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I found myself resentful of her ethnic larceny. Though, I refrained from making any judgements, waiting for further developments and detained details. However, it wasn’t her intentions with which I was most disturbed, it was her duplicity, her deceptiveness for vainglorious gain.
I am married to the first Caucasian minister hired at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. He served in that esteemed church for many years. He is committed to dialogue about race relations and advocates for causes in honor of African-Americans. He is also white.
He has never attempted to perm his hair or darken his skin. He has never attempted to mimic vernaculars or fabricate a history. There is no pretense, just passion. He came as a guest, and it was the graciousness and love of friends that embraced him as a brother, a son, a member of the family.
I also found it affronting that Dolezal may have supposed her work would not be taken seriously if she wasn’t in disguise. That may be true. Who knows? As with all races, some are opposed to anyone outside their ethnic ensemble. However, the African-American friends we have would embrace brothers and sisters, no matter what race, to stand by their side. We would be bereft of extraordinary friendships if we remained behind the blockade of fear and assumptions.
I have also realized that what I feel most for Dolezal is pity. I’m sure she had empirical knowledge of many who respected persons, adopted passions, and extolled strength. I feel sad that she didn’t trust them. I feel woeful that she chose to hide behind her twisted reality. Most of all, I feel disappointed, because I believe the greatest crime Dolezal committed was pocketing the opportunity for many to offer her the acceptance and inclusion that she obviously desperately wanted.