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Civil rights activist questions birth certificate

Photo of white actor Al Jolson in blackfaceIt was rather shocking to see a news story last week saying that a black Washington State civil rights activist wasn’t really black, or so the parents of Rachel Dolezal declared; they say she is Czech, German and Swedish. The NAACP, of which Dolezal was a member and head of the Spokane chapter, says you don’t have to be non-white to serve the organization. Nevertheless, the fallout has been not inconsequential, and Dolezal stepped down from her NAACP post.

Now Dolezal raises the question of whether her parents are really her parents after all, and whether her birth certificate tells the whole story. She points to the fact that her certificate was filed a full month and a half after her birth, and no medical witness is listed according to her. Could she have been adopted?

What’s most significant in this story is the headline given it at Raw Story: “’I haven’t had a DNA test’: Rachel Dolezal goes full-scale birther on herself.”

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58 Responses to Civil rights activist questions birth certificate

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG June 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    What the actual f###?!

  2. avatar
    Curious George June 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    This is one confused young woman or, a woman who has figured out how to milk the system for her own benefit. I think her next claim will be that she was born a Walmartian and transported to earth to give her expertise about the Obama birth certificate.

  3. avatar
    Slartibartfast June 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Right there with you.

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    What the actual f###?!

  4. avatar
    scott e June 17, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    with trump going on, this is what you are writing about.

    it’s pretty funny though, her explanations are funnier, betrayed by her own parents no less.

  5. avatar
    J.D. Sue June 17, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    scott e: with trump going on


    Are you referring to the Hollywood Reporter story that Donald Trump cast extras at $50 apiece to cheer for him yesterday?

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/donald-trump-campaign-offered-actors-803161

  6. avatar
    Bonsall Obot June 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    scott e:
    with trump going on, this is what you are writing about.

    Yes, your deep concern about what other people choose to write about has been noted.

  7. avatar
    Dave June 17, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    So the head of the Spokane NAACP said she was black, but she isn’t. Can anyone explain why this is national news?

  8. avatar
    Slartibartfast June 17, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    That’s the part I don’t understand either. Personally, if I were the NAACP, I’d want to keep her. How many of their employees are able to experience what it’s like to be both black and white? I wish she had just said “so what?” to the whole thing, or, better yet, “does it matter if I’m black or white?”. It brings to mind Colin Powell’s response to people saying President Obama was a muslim before the 2008 election.

    Dave:
    So the head of the Spokane NAACP said she was black, but she isn’t. Can anyone explain why this is national news?

  9. avatar
    Curious George June 17, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

    Slartibartfast

    “Personally, if I were the NAACP, I’d want to keep her,”

    She sounds like a very troubled woman. At the very least give her some time off to get some professional help.

  10. avatar
    Slartibartfast June 17, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

    I haven’t been following the story so I don’t know what makes you think she is troubled, but I have no problem with her passing for black to get a job. I don’t think her race is pertinent to how well she did that job.

    Curious George:
    Slartibartfast

    “Personally, if I were the NAACP, I’d want to keep her,”

    She sounds like a very troubled woman. At the very least give her some time off to get some professional help.

  11. avatar
    Dave B. June 18, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    Trump’s been “going on” for a while now. It’s not that big a deal.

    scott e:
    with trump going on, this is what you are writing about.

  12. avatar
    HistorianDude June 18, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    This is really a complex issue, one worthy of serious discussion rather than a cavalier snark.

    Race is, by all biological standards, a meaningless concept in humans. You could wipe out the entire planet except for a single tribe of Kalahari Bushmen, and you would still retain more than 90% of all the human genetic variation on the planet. So… let’s step back from the social baggage and look at it another way.

    I am a Civil War buff. I visit every and any Civil War battlefield I can. I am currently involved in a major project of transcribing and annotating the Civil War memoir of my brother-in-law’s 2nd Great Grandfather, a member of the 15th Michigan Infantry for the entire war, and a prisoner at Andersonville. As a West Point grad, I feel a very personal, very tangible, very proprietary connection to the Civil War.

    When the Civil War was being fought, 100% of my ancestors were still in Italy.

    Is my embrace of the culture and history of the country my grandparents adopted offensive? Illegitimate? A lie? It is certainly not of my family history. But it is absolutely the history of the culture I was born into, and that my grandparents chose of their own free will, giving up what they were to become something else.

    How is that different?

    Rachel Dolezal may not be ethnically black, but she has chosen to be culturally black. I may not be ethnically American (whatever that might mean) but I am culturally American. American history is my history, even though it is disconnected from my family history. I dare anyone to deny me my Americanness simply because of my ancestry.

  13. avatar
    HistorianDude June 18, 2015 at 12:25 am #

    scott e: with trump going on, this is what you are writing about.

