Friday, June 12, 2015

Rachel Dolezal and the question of privilege...

Obviously, the story of Rachel Dolezal is still emerging and there will be more to know. I've been to a couple of her workshops and they were really good. I've been to one of her gallery displays and found it moving. She's done good advocacy work and I have hopes something good will come out of this moment. Some of the conversations that are already emerging around race and identity will be important.

The problem is around her accountability. I can't imagine a African American person or community saying to me as white person, "Hey Mike, what we really need for you to do is convince people you're African American then teach Africana studies at a local university; chair a police accountability committee addessing racial discrimination in the criminal justice system; and head up a local branch of the NAACP." That lack of accountability would make this appear to be a deception emerging out of a sense of privilege regardless of her intent.

Although I grieve this moment, I still respect her and will be praying for her as she goes through the process of being held accountable for her actions.