Americans are still engaged in the heat of discussion concerning the issue of being transgender (sparked by the sexual identity transition of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn Jenner) as a new debate is forming—that of being transracial. As CNN and other news outlets are reporting:
(CNN) The race of one of the most prominent faces in Spokane, Washingto's black community is under question after her estranged mother claimed she is white but is "being dishonest and deceptive with her identity."
Rachel Dolezal, 37, is the head of the local chapter of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and has identified herself as at least partly African-American. But her Montana birth certificate says she was born to two parents who say they are Caucasian. …
Dolezal is saying little about the allegations, but her birth parents are openly speaking their mind.
"We are her birth parents," Lawrence Dolezal told CNN on Friday. "We do not understand why she feels it's necessary to misrepresent her ethnicity."
Rachel was the Dolezal’s sole biological child, though she grew up with four black siblings who were adopted into the family. She later attended Howard University, a predominantly Black institution. At that point, Rachel was not yet representing herself to be black. Her parents suggested that it was't until around 2007 that she began actually representing herself that way.
Her parents say Rachel "has chosen to distance herself from the family."
"She has not explained to us why she is doing what she is doing and being dishonest ... with her identity," her mother said.
Since 2007, Rachel has represented herself as multi or bi-racial on a number of job applications and resumes.
Reporters from the Spokane Spokesman-Review, who spoke with Rachel directly about why she has chosen to misrepresent her racial identity, said that she wants to talk to local NAACP leadership before answering any questions.
"I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation," she said. "That question is not as easy as it seems," Dolezal told the Spokesman-Review. "There's a lot of complexities ... and I do't know that everyone would understand that."
Meanwhile, CNN reports that the hashtags #racheldolezal and #transracial were trending at the top of the Twitter feed, with many raising the issue and questioning the validity of whether a person could choose to cross racial lines just as many are now choosing to cross sexual lines.
*It should be noted that the NAACP stands by Dolezal, saying her contribution to civil rights and social justice speaks for itself. Her race, they say, is not of primary importance. They made no comment, however, about her obvious issues of honesty and integrity.
As fascinated as the media might be with recent stories of identity confusion, whether transgender or transracial, there is an even more compelling story to tell. It's the story of every believer who has found a new identity in Christ. We are the "transrighteous," having left our old fallen identities behind in order to fulfill the one we have been granted in Christ.
"What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith" (Philippians 3:8-9).