    Trump’s going on?

    You really believe that?

  14. avatar
    AC180 June 18, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    Sounds like she’s been identifying more with (or AS) African-American, since her childhood. My theory is that she either felt like she wasn’t getting the love and attention from her parents, so she tried to emulate her adopted siblings who WERE getting the attention. Either that, or perhaps she was trying to distance herself from her parents..

    Speaking of whom: She’s already been humiliated, so at this point they seem to be piling on with their comments in the media. I don’t see the compassion in the way they’ve handled it.

    Her big sin seems to be lying about a past that she’s not very secure about. She didn’t lie to defraud or take advantage of people. The references some people are making, comparing what she did to “black face” don’t seem to apply here either, as she’s not making fun or mocking black people.

    Her priorities might be out of line and perhaps she does have some inner turmoil that she needs to tend to, but it’s certainly nothing worth the outrage some people have expressed over the situation.

  15. avatar
    AC180 June 18, 2015 at 2:23 am #

    “with trump going on, this is what you are writing about.”

    Trump is nothing more than a side-show act or a carnival barker. He won’t have any mainstream political relevance on election day.

    Of course that’s not what it’s all about to him. He’s all about keeping the “Trump” brand in the national conversation. What better way to promote his brand than to keep all the politicos talking about him until the serious candidates take over after the primaries? This act will give Trump the one thing he craves more than money.. Attention.

  16. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) June 18, 2015 at 3:36 am #

    Dave: Can anyone explain why this is national news?

    It’s one of those “man bites dog” variants that hasn’t been around before, so of course it’s more interesting than “another faceless clone wins American Idol” or “another dumb politician said slavery was good”.
    Just remember how long people talked about Michael Jackson’s nose, over the years probably more than about the child molestation charges.

  17. avatar
    Reality Check June 18, 2015 at 6:12 am #

    This is the kind of story that the old white Republican crowd that watches Faux News all day long and listen to Rush and Hannity will eat up for weeks.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 18, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    The article appears as an example of the use of “birther” in popular culture. I wrote about Trump last March.

    scott e: with trump going on, this is what you are writing about.

  19. avatar
    scott e June 18, 2015 at 7:35 am #

    J.D. Sue: —
    Are you referring to the Hollywood Reporter story that Donald Trump cast extras at $50 apiece to cheer for him yesterday?

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/donald-trump-campaign-offered-actors-803161

    yes, and his birther element.

  20. avatar
    scott e June 18, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    HistorianDude: Trump’s going on?

    You really believe that?

    yes frank, it’s a pretty non specific phrase. he’s worth 9 b on paper and he’s running for president, and he’s leading the news cycle for days. that’s what i meant by “going on”. he’s got the libs very nervous, it seems. they seem to be calling him all the things the cons called obama at the beginning. there are a lot of things about trump that i like, a lot i don’t. but he is certainly interesting, to be sure. and i believe doc will write about him soon, because he is still the most famous birther of all, and he does have that correspondents’ dinner to get even for, which i believe trump will.

  21. avatar
    scott e June 18, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    Reality Check:
    This is the kind of story that the old white Republican crowd that watches Faux News all day long and listen to Rush and Hannity will eat up for weeks.

    there’s a hint of labeling there rc. but, yeah, you are absolutely right for the most part. i know black, hispanic etc. conservatives, that enjoy the show. some like him well enough to vote for him.

  22. avatar
    Curious George June 18, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    AC180

    “What better way to promote his brand than to keep all the politicos talking about him until the serious candidates take over after the primaries? This act will give Trump the one thing he craves more than money.. Attention.”

    This sounds very much like an Arizona sheriff that Trump admires.

  23. avatar
    Curious George June 18, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    Another opinion about this story:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/opinion/charles-blow-the-delusions-of-dolezal.html

  24. avatar
    ScottRS June 18, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    scott e: he’s got the libs (sic) very nervous,

    He has the “libs” (sic), and most everyone else with an IQ above room temperature rolling on the floor laughing. Of all of the grifters who are not actually running for President, but rather fleecing the rubes for money, he is, bar none, the most ridiculous.

    You, John, CRJ, Arpaio, Orly, and maybe Sven have a greater likelihood of being elected President than Trump (and you stand no chance at all, so you have that going for you.)

  25. avatar
    Punchmaster via Mobile June 18, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    scott e: he’s got the libs very nervous, it seems.

    No one is nervous that The Dolan is running.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 18, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    This quote popped the irony meter:

    Dolezal’s performance of blackness may have been born of affinity, but it was based on a lie — one she has never sufficiently recanted — and her feeble attempts to use professorial language and faux-intellectual obfuscations only add insult to the cultural injury.

