'Reductio ad Absurdum Land Speed Record'

For the starboard half of the Blogosphere, Rachel Dolezal is the gift that keeps on giving, including this brilliant juxtaposition by James Taranto in his latest “Best of the Web Today” column at the Wall Street Journal:


● “Imagine the reaction if a young white man suddenly declared that he was trapped in the wrong body and, after using chemicals to change his skin pigmentation and crocheting his hair into twists, expected to be embraced by the black community.”—Elinor Burkett, New York Times, June 7

● “The National Associated for the Advancement of Colored People released a statement Friday regarding the controversy surrounding Rachel Dolezal’s racial identity. Dolezal’s parents said Thursday that she is a Caucasian woman and has been misleading the public for years, claiming that she is the child of biracial parents instead of Caucasian parents. Dolezal later came out and expressed that she and her parents do not speak due to ongoing legal issues. The NAACP said in a statement that the organization stands behind Dolezal’s advocacy record, regardless of her race.”—KREM-TV website (Spokane, Wash.), June 12

And don’t miss Taranto’s classic description of “the young-adult website Vox.com,” you guys…

Related: “Doležal also entertains an interest in the medical field and has begun pre-medical studies, working toward an MD and a residency in trauma surgery. She hopes to combine her medical knowledge with her passion for human rights and engage in life-saving surgery efforts around the world,” as spotted by John Hinderaker of Power Line who adds, “This is not the Onion, folks, this is the web site of a public university with over 12,000 students. Somehow, I don’t think you need to hold your breath waiting for Ms. Dolezal to graduate from medical school and ‘engage in life-saving surgery efforts around the world.’”


I know I’ve leaned on Tom Wolfe’s material a lot recently, but Dolezal’s mad tale really is the race-obsessed worldview illustrated in several of his novels and his landmark Radical Chic article made (bronze-tinted) flesh. Or as one Timeswoman quipped, Philip Roth’s Human Stain novel run backwards. As Hinderaker writes, “It is curious how much we can learn about contemporary America from the weird story of Rachel Dolezal.”

Particularly when placed into context with the veritable smorgasbord of identity politics stories making the rounds this month:


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