Rachel Dolezal | Bettina Network's Blog

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Trump Talk @ Congress Stirs

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

A Conglomeration of Comments

by: Bettina Network Members

  • I heard and saw Donald Trump’s talk to Congress, the Supreme Court Judges and so many more and couldn’t keep my mind focused. It has strayed whenever anything about Trump surfaces because what I can’t reconcile is TRUMP – PROSTITUTION – STONE!                                    
  • We have just been through a lot with the arrest and indictment of Roger Stone. Most striking to me was the fact that Roger Stone shared an apartment in New York with a woman who was referred to as an ex-madam, who commiserated with Roger Stone because she remembered what it was like to be arrested by the police. And she talked about knowing Donald Trump, who she considered a friend.
  • Given how close Donald Trump and Roger Stone have been over the years Trump could not help but know about this arrangement and knowing Rogers’ friend he would know she was an ex-Madam. I couldn’t help but take the next step to wonder if the compromat Russia has on Trump is his involvement with prostitution. Not the kind of hanging around in a Russian Hotel peeing on the bed with other prostitutes, but the kind of being a mafia Don where prostitution – the kind which is the selling of women’s bodies – is generally always a part of most mafia organizations’ income.
  • I could be wrong about this, but looking at the history and all else it certainly rings true in my mind. et tu?

The Look of Congress during Donald Trump’s Talk!

It was quite something to see the cameras pan across Congress to show us the look of our government when all are gathered together.

I saw one group, interspersed with many Congress people in white – the women of Congress. However, they were all seated on one side with one group – the Democrats. There were also hijabs sprinkled amongst them and colors from white to brown to black. The features of those seated in the Congressional Seats on the Democrat’s side were from Asian to Middle Eastern to African to Northern European. They were the America we mythologize; the America we sing to; the America we strive to be; the democracy we are and our ancestors were trying to build.

On the other side they were all white; almost totally northern european in looks – features – hair – ancestry; and almost totally male. They looked as though they would be at home in a Russian Parliament where the color is white and the gender is male.

Could that be what and why the collusion? the conspiracy? For white males to continue to dominate they must conspire to keep their countries with white males first and everyone else oppressed under them supporting them?

Elizabeth Warren and her Native American Ancestry!

I have been reading the coverage of Elizabeth Warren and her claim of a Native American Ancestry. It reminds me of the coverage of Rachel Dolezal when she clearly made a conscious decision to move from white to black and has lived her life in a black community ever since. The way the media attempted to pull her apart, to denigrate her, to make her the butt of many jokes, it was clear that Ms. Dolezal had touched a nerve.

Elizabeth Warren and her putting out in the public her family stories about being part Native American and not running away from that, but making it very public shows up the mythology of Affirmative Action. Our response to that says we know Affirmative Action did not work, did not give opportunity to minorities except in token ways, was not something we wanted to continue because we wanted the superiority of white and male to continue unabated. Anything that touches our myths attempting to destroy them must be ridiculed and the people who step out with something showing the lie of the myths by which we live must be either destroyed or made to heel.

The latest news story on Elizabeth Warren and her ancestry is about a form she filled in to attend a Texas School and goodness, she put in the place of race “Native American”. We can now all come running to bring up and make our denial of racism very clear. One can hear the jumps for joy and shouts as she is pilloried for doing such. Why pilloried? Because the media and others can claim that she was trying to take advantage of all of the ‘opportunities and goodies’ and advantages over whites which this society supposedly gives to Native Americans.

All of that sounds like a Trumpian – a lie told to hide a very ugly truth or to distract one from seeing something which would be damaging.

I was raised in a neighborhood which was very ‘integrated’. Quite unusual for these United States, but there are pockets of such here and there. In those pockets you will find people from blonde with blue eyes to very dark with kinky, thick hair. How does that happen? Especially since in this ‘integrated’ neighborhood everyone identified as black. You also had Jews in these neighborhoods because until the 1960’s Jews were considered black.

That happened because early on – even through the 1950’s and 1960’s there were many ‘mixed’ marriages. Marriages between African Americans and European Americans. That happened even during the time when that was against the law and you could wind up in jail. Whites who married blacks would quietly move into the black community and they, from that point on, identified as black because their children were to be considered and it was easier on everyone if that happened.

In our small community we knew those who were white, although that was not a topic of polite conversation.

Given the extreme mixing of Blacks, Irish and Native Americans in the deep south, there are many walking around this country with Native American ‘blood’ – or what we should more properly refer to as Native American roots. – hey Boston!! Check your ‘Irish” ancestry lately?

