PHOENIX, June 25, 2015 — Much has been made of the story of Rachel Dolezal, the now former head of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP. She claimed to be African-American; she is German-Czech, about as white as you can be and still have the ability to tan.
Dolezal’s parents are white, her ancestors hailing from those central European countries that social justice activists despise. She may be unhappy as a white person, but she can no longer claim to be black. She says, “I identify as black.”
Perhaps that’s because she once listened to an Otis Redding record.
Her racial confusion unleashed a storm of controversy elsewhere about others who may not be exactly what they claim. Here are just a few examples:
The president of the Post Falls, Idaho, chapter of the ASPCA is not what he seems. Herbert Barabash, despite his floppy ears, is not the basset hound he said he was. He had successfully passed himself off as a member of the short-legged breed for seven years, five while president of the animal protection organization.
Milt Leventhal, vice-president of the Post Falls ASPCA, said he was a bit skeptical of Barabash’s claims from the outset, but couldn’t put his finger on it. “Basset hounds have short legs and Mr. Barabash’s legs were, well, a bit long,” Leventhal said. “He was over six feet tall, after all. And he seemed quite well house-trained. That breed can generally be house-trained pretty well, but he could use the men’s bathroom facilities without a problem. He could even flush. Most basset hounds I know can’t even reach the lever.
“Basset Hounds tend to come from Great Britain or France,” Leventhal continued. “Mr. Barabash’s family is from Ukraine. There are probably more palm trees in the Ukraine than basset hounds.”
When reached for comment, Barabash said, “I identify as a basset hound.” Then he said something about being trans-species and demanded a separate study area for “his kind” at nearby Lewis and Clark State College.
Over at MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry suggested that we should not be too quick to judge.
At the Central Arizona Herpetological Society, it turns out that the president, Nick “Muffin” Grutnik, is not a gecko. The rest of the board members began to wonder when he could never stick to the ceiling.
Sergeant-at-arms Lucy Saddles said, “Every day Muffin — he only let me call him Muffin — would try to stick to the ceiling and every day he’d fall right to the floor. I always wondered why he kept trying. He broke his clavicle one time. That pretty much gave it away for me — geckos don’t have clavicles.
“Plus, he didn’t like to go field herping. That’s where we herpers go into the desert and look for reptiles. Muffin always wanted to watch NASCAR instead. And he drank a lot of beer. I mean a lot of beer. You tend to not see that too much with geckos. Now with your gila monsters, they can put it away like nobody’s business.”
Grutnik could not be reached for comment. He was recently hospitalized for a hernia he suffered while trying, unsuccessfully, to shed his skin.
At a classic car auction in Las Vegas, Saul and Helen Rifkin claimed to be a 1947 Studebaker. Although their running boards were quite impressive, most were not convinced. Nevertheless, a car enthusiast from Carmel, Calif., was the highest bidder.
The Rifkins now reside in a garage next to two 1970s muscle cars and 1956 Buick Roadmaster
For years Boardley Jaggernauth of Mufreesboro, Tenn., claimed to be a George Foreman grill. He had convinced his wife, his three kids and neighbors. In fact, he was usually much in demand at parties when it was too cold to grill outside.
Eventually, Jaggernauth could not keep up the deception any longer and came clean to his family. Upon hearing the news, Dinkin Jaggernauth, the youngest child, tearfully asked, “Dad, how are we going to cook burgers?”
Over at MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry suggested we should not be too quick to judge pretend indoor grills of color. Maybe he really his trans-portable cookery.
Last, I present perhaps the most outrageous deception of them all. A presidential candidate of some note, Hillary Clinton, has claimed that she is the champion of everyday Americans. No, really! Stop laughing. You think I would make something like that up? She really said it. Honest!
When asked about that claim, Clinton’s campaign spokesperson said, “At least she didn’t claim to be a basset hound.”
There will be many choices for voters during the 2016 presidential campaign. But if it comes down to Hillary Clinton and the guy who thinks he’s an indoor grill, I’m going with that guy.