It will come as no surprise that professional anti-racist Tim Wise (who I wrote about here) has been provoked to an unusually high dudgeon by l’affaire Rachel Dolezal, he and his minions characterizing her as a “pathological liar” for her cynical appropriation of a African American identity. Why cynical to “occupy a space of oppression”, as Freddie DeBoer cogently argues in today’s LA Times? Because in the circles Dolezal moves in, namely, rarefied academic and left activist circles, there is little to be lost and much to be gained, in careerist terms, by making this move. This is something Wise himself well understands having been milking this particular cash cow, to the tune of a six figure income, for some years now. But he can’t say that least the finger point to himself, hence, the flailing and gesticulating to make sure that that doesn’t happen.
All this is rather amusing and rather sad as well.