Monday, June 22, 2015

Color lines

The only winner in the Charleston shootings is Rachel Dolezal. Rachel who?

See, a few days ago she was on all the front pages, now she's gone.

Rap Brown said violence is as American as cherry pie. Changing your background is, too. Dolezal is not unusual in that.

Take Iron Eyes Cody, who portrayed an American Indian weeping about littering. He was born Espera Oscar de Corti in Louisiana; his parents were immigrants from Sicily.

Most of the changes are trivial or harmless. I knew a woman name Bodenstein who changed her name to Bodine because it "fitted in" better and was easier to handle for her clients. She was a real estate agent. Some are trivial but not entirely harmless. Janet Cooke, temporary holder of a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, claimed to speak French but didn't.

Possibly her padding her resume helped push a more honest applicant out of the picture at the Washington Post, but knowing French was not relevant to her job interviewing English-speaking Americans.

(Cooke's French claim was harmless enough but I had not realized until I looked up her Wikipedia bio that she sold her lies to the movies for $1.6 mil, or about what she would have earned working as a Post reporter between 1981 and 1996. Except she didn't have to work. So not so overall harmless after all.)

Others are very harmful indeed, like Scott Hanson who faked being a doctor.

All this by way of introduction. RtO has no opinion about Dolezal. But she did say something that was true if not relevant to her employment.

I cannot find a link but it was along the lines of: We are all from Africa, aren't we? That gives me a chance to link to what I consider the cleverest political song of the last several years, Roy Zimmerman's "Rift Valley Drifters."

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