Since Native Americans were on the bottom of the ladder, not many acknowledged their ancestors if they were Native American. Anything but Native American was a step up. In most families, stories about Native American ancestry were ‘hushed up”. In Senator Warrens family, apparently they were told and passed down the generations.

What we have missed in this Elizabeth Warren story – or maybe we have not missed it because we want to have any opportunity to participate in the denial of our history and our bigotry – it took a lot of guts for Senator Warren to acknowledge her Native American roots in an application which she was filing to be able to move ahead. To know from family history that some part of your ancestry was in the Native American community is whispered about in close quarters not spread in public on application forms because the result would be your denial – with the claim of other reasons – or your not being able to move as far ahead as you would like to go because…… What the press and others want to make of this is quite Trumpian. It is an opportunity for them to pass back and forth in the society the lies about race told in their circles.

To take that stand in Texas, all those many years ago, was to put the possibility of your future move up in this society on the chopping block in favor of acknowledging and shouting out to everyone that you indeed walked around in this society carrying your Native American ancestry in the open – letting the sun shine in on it because it is a part of who you are. That is speaking truth and living that truth and making your move in your career taking along your total self. Look at how many people and how much custom and bigotry you aggravate and stir up.

Cudos to Senator Warren. May you live long and prosper and may you always continue to walk in your truth no matter the negative repercussions that might come therefrom. There are many of us who support your strength to be able to publicly and constantly acknowledge a family inheritance that many in this society would hide and run away from. The fact that you were acknowledging that inheritance all those many years ago and continue to do so today speaks to your courage, your truth and your character.

PLEASE do not allow the static you are going to receive constantly make you think, even for a moment, of denying your racial heritage – wear it proudly whether it brings you good or ill. In the end you will be encircled by those who appreciate what you have done because they realize and have lived the oppression even from those who do otherwise and hide their ancestry.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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Membership in The Black Race

Monday, June 29th, 2015

To answer a callers question – we made an independent decision to give you an answer:

Question:  Can you be a member of more than one “race” at a time?  For example, can I be a member of the Black race and other races?

Answer: Yes.  It is your decision.

Question:  Do you have to be a citizen of the U. S. A. to become a member of the Black Race?

Answer:  No, the Black Race has members spread around the globe.

Question:  How do I join?

Answer: By sending an email with your request to bettina-network@comcast.net

Question:  Now that I am a member of The Black Race can I solicit friends and relatives to join?

Answer:  Of course.  The more the merrier and the more effective we will be in this attempt to eliminate racism, sexism and all the rest.

 

MEMBERSHIP:

Trudi VanSlyck has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

The Rev. Dr. Robert A. Bennett, Jr. has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

Regina Downer has become a member of the Black Race (Weston, Vermont)

Marceline Donaldson has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

Prof. Dr. Hikmet Ucisik has become a member of the Black Race (Istanbul, Turkey)

Dr. Gino Cattani has become a member of the Black Race (Lucca, Italy)

Walter J. Foley has become a member of the Black Race (Norwood, MA)

Frances Maloney has become a member of the Black Race (Boston, MA)

Cheryl Nicholas has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Courtney Ratliff has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Jaimie Botero has become a member of the Black Race (Cambridge, MA)

Mike Johnson has become a member of the Black Race (Boston, MA)

Bruce Downer has become a member of the Black Race (Weston, Vermont)

Courtney Conway has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Nathaniel Conway has become a member of the Black Race (Randolph, MA)

Dr. Robert Perry has become a member of the Black Race (New Orleans, LA.)

Lani J. Stacks has become a member of the Black Race (Lemon Grove, CA)

Mr. Mark Roudané has become a member of the Black Race (St. Paul, MN)

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

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Response to Dalezal Blog

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Hey guys,

I sent you an email signing up as a member of The Black Race.  Why isn’t my name in the membership list yet?  I know you are busy, but pay attention – check your emails.

I stand with Rachel Dalezal!  What she has done takes guts.  In addition, – oh, btw, I used to identify as Caucasian.  So how do I give up my “White Privilege”?  You need to put out a blog with some suggestions.  One way I have is that whenever I am asked to sign anything which includes a check box for race I am going to check “African American” and ask why there is no check box for people like me who are a part of The Black Race.

What do you think would happen if everyone checked the box for race and checked African American?  How do we get the government and others to add “The Black Race” to those check boxes?

You go girl!

