, and I were traveling home on the subway, and one of the Nation of Islam bow-tied faithful was selling Final Call newspapers on board. He conspicuously hawked his product to every dark-skinned black passenger, intentionally ignoring the whites — including my husband and me, even though I am “white” but not genetically white.

He, like many others saw only my color, not me.

When I asked if I could see the newspaper, he doubled the usual $1 price. I asked why and he wouldn’t say, both of us knowing I’d call him on his bigotry. Others in the car came to my defense, and he relented, giving me the periodical before hastily leaving the train at a stop in Brooklyn.

I didn’t keep it, sickened and annoyed after reading the hateful, pot-stirring content, but proud in standing up to that propaganda many still are asleep to.

NAACP’s Rachel Dolezal recreates white as the new black

Even my former babysitter was obsessed with race and peppered me with questions as to why I had found my husband attractive. She insisted O.J. Simpson had been framed by the prosecution team of white Marcia Clark and the “Uncle Tom” Christopher Darden had become. My sitter was unable to accept that a black man could kill his estranged white wife.

The story of light-skinned blacks passing as white is not new. In early American history, house slaves and field slaves were separated by skin shade. Even some blacks prefer light hues over darker.

Whites who wore blackface for vaudeville acts were partly entertainment, part life imitating art, and, maybe, a hint of mockery of that ethnicity. After recently watching Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” comedies, I won’t even mention the ethnic references some of the adult characters used, in spite of his Stymie, Buckwheat, Farina, Cotton and Cinnamon characters.

Because Spike Lee is protected by his skin shade, he is permitted to use offensive terms in “School Daze.” Other directors don’t receive that same protection. Lee uses terms nobody else, like Eminem, say, can.  Or should.

But a white man who disguises himself as black to travel through the deep South and college-bound kids who play black to gain scholarships have this in common: They not only eventually return to the ethnicity they were born to, but they learn lessons, even if for only a little while.

In the cases of Dolezal and King, they are taking their delusional pretending to a level that, once upon a time, might have led them to seek mental help and guidance. If anything, they both need a serious mental correction as these acts are begging for help via the lampooning, outing their ruses, looking at them scornfully, or otherwise giving derisive commentary.

Dare I say it? I think I will: They need Jesus. And prayer. And a good, cultural kick in the seat of the pants.

You sure don’t see other ethnicities, pretending or otherwise, going out of their way to be Caucasian.

As I mentioned, I’m a black albino. In no way can I say I’m Caucasian, simply because I “want” to be, or even that I technically have the skin color to pass.

Albinism cuts across all ethnicities: Polynesian, Latino, East and American Indian, Middle Eastern, black, and Asian. Can any of those with this genetic condition say they are some other ethnicity—white, say, with the exception of an individual Caucasian with albinism—than the one they’re born in?

No. If they’re not mentally unwell, that is.

Confronting racism and the media’s avoidance of the subject

It’s an ironic twist that  I have a skin tone that does not reflect me ethnically. But that is all it is: a skin shade. And I will be accepted or rejected for who I am, rather than what I’m packaged in. So should everybody else.

“Judge one not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Dolezal, King and others who insist they are what they are not don’t have much character content if they insist that everyone else see them as they see themselves. We are already, sadly, divided as a nation on this issue.

Those making reality out of pretense are not only insulting their ethnicity but are also creating a rift we don’t need.

The dream isn’t dead.

But it needs to be rescued from the fevered segment of society it is languishing within. May God continue to chip away at the madness of delusion the left still operates under, bringing a light and goodness to Dr. King’s legacy once again.

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Originally from New York City, an avid fan of the outdoors, fitness, geeky over some sciences, loves and delivers excellent customer service, and writing since her teens, Missye K. Clarke has accrued bylines in several writing sectors during her career and is a member of Sisters In Crime, SinC Guppies, and Mystery Writers of America. She, her husband and son reside in central Pennsylvania with a rambunctious girl cattle dog, a stoic female cat, and a male cat unfazed by fireworks or thunderstorms. She’s on Twitter (@BlackAndWryte, @MKClarkeWrites) and keeps a semi-regular blog, “The (Mis)Adventures Of An Ongoing Novelist,” on Publishers’ Marketplace.com. JERSEY DOGS, Ms. Clarke first novel of her McGuinness / Pedregon suspense mysteries, is slated for a 2016 release with Devine Destinies Books.