Tag Archives: NAACP

Emil Guillermo: Rachel Dolezal resigns NAACP post–did she have to?

I was expecting more of a fight.

But it looks like Rachel Dolezal was being pressured on both sides for passing.

It’s not like we have a real hard and fast standard for identity.

Even in the Census, we live in a “you are what you say you are world,” with the ability to self-define.

You can call yourself anything. If that’s who you say you are, then it’s fine for the official count.

It’s not passing. It’s not lying. Just mark one box and live with it.

Given that set of ethics,  I’m surprised that Rachel Dolezal was unable to weather the storm created in the media and resigned this morning from her NAACP post in Spokane.

Even the NAACP said there was nothing in its  by-laws preventing her from holding a leadership position in the organization.

So what do we have here?

Likely some kind of internal politics, where some may feel the leadership of an NAACP chapter is an “African American” only position, and used the issue of her race to raise a critical point of ethics and integrity.  Enough to oust Dolezal.

Passing as black? Oh mon dieu!

It also riled up those on the outside who look on the NAACP in Spokane as “the enemy,” who made it a big “Gotcha!”

Still, anybody hurt by Dolezal’s transgressions?

From all accounts, she has been an effective activist and leader.

Now she’s gone.

If you were on the inside and hated Dolezal, you’re smiling.

And if you’re up there in the conservative part of western Washington, you’ve just touched up a real adversary by discrediting and needlessly putting the NAACP through the national media wringer.





Emil Guillermo: The new Asian American Identity– Just American, please?



Recently, I asked some young Asian Americans how they liked to identify.

I was surprised.

They didn’t say  “Asian American.”

Now I understand a Samoan saying , “Poly,” or “Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander.”

But these were two people in their ’20s, of Japanese and Chinese descent. Old school.

And they didn’t say,” Asian American.” Read my column here.

Names evolve. Now we have Asian Pacific American, Asian American Pacific Islander, Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander.  It’s always about inclusion, right. Not about bringing poetry to bureaucracy.

But there’s something to be said for how a phrase ages in time.

I don’t know the exact reason why the NAACP doesn’t say change the “cp” part of its name to make it  more “PC.”

Who says “colored people,,” except for racists, right?

But I imagine they kept the phrase because of the history of the term. It’s a phrase that proudly shows its age. And shows what’s been overcome.

Asian American is the seed, not just our root phrase.  From it, the community has expanded to include all different Asian and Pacific Islander ethnicities.

There’s still good reason to hoist it as a unifying banner. There’s history.

And it shows how far we’ve come.


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