    Curious George:
    Another opinion about this story:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/opinion/charles-blow-the-delusions-of-dolezal.html

  27. avatar
    HistorianDude June 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    scott e he’s got the libs very nervous,

    Hah-ha-haaa-HAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWW!!!

    He’s got the “libs” high-fiving each other and buying big cigars. To mix a metaphor, he is the icing on the Republican clown car.

  28. avatar
    ellen June 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    smrstrauss may need some help against Mario Apuzzo (who is making claims like the Vattel definition of Natural Born Citizen was cited at US law schools for decades) over at:

    http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/03/05/ted-cruz-and-natural-born-citizenship-a-belated-reply-to-mario-apuzzo

  29. avatar
    Jim June 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    scott e: “he’s got the libs very nervous, ”

    In a Pat Paulsen sort of way. ” What began as a running gag on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour became — for a while — national news.” http://www.allmusic.com/album/pat-paulsen-for-president-mw0000868801

    We’re nervous the comedy relief will drop out before he can make a complete fool of himself and not just an egotistical fool.

  30. avatar
    Bob June 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Trump hasn’t even filed the necessary paperwork with the FEC to campaign.

    Where’s the FEC filing?

  31. avatar
    Arthur B. June 18, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    scott e: he’s got the libs very nervous

    What do you think, scott — would it be a good idea for Trump the candidate to question the President’s eligibility?

  32. avatar
    y_p_w June 18, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    I didn’t see anyone else pointing out that she was interviewed by Savannah Guthrie. Now that is something for birthers to digest.

  33. avatar
    Crustacean June 18, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    Now *that’s* what I would call crisis actors. Someone alert BSE!!

    J.D. Sue: Are you referring to the Hollywood Reporter story that Donald Trump cast extras at $50 apiece to cheer for him yesterday?

  34. avatar
    Rickey June 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    scott e: he’s worth 9 b on paper and he’s running for president

    He claims that he’s worth $9 billion. We’ll see if he stays in the race long enough to be required to file his personal financials.

    he’s got the libs very nervous, it seems. they seem to be calling him all the things the cons called obama at the beginning.

    Nervous? Quite the contrary. We’re thrilled. I can hardly wait for the debates to begin.

    Did you see the NY Daily News front page today? It’s not exactly a liberal rag.

    http://twitter.com/NYDailyNews/status/610993371688124416/photo/1

  35. avatar
    J.D. Sue June 18, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    Rickey: He claims that he’s worth $9 billion. We’ll see if he stays in the race long enough to be required to file his personal financials.


    Thank you. I’d bet he’s worth much much less. I will be very surprised if we ever see his financials; Trump is about puffery, not about disclosure.

  36. avatar
    Curious George June 18, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    Old Joe is always trying to get in on the act. What a publicity hound!

    http://www.fox10phoenix.com/story/29357591/sheriff-arpaio-to-send-officers-to-protect-black-churches-sunday

  37. avatar
    Pete June 19, 2015 at 1:04 am #

    Whether you like or dislike him, Trump’s chances of being elected President are slightly better than Scott’s.

    That’s about it.

    So the reason he isn’t a topic here is because he’s stopped being interesting. He needs to do something interesting before he’ll be worth much as a topic.

    Dancing naked with Miley Cyrus in a nudie musical at Madison Square Garden, while waving an American flag and playing a flugelhorn, would probably do it.

  38. avatar
    Keith June 19, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    Jim: In a Pat Paulsen sort of way. ” What began as a running gag on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour became — for a while — national news.” http://www.allmusic.com/album/pat-paulsen-for-president-mw0000868801

    I OWN that album. He ran a great campaign with strong convictions and policies. His popularity was so strong that he made other (liberal) politicians very nervous (just like Trump? I think not).

    Pat was just a ‘common, ordinary, simple, Saviour of America’s Destiny’

  39. avatar
    Rickey June 19, 2015 at 1:08 am #

    J.D. Sue: —
    Thank you.I’d bet he’s worth much much less.I will be very surprised if we ever see his financials; Trump is about puffery, not about disclosure.

    I agree. We’re more likely to see the “You won’t believe what they’re finding” reports from Trump’s investigators in Hawaii.

  40. avatar
    Lupin June 19, 2015 at 4:23 am #

    I don’t think he’s really running. For him, that’s just more graft opportunities and free air time on TV.

  41. avatar
    Northland10 June 19, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    scott e: “he’s got the libs very nervous, ”

    And Scott E. trolls again.

  42. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 19, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    I’m holding out for a crumhorn.

    Pete:

    So the reason he isn’t a topic here is because he’s stopped being interesting. He needs to do something interesting before he’ll be worth much as a topic.

    Dancing naked with Miley Cyrus in a nudie musical at Madison Square Garden, while waving an American flag and playing a flugelhorn, would probably do it.

