News & Politics

Rachel Dolezal Is Back, and Still Black

Identity politics can be confusing. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File)

I canceled my Netflix subscription the other day, after being a member since the days when they only sent these things called “DVDs” via this thing called “the mail.” It was fun while it lasted, but now I’m tired of Netflix’s whole deal. I’m tired of their arrogantly jokey corporate surveillance — “Ha ha, you watched one of our cruddy original movies a bunch of times in a row, you losers” — and I’m tired of funding a dumping ground for Cloverfield pseudo-sequels that would’ve bombed in theaters. Plus, Bright was a bad movie. Sorry, but it just was, I don’t care what some algorithm says. And now, Netflix expects us to believe nobody had any idea about Kevin Spacey’s tomfoolery on the set of House of Cards? Yeah, right.

Netflix has gotten too big for its digital britches, so I’m saying goodbye. I’m voting with my wallet. I’ll find somewhere else to dispose of my ever-shrinking pool of disposable income.

But Netflix is already trying to win me back, by announcing a documentary about my favorite civil-rights crusader of the 21st century. Guess who?

The documentary is called The Rachel Divide, and it premieres on April 27. That gives SJWs, race hustlers, and other professional victims almost two months to type up their indignant think pieces.

Now, you may scoff at Dolezal. Pretty much everybody does. “Is she crazy? How can she call herself black when she’s obviously white?” And biologically speaking, that’s true. She was born a white person. That’s just science.

But come on, people, this is 2018. Since when does science stop anybody from choosing their own identity? Since when is an individual shackled by the constraints of biology? Bruce Jenner didn’t let decades of dudeness keep him from turning himself into Caitlyn Jenner, the person she claims she really was all along. Biology applied to Bruce, but Caitlyn just laughs at it.

And yet, a lot of the same people who heaped laurels on Caitlyn Jenner for her bravery can heap nothing but scorn on Rachel Dolezal. A white guy can become a white chick with no problem, but a white chick had better not try to cross the color barrier. Never mind that Dolezal has more in common with a black woman, genetically, than Caitlyn Jenner has in common with an old-fashioned natural-born woman with a uterus and no Y chromosome.

Identity is mutable and malleable, and everybody gets to choose their own adventure… except when their chosen identity triggers your prejudices.

“Oh, but that’s different,” you say. “Jenner never tried to pass as a woman before she made her transition.” And that’s a fair point. Dolezal had a whole fake backstory for her life as a black person, which got wrecked when her [email protected]$$ family spoke up. I’m sure her co-workers at the Spokane NAACP felt betrayed, although they probably had their suspicions when they noticed she was always putting mayonnaise on everything.

But is her lie so unforgivable? We’re now supposed to refer to a sex change operation as “gender confirmation surgery,” the idea being that medicine is merely confirming a person’s gender, not changing it. Well, if we accept that somebody can be genuinely female despite being born male, why can’t a white woman feel like she was always black on the inside? And if so, what’s the harm in a little white lie to cover up her, y’know, whiteness?

Look, either we all agree that there’s such a thing as consensus reality, or we don’t. If you can change your sex just by saying so, you should be able to change your race too.

If you guys expect me to accept Caitlyn Jenner, then I expect you to accept Rachel Dolezal. She’s a strong, beautiful black woman. And you can be one too.