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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Rachel Dolezal

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

by: Marceline Donaldson

Ms. Dolezal is paying a high price, claiming to be who she feels she is inside – which is the right we all have in this life.

But look – who is that they are nailing to a cross and raising high into the air for all to see? Is that Ms. Dalezal? What did this one woman do by claiming her Blackness that was so horrible that she has lost the work of her life – her volunteer as well as her career work. And for ridiculous reasons. Misrepresentation? How did she misrepresent?

Ms. Dalezal calls herself Black. What is “Black”? A race of people? A community of people? A culture? What – that her calling herself Black has raised such a furor. She certainly looks and acts Black and has for a few decades!

Media people are saying Ms. Dalezal lied and is not Black. So what is this Blackness?

It is not a race – nor a community – Is it a culture and what else? I call myself New Orleans Creole. Then someone comes along and says you are not a Creole, you are Black! Isn’t that something – that is fear!

As a culture, Ms. Dolezal is correct in identifying herself as Black, given her lifestyle.

And the rest of us? We have accepted “African American” as a term and we consider it a race. My daughters have a Jewish father (Russian Jew) and an African American mother. But wait a minute – that African American mother has a ‘White” father and an African American mother. But wait a minute – that African American mother has a father who is half Black Foot Indian and half French and then some of what I think is Portuguese. She has a mother who is part Irish, part Choctaw Indian, part English, and according to family legend part Swiss.

So what are they? African American? Black? Jewish – although they were christened Episcopalian and have never been in a Synagogue? Or are they something else? And then their children. One daughter’s children are half whatever she is with all that mish mash and half their father – who is Swedish. Now what do we have? Can they be called African Americans? Swedish Americans? Jewish Americans? Italian Americans? etc. According to government form-filling-out protocol, they can’t check Caucasian on those forms. Someone would say they were not telling the truth. So, here we have it – the new way of identifying that drop of African “blood.” No longer acceptable in one form, so we have a new African American form which does the same thing. If they check Caucasian, they are criticized for “passing”.

African Americans have accepted every word attached to their identity as though it is gospel and the world will fall apart if they don’t claim to be African Americans and God forbid someone comes along who makes that claim and the rest of the world doesn’t validate that claim. Well – along comes a Rachel Dolezal who does something to bring all of this racism into question and we go wild. Make her stop. Force her to take all of her talk back. Straighten her hair and make her skin as white as possible so we can claim she is lying. Lying about what?

Why isn’t she “Black” if that is her culture and “Black” is a culture? Why isn’t she Native American, since part of her heritage comes from Native Americans ancestry. Is she both and all of that?

I have friends who are African – from Africa. They have immigrated to this country and are now African Americans. Who else can claim that title? All of those pretenders whose ancestors came from Africa generations ago and have intermarried with the rest of the world – or had children with the rest of the world. How are they now African Americans? Are we all passing? And if a little bit of African determines you are African American then all the United States needs to sign up on government forms checking the box which says “African American”. Actually, isn’t Africa where we all came from anyway? And in the U. S. A. hasn’t the mixing been extensive and profound?

All of those terms – which we accept as identifying a race – are really terms which identify the structure of racism in this country. To call someone with African, Italian, English, German, Native American ancestors “African American” is racist. Why? It comes from the history of this U. S. A. which called anyone with one drop of African blood ‘Colored’ or ‘Black’ or ‘African American’ and made all of those folks self-identify as such or something horrible would happen to them. They didn’t have to wear a yellow star on their clothes, they had to put that African American identity in their psychic so those who do not identity as African American, but are in the racist group can comfortably know where the boundaries are and those “African Americans” are charged with the task of keeping the boundaries.

Anyone who this society thinks should be African American is called out and embarrassed and shamed by those who claim to be White as well as by those who claimed to be Black with its other descriptors. Now Rachel Dalezal claims to be Black and she is transgressing all of that history and tearing down all of that racist structure by her claim so the rest of society is building a cross for her and nailing her to it so she will be the example that no one else will follow.

Don’t you think it is ridiculous that we are still engaging in this kind of child’s play – which not even children will engage in? It is the play of those whose identity is false and acquired by the color of their skin rather than the accomplishments of their lives. They get away with it because we are still guilty about slavery; still in need of that kind of master/slave relationship and our structures, which were formed during slavery, still demand the kind of incredible behavior we are only too willing to give.

We are now engaged in a race war – call it anything else, but this is a race war when 9 people are shot by one young person who was raised up in this racist structure and even though he thought the people he engaged in a bible study with were “nice” he was still called by his “mission” to shoot them because they were “Black”. And he isn’t the first. What he did is in a long line of those like him who have been killing the people identified as African Americans for generations with little or not penalties for their effort.

