On NBC News’ Today show, newfound media star Rachel Dolezal, the former local NAACP leader who claims she is black despite her Caucasian ancestry, said she found inspiration in the story of Bruce Jenner’s transition to womanhood.
“Just yesterday I finally had a chance to read Caitlyn Jenner’s piece in the magazine and I cried,” Dolezal said of Jenner’s cover profile in Vanity Fair. “I resonated with some of the themes of isolation, of being misunderstood.” She added, “Even in dating relationships – I’m bisexual, I’ve dated men and women – I will intentionally ask, ‘so do you just date light-skinned women? What’s your spectrum?’”
Dolezal should find inspiration and strength in Jenner’s courageous and magical transformation from man to woman, despite the obstacles of genetics, hormonal development, and a full set of male genetalia. Dolezal’s own transition from white to black is significantly more credible than Jenner’s transition from male to female – after all, while skin color is biological unless changed via surgery (Dolezal has cited Michael Jackson and Sammy Sosa as skin color converts), race is entirely a social construct. Professor Ian Haney Lopez of UC Berkeley states:
There are no genetic characteristics possessed by all Blacks but not by non-Blacks; similarly, there is no gene or cluster of genes common to all Whites but not to non-Whites. One’s race is not determined by a single gene or gene cluster, as is, for example, sickle-cell anemia. Nor are races marked by important differences in gene frequencies, the rates of appearance of certain gene types. The data compiled by various scientists demonstrate, contrary to popular opinon, that intra-group differences exceed inter-group differences. That is, greater genetic variation exists within the populations typically labeled Black and White than between these populations. This finding refutes the supposition that racial divisions reflect fundamental genetic differences.
By every biological and sociological measure, Dolezal is more black than Jenner is a female. And yet Rachel Dolezal faces the H8 of the left. Three days before the Dolezal story broke, The Daily Beast headlined, “Caitlyn Jenner Is Pissing Off Feminists and Bigots – Good for Her.” When the Dolezal story broke, The Daily Beast headlined, “BREAKING: NAACP ‘Stands Behind’ Fake Black Woman.” “Fake”? What allows The Daily Beast to discriminate against a transrace woman like Rachel Dolezal while upholding the inherent value of woman Bruce Jenner?
Life is harder for Rachel Dolezal than Bruce Jenner; at least to the world, including the president of the United States, Bruce’s story of womanhood made him courageous. Obama has had no comment in support of Dolezal. Dolezal’s pain is palpable as media members accuse her of playing blackface. Matt Lauer specifically asked her whether she had engaged in such racist mockery. Her answer: “I have a huge issue with blackface. This is not some freak ‘Birth of a Nation’ mockery blackface performance. This is on a very real, connected level. I’ve had to go there with the experience, not just a visible representation.”
When Bruce Jenner told the media that he had known of his female identification since the age of five, the media nodded along. Yesterday, Dolezal told the media, “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon rather than the peach crayon, and black curly hair. That was how I was portraying myself… From a very young age I felt a spiritual, visceral, instinctual connection with black is beautiful.” The media proceeded to laugh and point. The same media members would never, ever ask Bruce Jenner whether he is mentally ill or lying about his sex. That, of course, would be transphobic.
Dolezal’s tragic plight as a transracial woman deserves love and respect. We have already seen what happens when society rejects transgender people: they commit suicide and suffer depression. We have even seen what happens when society rejects transspecies people: US Navy veteran Dennis Avner, who had at least 14 operations to transform himself into a tiger, complete with metal tail, never found societal acceptance and killed himself at age 56, adding yet another victim to the endangered species list. Why should society reject Rachel Dolezal? Perhaps she and Bruce Jenner can form the first bisexual, transracial, transgender lesbian power team. And wouldn’t that be a story demonstrating the tolerance and diversity that makes America a light unto the nations?
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.