By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD but they that deal truly are his delight.” (Proverbs 12:22)
There is much our community needs to be concerned with and discussing. There are the ever present issues of poverty, racism, the miseducation of our children; the under employment of our people, and the disregard of those elected to represent us. There is the new scourge of Flakka, and the encouraging of our children to believe that God make a mistake when He created them a male or a female. Much we need to be concerned with. Much we should be talking about.
But instead, our time is being taken up conversing about someone who believes God was in error when she was made white. She wants to be recognized as being African-American, has declared herself so, was once married to a Black man and has adopted a Black parent.
To my mind, none of this would be worth remarking on because all my life, I (and you) have known white people who acted, talked, and moved, as if they were Black. Some of them we appreciated and some we did not. Often we found the context of their behavior acceptable. Not this time however.
This is not a challenge to the construct of race as Rachel Dolezal, the woman in question and NAACP chapter president in Spokane, Wash., would have us believe. Nor is it a desire to utilize racial identification as “a qualifying or disqualifying characteristic for leadership or membership within the NAACP,” as NAACP National President Cornell William Brooks is trying to make us think. This is about an un-necessary lie and the harm it has caused.
The controversy is not because Dolezal is white and is an officer of the NAACP. There have been and remain white leaders and white members of that organization. It’s been that way since the days of the Niagara Movement from which the NAACP was born. So that ain’t it.
The discussion is solely connected to Dolezal lying about who she is.
Why is that so important? Because the struggles we are in and the issues we have to resolve have to be rooted in truth – both in their establishment as legitimate concerns and with those who publicly advocate for them as such.
Now more than ever before our leadership is being challenged because of moral short comings. We find it so in politics, the Church, education, civil rights and law enforcement. We don’t need another leader accused of being a fake. That allows those who want to delegitimize our interests to do so.
And I would be remiss if I did not add that this is yet another example of the creation believing the Creator does not know what He is doing. When Dolezal came out of the womb the LORD already knew the struggles a-head of her. This means God had al-ready provided enough grace through Christ for her and others like her to be able to overcome any difficulty because of the circumstances of birth.
One wonders how much more significant her contributions would be seen to be if she had walked openly in her ethnicity as she moved in her convictions to help Black people in this unending struggle for equality.
Finally, it is important for all of us to remember that Dolezal had good intentions but that did not prevent her from hurting herself and others.