Where are you all? I am Black? I join hands with Rachel Dalezal? And you?

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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

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The Black Race*

Friday, June 19th, 2015

WOW! Powerful! Thank you! I wanted to respond, but being white, I thought I should keep my mouth shut. Your blog has changed that. I am going to say what I think, wherever I am and let the chips fall where they may. I have been afraid of being called a racist most of my life. Today it really doesn’t matter. I need to be heard.

From your blog – lets start a new race! The Black Race. Since it was your blog I should let you be the charter and first member, however, in my new space I am going to be the charter and first member.

The Black Race is —

A ‘race’ you can’t be born into – you have to elect to join.

Your skin color does not matter nor does your sex.

The major criteria for joining is your need to be with people who understand equality and are equal to you and you and you to them.

A race concerned about this planet and how we take care of it.

A race of people concerned about the food we eat and what is being done to it.

A race of people into which you can put your most cherished foods, holidays, symbols, sayings which were a part of your former ‘race’ and which you want to remember and hang on to – and where others will also celebrate ‘your’ things as their own.

A race of people whose members reach out to one another to mutually be there for those of us having a difficult time getting through this life.

A race of people whose members do not tolerate homelessness.

You may maintain ‘membership’ in the Black Race and any other race you choose at the same time. (added 6/20/2015)

The Black Race has members spread around the globe and are citizens of many countries.  It is not limited to one country.  (added 6/20/2015)

Your name needs to be inscribed in the membership book of The Black Race.  Currently, you can do that by sending an email to bettinanetwork@comcast.net until a separate site is established for The Black Race and then new members would send their names to that new address. (added 6/21/2015)

Only those who sign up to be members of The Black Race are accepted.  No one is automatically a member of the Black Race. (added 6/21/2015)

We need a creed and a membership card. Each person who joins The Black Race should have their own card made up with additional cards to give to their friends, relatives and colleagues.  All are welcome to join the Black Race – and to tell the media and others that you are Black.  Maybe we should have little dinner parties to announce to our friends that we are now Black.

I will start the Black Race Creed:

I, (your name), am a member of the Black Race. If you do harm to one of us you do harm to all of us.

As a member of the Black Race I give up whatever White Privilege I have been given. (added 6/21/2015)

If there is anything you want to add to this definition of the Black Race, please feel free to do so.  If there is anything you want to add to the “Black Race Creed”, please feel free to do that also.

If you want to be public about your membership in the Black Race, send a blog to Bettina’s with your name and reasons for joining.  Come out of the closet all of you Black people.

Does someone want to contribute bumper stickers which read “I am a member of the Black Race” ?

*Ed Note:  Currently, there is no such thing as a Black Race, so this conversation about whether or not Rachel Dolezal is Black or not is a ridiculous conversation.  African Americans also don’t constitute a race of people.  So this initiative to start such a race has a clear field.

And oh, by the way, we have had a couple telephone calls asking us to find out where Rachel Dolezal has her hair done.  Anyone know the answer to that?

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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Rachel Dolezal – over Breakfast!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

copyright bettina network, inc. 2015

I am sure you knew we would weigh in on this one.  It is too good not to talk about over breakfast – and it was a great conversation.  What was best about the conversation – it was honest.  We did not talk platitudes; conversation society would expect or accept; we just talked.

The first question was of honesty; the roles of physicality, culture and identity; is there anything about physicality/biology that informs identity in an essential way.  That is certainly what this public discussion has put forth.  Somehow, according to the media, Ms. Dolezal’s biology has determined that she is not Black.

It gets really tiring the way color is discussed.  One person is really Black – wow that brother is something else!  Another is Black, but not Black enough.  Another is ‘high yellow’ trying to be what she is not ‘Black’.  She has AFrican American parents, but her Blackness is what is questioned.  He doesn’t talk as though he is Black.  She doesn’t dress as though she is Black.  Who do they think they are – they know that’s not how Black folk act. and on and on.  Who are they pretending to be – look at her, trying to be like Miss Ann.  We’ve heard these conversations and more for decades.

