Recently, even more evidence has come to light showing how Affirmative Action creates perverse incentives for people to lie about their race in order to gain advantage when applying for jobs and higher education.
Recently, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Spokane NAACP, was exposed as having lied about being an African American and Native American in order to get a position as member of the police. Since the NAACP supports affirmative action, it’s very concerning for its senior leadership to fraudulently exploit racial preferences. After all, Affirmative Action is based on people correctly self-identifying their racial identity in their applications for employment or higher education. If everyone lied about their race as Dolezal, Senator Elizabeth Warren and I did, then the whole system of legalized racism that we call affirmative action could fall apart like a house of cards of cards.
The fact that Rachel Dolezal got caught red handed lying about her race is truly remarkable. Lying about one’s race is the ultimate “con”, almost impossible to be caught for. When I posed as black to get into medical school back in 1999 (documented in my upcoming book Almost Black), I knew that I would never get caught because the only way to “prove” I wasn’t black was to do a DNA test and have my own parents testify against me in court. That would never happen. Because of an unrelated legal dispute, Dolezal’s own interracial family, including her estranged white parents and adopted black brother, decided to expose her deception. Her brother went so far as to call it “blackface.” It is an indisputable fact that Dolezal is white, although she has adopted interracial family members.
It’s notable that after the central NAACP leadership became aware of Dolezal’s fraudulent racial identity they did not repudiate or distance themselves from them. The NAACP publically supports affirmative action on its website. It’s very hypocritical of them not to discipline a high-ranking member who blatantly lies about her race in order to exploit affirmative action.
Others have made much ado about other aspects of Rachel Dolezal’s story, such as her troubled relationship with her real (white) parents and her position as a leader in the NAACP. Her relationship with her family is completely irrelevant except for the fact that her real, white, parents say openly that she is definitely not black and childhood photographs appear to confirm it. Moreover, I think it says GOOD things about the NAACP that they are willing to accept white people in their senior leadership. It’s nothing “new” because some of the original founders of the NAACP were white.
The main point here is that even supporters of Affirmative Action such as Dolezal are sometimes tempted to lie about their race in order to improve their chances of getting opportunities for employment or education based on racial preferences. The NAACP claims to support Affirmative Action and it’s very hypocritical for them to look the other way when its own members fraudulently exploit affirmative action.
Dolezal has recently resigned.
The leader of the NAACP, Cornel Brooks, refused to criticize Dolezal’s deceit. The NAACP publically supports affirmative action and Brooks claims to want to ensure the “institutional integrity of our advocacy.” Yet, when members of the NAACP’s senior leadership is willing to lie about its race in order to exploit affirmative action that integrity is called into question.