Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal

The head of the Spokane, Washington branch of the National Association for Colored People (NAACP) has been outed by her parents – ethnicity-wise. They say that their daughter, despite apparently presumed to be African American, actually is the product of a variety of European ethnicities.

This brings to mind the centuries-old, American, race-related staples: The one-drop rule and passing. When our slave-based society began to form, the European masters decided to flip the order of parental lineage or descendance from the father to the mother. That would allow them to disown the many children with European features that were destined to be born in the slave quarters. This facilitated their invoking the one-drop rule, which means that, no matter what the appearance of the individual, if it is known that he/she possesses the minimum of one drop of Negro blood, that person is deemed to be a Negro. This practice of racial designation spurred the practice of passing. This meant/means that, if a person's appearance is sufficiently Caucasian, and no one is aware of his/her infusion of at least one drop of Negro blood, he/she is able imperceptibly to pass into the White population, and thereby escape the inconvenience of being a Negro.

There are two excellent examples of this cynical racial manipulation, using U.S. presidents separated by more than two hundred years. After Thomas Jefferson's wife died, he had a slew of children with his wife's half-sister, a slave who had been transferred to Monticello. The resultant redheaded children grew up in the slave quarters. At least one of these offspring was manumitted at the age of majority, and was sent off to pass among the White population. Even if our current president's Caucasian mother's features had prevailed, he would still be known as the first Black president.

Here is another example, full of ironies and directly related to the subject at hand: The president of the NAACP in the 1930s was Walter White, who was blond and blue-eyed. He was from a family in Atlanta, Georgia of similar appearance. Since there was at least a paternal and maternal one-drop incidence – and, on the mother's side, dating back to a president of the U.S. – the family was known to be Negro. Once, the father was injured in an accident and taken to a White hospital. Someone recognized him for the interloper he was, and immediately he was transferred to a Colored hospital.

 

Walter Francis White

Walter Francis White

 

Before Walter White became president of the NAACP, his connection with the organization was as field investigator. Starting in the late 19th century and continuing into the 1940s, African Americans suffered a constant rash of lynching in the South. Despite many tries, there never was relief from the Congress. Walter White would travel to the sites of the lynchings and artfully gather evidence from the unsuspecting, White participants. He would then transfer those findings to the NAACP and the then-very prolific African American newspapers. On one of these occasions, White was pulled aside by an African American and told that he had been recognized. He skedaddled to the station and boarded an outbound train. When the conductor came by, he told White he was going to miss the fun; that they had discovered a White Nigger, and they were going to lynch him.

As to the Spokane Black-wannabe (what on earth could she be thinking?!), the national office of the NAACP has announced that race has no consequence regarding membership or support of the organization. The fact is that many Caucasians were among the founders of the NAACP, and over the years have continued as members and supporters.

It is reported that the lady in question has been estranged from her family for several years. They have no explanation for her actions, nor has she. Her apparent conversion to the dark side began when she attended Howard University, a historically Black college.

***** ***** *****

"Equality," the people said,

"For White and Black – and even Red!"

Action matters most –

Not the idle boast.

White bread as toast still remains 'bread'.

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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