Rachael Dolezal was the former head of the NAACP in Spokane, WA. Recently, Dolezal’s parents informed the public that Dolezal was not mixed nor was she African American. Dolezal’s initial interviews were convoluted. In one interview she said she did not understand the question when asked if she was African American. While this may appear to be a simple little lie getting too much media attention there is something much bigger at stake here.
Rachael Dolezal did not just lie to her community, employers and educational institutions. It’s not that simple. This case has serious implications with respect to identity and the legal rights people have to “choose” different aspects of their identity despite biological, geographical, racial, or other realities. Dolezal has now gone on record with the NBC Today show as saying, “I identify as black.”
An article written by Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and Fox News contributor, states: “…transgender activism by Chaz Bono (and now by Caitlyn Jenner) could sow the seeds for people not only to assert their core gender identities, despite DNA evidence to the contrary, but also to assert their racial identities, despite physical and historical evidence to the contrary. If a man with male anatomy and a ‘Y’ chromosome can assert he is female and be put on the covers of celebrity magazines and given awards for bravery, why can’t a white woman assert that her internal identity is that of a black woman? … You may think this is ridiculous (and I might), but a leading attorney with whom I have consulted has suggested that the case of such a man would not be without some merit, given the case law regarding transgender individuals.”
The issues surrounding transgender, gay marriage and other controversial legislation all have consequences that have yet to be fully explored. For example, once marriage is no longer between a man and a woman, who’s to say it has to be only between two people, or two adults for that matter? To build on Ablow’s age identity analogy; what if someone no longer “feels” 30, they “feel” trapped in a 30-year-old body and would like to have surgery to be 16, would these laws have to accommodate them? If so, could they date an underage individual? Questioning moral issues that have long been determined by biology leads to a never-ending book of questions and consequences.
To again quote Ablow: “I have warned and warned and warned that breaking free of certain apparent realities that define us as human beings – genetically and historically – can have profound implications for how closely people remain tied to reality, in general. Let us see how far down this path of ‘self’-assertion we travel, and with what results.”