Saturday, August 13, 2022

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Spokane NAACP President Proves Actions, Not Race, is What Counts in Civil Rights Battle

Rachel Dolezal
Rachel Dolezal

*In February, 2015, the Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter sought action on job discrimination and civil rights violations complaints, took on Comcast, secured legal support for a transgender sexual assault victim, filed police racial profiling complaints, demanded an investigation of KKK literature in the area, and an FBI investigation of other hate crimes, and backed several job discrimination lawsuits. In addition, the Spokane NAACP branch has aggressive, activist committees on education, health care, and criminal justice reforms. That month was typical of the strong work it has done on civil rights.

These actions plopped Spokane NAACP President Rachel Dolezal squarely in the hate monger’s bulls-eye. She received threats and hate mail, and there was a reported break-in at her home. Dolezal was undaunted, “I stand by the work that I do for civil rights, and I should be able to do that work that needs to be done here in Spokane.” Dozens agreed with her. They expressed their support at a Spokane City Hall rally in March.

Dolezal is back on the hot seat again. This time the heat is on not from unreconstructed bigots but many African-Americans who rail at her for allegedly being a white woman who claims to be African-American. The issue ostensibly is that she lied and misrepresented herself as black as the NAACP leader. But the real issue is whether a non-black is fit to lead a branch of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. This is a spurious, silly, and nonsensical concern especially since many of the NAACP’s original founders were white and Jewish. In its more than a century of existence, the organization has fought for civil and equal rights—barring color.

In that light, Dolezal has done a phenomenal job. She’s taken a small chapter in a neck of the woods that in times past has been near an area well-known as a hotbed of white supremacist and armed militia organizing, and made it a true fighting organization. Dolezal should ignore the criticism and keep doing the great job she’s done.

She has proven again that actions, not race, are what counts in the civil rights battle.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of the forthcoming book From King to Obama: Witness to a Turbulent History (Middle Passage Press) http://www.4earlofarihutchinson.com/

He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard weekly on the nationally network broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Dolezal has done a phenomenal job. She’s taken a small chapter in a neck of the woods that in times past has been near an area well-known as a hotbed of white supremacist and armed militia organizing, and made it a true fighting organization. Dolezal should ignore the criticism and keep doing the great job she’s done.

    Well said, Earl.

    I think it amounts to some form of insecurity on the part of her detractors, mostly females. Somehow, they are “offended” by a white woman passing as black, never mind that she is making herself vulnerable to some of the same bigotry that a black person would face. And most of these detractors are not even willing to that take an activist stance against racism, as she is.

  2. From everything I’ve read about her job performance Ms. Dolezal has done a terrific job. But if the claims are true then the question of why must be answered. Mr. Hutchinson is correct that her race should not be a question in her ability to work for the NAACP, but for some reason she felt it was a factor in some form or fashion. Again many questions left to be answered. Did she really want to help the cause of “People of Color” and felt she wouldn’t be accepted because she was Caucasian? To be honest, I think she may not have been taken seriously or accepted if she had acknowledge her true ethnicity by some people in the NAACP and that’s very unfortunate. Once again this shows we have a serious issue with race that runs DEEP for all ethnicities/races. Ms. Dolezal showed that hard work has no color, her decision not to acknowledge her ethnicity showed that the world still sees in color…

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