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 19, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Yes, the essence of troll: say something short and outlandish, then sit back and watch all the outraged replies. It’s like poking an anthill with a stick.

    Northland10: And Scott E. trolls again.

  44. avatar
    scott e June 19, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    HistorianDude: Hah-ha-haaa-HAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWW!!!

    He’s got the “libs” high-fiving each other and buying big cigars. To mix a metaphor, he is the icing on the Republican clown car.

    cuban cigars now, right?? look, i don’t care one way or the other, but i think he’s not through with that subject. he is an opportunist to be sure. if by some fluke he was elected he would be the richest president, even surpassing the original GW (i’m guessing). i agree with a lot of what he says though.

    however, i would like you opinion why the naacp doesn’t modernize, and drop “colored”. to me this is an unnecessary cross to bear. the explanation they give is to “preserve the history”, which i understand. and the n word, continues to be confusing in it’s modern day usage. the lady in the story, i think thought, she was, or wanted to be black. i don’t have a problem with that (the organisation members might). to me it’s kind of like elizabeth warren’s native thing. i think she thought it would make her a more interesting person. lot’s of people embellish their resumes. no harm no foul, garnered lots of attention though. the tradition black colleges accept student of all origins.

  45. avatar
    scott e June 19, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    Arthur B.: What do you think, scott — would it be a good idea for Trump the candidate to question the President’s eligibility?

    i do, but that’s just me. as i’ve said right along, i don’t think he is through with that subject. maybe he is though.

  46. avatar
    scott e June 19, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Yes, the essence of troll: say something short and outlandish, then sit back and watch all the outraged replies. It’s like poking an anthill with a stick.

    that’s never been my objective. but if i make it here, i can make it anywhere. i would rather sharpen my skills in a place where everyone just doesn’t agree with everything i say. this is one of those places, so far.

    you guys are a tough room, which i like.

  47. avatar
    scott e June 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Northland10: And Scott E. trolls again.

    actually he has the republicans as equally agitated. that is to me both interesting and indicative of a need for a third perhaps more political parties. i hope the founding fathers and mothers provided enough for this.

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Is tickled pink the same thing as agitated?

    scott e: actually he has the republicans as equally agitated.

  49. avatar
    scott e June 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Is tickled pink the same thing as agitated?

    sure it is, in some circles. remember chris matthews via obama ? i think the dynamics and political paradigm are shifting w/respect to arena politics. that’s sort of my point, the reactions to the candidates as they arrive.

  50. avatar
    AC180 June 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    “This sounds very much like an Arizona sheriff that Trump admires.”

    Yep. And very much like his AZ pal, he takes himself way too seriously. He might even genuinely think he has a chance of winning the top spot.

    If he hadn’t covered himself in the political poison known as birtherism, he might have had a shot of at least scheming his way onto a VP ticket. (Or perhaps his massive supply of campaign funny money is an antidote to that poison?)

  51. avatar
    Curious George June 20, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    scott e

    “if i make it here, i can make it anywhere.”

    Hmmmmm. I think it’s time for a new scott e theme song.

    http://m.vidivodo.com/video/frank-sinatra-new-york-new-york/643071

  52. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater June 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    scott e: i do, but that’s just me. as i’ve said right along, i don’t think he is through with that subject. maybe he is though.

    Yes it’s a good idea for Trump to make an even bigger fool of himself publicly and then watch the republicans trip over themselves on whether to outright tell him he’s wrong, sit on the sidelines and say nothing, or do what they did before and string birthers along. Either way it won’t turn out good for the republicans to be associated with trump.

  53. avatar
    HistorianDude June 20, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    scott e: however, i would like you opinion why the naacp doesn’t modernize, and drop “colored”.

    Don’t know, Don’t care. If they say it is to “preserve the history” I can think of no rational reason to not take them at their word.

  54. avatar
    HistorianDude June 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    Lupin:
    I don’t think he’s really running. For him, that’s just more graft opportunities and free air time on TV.

    As of this writing, there are 407 people who have filed Statements of Candidacy (FEC Form 2) with the FEC to register as a 2016 presidential candidate.

    Trump is not one of them.

    ETA: Neither, by the way, is Cody Robert Judy.

  55. avatar
    Curious George June 20, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    HistorianDude:

    “ETA: Neither, by the way, is Cody Robert Judy.”

    He’s also really, really boring when he makes his appearances on the Volin extravaganza.

  56. avatar
    Notorial Dissent June 21, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    Like he’s not really really boring when he’s killing poor innocent little electrons here???

  57. avatar
    Curious George June 21, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Notorial Dissent
    June 21, 2015

    “Like he’s not really really boring when he’s killing poor innocent little electrons here???”

    Yes, but to actually listen to him on Volin’s show, it’s well, universe shatteringly boring.