And then we got into it.  Is Rachel Dolezal Black?  And who determines Blackness?  Where are the determiners of who is Black and who is not.  No one heard anything like that being discussed in this media onslaught.  The discussions on television, in the print media, on the internet, etc. all were fraught with assumptions.  The first – to be Black one had to be African Americans and apparently come from African American parents.  That then allowed the charges of ‘dishonesty’ to come into play.  Ms. Dolezal was ‘dishonest’ so she had to give up her Presidency, which she wouldn’t have if she hadn’t work for it.  There are too many “Blacks” in the NAACP for someone to be elected President simply because they are Black.  It was very disheartening to see the NAACP move Ms. Dolezal out of a position for which she put in hard work to achieve.  Because they didn’t want to have this ‘distraction’?  If this isn’t an issue of race and a primary issue of race which the NAACP needs to be addressing I don’t know what is.

That brought up – why, after all this time, did Ms. Dolezals mother decide to come out and take her daughter down.  She did it in as wide spread and mean spirited way that she could – so the dysfunction in that family is out in the media for all to see.  It is one thing to adopt and raise African American children – or any other minority child.  It is quite another to be identified as the race of the child you are raising.  Not many people could handle that and I have seen such adoptive parents bristle when someone saw the children and assumed they were also African American.

Many people, who have done such adopting, have not been able to get out of the ‘doing good for those poor minority folks’ syndrome.  And I know many folks are going up in smoke when they read this – but take a look around.  That doesn’t mean they have not loved, or cared for their adopted children.  That just means it takes a lot to move out of your White Privilege into the Black Ghetto in which your adopted children live all of their lives.  The White parents of such children have moments here and there where they can ‘escape’.  The minority children don’t and won’t for their entire lifetime.  What happens if those White parents gave up their White Privilege and lived with their children as minorities one and all?  What a difference that would make in this society.  What a statement that would make.

In mixed marriages in the 1940’s and 1950’s in the deep south the White partner generally left their White Privilege behind and lived as Black.  Some knew they were Black, some thought they were simply light skinned African Americans.

With Rachel Dolezal’s  family’s Native American ancestry, how does that fit into this conversation?  Can one who is part Native American consider themselves Black?  Some Native American tribes are trying to get all those with some African American ‘blood’ out of their tribes and deny them any advantages the tribe, with which they have identified for generations, could offer.  Did the casino’s change the definition of who is Native American?  What has changed the definition of who is Black?  From everything I’ve seen and heard – Black is a culture – a way of talking, eating, playing, socializing, being.  Lots of discussion has gone on around what it means to be Black and now with Rachel Dolezal all of that discussion has gone down the toilet.  We are now in a mode of “protect the identity of White Privilege” – if the White Privileged person doesn’t have the smarts to protect their own identity then the rest of society must do it for them and is that what is happening with Rachel Dolezal?  Hey kid, get back into your White tribe.  In this case,  the media has been charged with that duty.  Drag her through everything so those other young people watching won’t try to do this.  What a society this would be if hundreds, thousands of White children – wallowing in White Privilege would give it up and identify as Black.  Would racism crack and break into pieces to be washed away in the next thunderstorm?

Rachel Dolezal did what Black Civil Rights groups have been ragging on Whites to do for decades.  Don’t try to address the issues, problems, attempts at a solution for Blacks unless you give up your White Privilege and live the way racism forces ‘us’ to live.  I’ve heard that so many times it got to be a bit disgusting – especially in the 1970’s.  Generally brought up by a Black Male whose ego was wounded and felt White Women were taking his place and putting him down – out would come, “when you give up your White Privilege” then come and ……………..  One reason to keep African American women out of the women’s movement was because they were ‘up against’ a group of White women who could run home to their White husbands or family and wash the pain and suffering of the people they were working with off their clothes and skin.  They could run home and relax in their Whiteness and their White Privilege.

Who better to head the NAACP than a WOMAN who has given up the advantages and ability to oppress Blacks;  than someone who has given up that White Privilege and whose life shows who she is, where she is comfortable, with whom she has decided to live her life and not for a week or a month or a year, but this has been for decades.  AND, the only person who can determine if she is Black or not is Ms. Dolezal.  It is her identity to put out there and our role is to respect how she defines herself.  How many times have we heard – ‘who do you think you are defining me.  Don’t you dare define me, you respect how I define myself.’

Everything but that has happened.

Honesty doesn’t even belong in this conversation. And neither do all the trappings – I know several women in my social circle who would not think of going out with having first used a spray tan.  I know others who pay lots of money to have themselves “sprayed” before major events.  If Ms. Dolezal uses spray tan – what’s the difference?  One group uses it for frivolous cosmetic reasons – to make their skin darker.  Ms. Dolezal uses it to be able to better fit in where she finds herself comfortable and is able to work on the issues and societal problems for which she has a passion.  She is not working on them as a White Person – with all the privileges that screams.  She is not patronizing anyone – in fact, to give up her Whiteness to work on these issues takes all of the inequality away from the groups she is working with and for.

