Does Rachel’s Life Matter?

20141125_5987 copyBy Robert J. Lloyd

There is nothing new about scandal in Spokane. Black voices have been bought off, driven to suicide, chased out of town or marginalized for years. Co-opting goes on continuously.

As for the current scandal, I could care less what Rachel’s ethnicity is. She has been a strong advocate for civil rights, social justice and issues of gender. She is a superb artist. I support her in her advocacy and speaking out on issues. The Spokane Black community has not had a representative voice since Eileen Thomas was president of the NAACP in 1998. Rachel did not seek the presidency of the Spokane NAACP but was recruited to run for the office.

Many people are talking about honesty and integrity. Let’s have the IRS look over their tax returns. Let’s have access to their emails and telephone conversations. Let’s check out their pedigrees. And where have all the investigative journalists been on important issues?

Spokane African Americans love their symbolism: hearing the “I Have a Dream” speech, wrapping up in kente cloth, wearing their dred locks and Easter bonnets.  But on substantive matters Black leadership has been absent without leave in the Spokane community for many years. None of the university and city multicultural specialists and advocates have spoken out on the issues with the fervor of Rachel Dolezal. None of the African American History teachers and historians have spoken out on contemporary Black issues in Spokane.

We left a vacuum and Rachel Dolezal and the young college students that she inspired stepped in to fill it with the support of a few progressive community activists and Unitarians.

I plead with those with a sincere interest in the issues that Rachel has championed to keep on fighting. I would suggest that the NAACP Monday night meeting be the largest in the history of the Spokane chapter and that we support Rachel. I solicit the support of MORE white people to walk in our shoes. I welcome MORE white people to share the oppression of Black America.

Two important perspectives on the issue of Black identity:

Rachel Dolezal exposes our delusional constructions and perceptions of race

Rachel Dolezal’s deception: her ‘black’ identity doesn’t make sense – or make her black




One thought on “Does Rachel’s Life Matter?

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful and obviously personal piece. I think the treatment of Rachel Dolezal says more about todays journalism and about ourselves than it does her. I applaud her, her work, and her strength against heavy odds.


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