Not helping

Rachel Dolezal then and now
Rachel Dolezal then and now

The emerging story about NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal is almost too bizarre to believe.

Raised in Montana by parents of mainly German, Czech, and Swedish ancestry, the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington has transformed herself from a freckled, blue-eyed blonde into a woman who has been passing for African-American for years.

It’s embarrassing for the city of Spokane, the NAACP, and Eastern Washington University. Checking her background shouldn’t have been that difficult–it’s not like she’s been using an alias. How hard is it to Google a name?

Police in Spokane, where she serves as chair of a police oversight committee, have suspended all investigations related to Dolezal, including a claim that hate mail had been delivered to the post office box of the Spokane NAACP. (No bar code on the mail, meaning it was placed there by a Post Office employee–and all three USPS workers with access to the box have been cleared–or by someone with a key to the box. Hmm.)

She’s also become a source of of cheap laughs in the Twitterverse. (“Spray tan lives matter!”) But once her 15 minutes of infamy pass, a sad truth will remain: She’s got issues. And she’s made her issues a problem for others.

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