The media has set the conversation and has determined which questions need to be asked and what the answers should be for Ms. Dolezal to pass their ‘examination’.  Their questions are racist and sexist and the tone they set for this conversation is one to maintain the status quo.  For heavens sake lets get out in front of this before more of ‘our’ children start using spray tan and working in the civil rights movements after having given up their White Privilege.  WELL – here is someone who has chosen not to be able to wash off all of that and to live a Black life.  And here we are taking her down from the NAACP and goodness knows what else.

All of us – in theory – are against prejudice based on race.  Most of us can not sustain that when it comes to one on one interactions.  We substitute ‘personality disorder’, ‘crazy’, ‘not the right kind of person to take this issue forward’, and I could go on and on and on with these excuses.

Now – someone who was effective in dealing with a part of racism and sexism in her part of the world has been “outed” and made to resign the posts for which she has moved the conversation and the society forward.  There are no qualifications within the NAACP that one be Black or White or African American or Chinese or whatever to work within that organization or as one of its officers.  In many organizations there have been people who were gay who masqueraded as straight.  There have been people who were Black who passed for White.  I have Chinese friends who have had their eyes widened and who then look European.  Is this dishonest?

This is not a big deal in a racist society.  This is not a question of honesty or dishonesty,  because this is not a society which is color blind.  It is a racist, sexist society and honesty has a value which does not belong nor fit into this issue.  We are throwing it around and using it in ways to maintain our status quo.  How ‘hones’t is a person who felt called to the ordained ministry and masquerades as a straight man to become ordained – then masquerades as a straight man to be elected bishop.  He was not “outed” for his “dishonesty”.  That was never an issue.  Why not – given this Rachel incident.  We have held up and honored such a person – looking at their achievements in the area of their choice rather than the “dishonesty” of what they had to do to be able to do the work we raise up and cherish.  But then, he was a White man.

What is dishonest is using biology to define race where that is a ridiculous argument.  What is dishonest is to claim physicality to define race and use it to distinguish and defines one person as better than another because of their race – no matter how veiled the argument may be.  It is only a question of time before someone decides she is mentally unstable and should see a psychiatrist.  That is usually said by the people who are in actual need of serious therapy.

What is needed to bring about major change is to require that anyone working on the issues of race give up their White Privilege and become Black.  Then, you can know the issues on which you are working a lot better; you can focus knowing you are not going home to that White Suburban existence from which you came to do this ‘nobles oblige’ work.  Then Blacks can know you are serious about what you claim to believe about racism and how to address this problem.

Ms. Dolezal needs to be a role model – a requirement for those in society who want to see race/skin color/and more eliminated from society.

There is no biological separation of someone who is Black from the rest of society – this conversation is putting all of those requirements in place without actually taking on such an overt discussion.  Bo Derek broke the White/Black hair thing decades ago when she was declared a “10” with all of her Rostifarian hair braids.  Blacks declared the hair line broken when Madam Walker developed the cosmetic that straightened African Americans hair – and the hair of Whites with curly hair who wanted it to look less curly and more straight.  But now we have this uproar also over Ms. Dolezals hair.  Is it acceptable in some contexts to have an Afro or African American hair style, but in other contexts it is ‘not honest’.  Interesting is how we held up a woman with a “Black” hair style when it was a decorative thing, frivolous, girlish thing to do and it didn’t mean anything except women were experimenting with their bodies again and their value is in their bodies in this society.  So Bo Derek was experimenting with her “image” on a very superficial level so the furor over that was very low level and very short lived – in fact, many White women took up her style after she came out with those braids.  The same thing with ‘spray tan’.  It is fine when used as a cosmetic, frivolous thing to enhance the physical beauty of a woman, but not when it is used to allow someone to follow their passion to work to change the society in which we all live.  A woman’s value, after all is in her physical beauty, her physical appearance.

What is not honest is the racism running rife through this discussion without anyone calling the media-people who have introduced their racism into this discussion and having them answer for the direction in which this discussion is going and the damage they are trying to do to Rachel Dolezal so others won’t follow her example.  Something slightly akin to a witch hunt and what happens to the witch when she has been exposed.  Delicious here is the fact that this witch was exposed by her mother.  That must warm the cockles of some New Englanders’ hearts.

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