Tuesday, May 29, 2018

NOW Who Should You Believe?

Whoa, it's a messy world out there. 

I told you recently about the strange case of Sherita Dixon-Cole, a seemingly squeaky clean professional who accused a policeman of sexual assault after she (Sherita) was stopped for driving erratically.

    After she did that, a writer and activist, Shaun King, began accusing said policeman, plus anyone else in law enforcement he could think of, practically, for perpetrating the same abusive environment toward black people, particularly black women, since time began.

There was one slight problem: the officer in question was wearing a body cam, which showed him acting very professionally. The entire time. (Ms. Dixon-Cole didn't seem too upset, either.)
     Take a look at the link above -- you can watch the entire one-hour-plus incident. Ironically, Mr. King has been one of the commentators advocating for more police body cams.

Since then, things have been vewy, vewy quiet. I've checked regularly. Not a peep from Ms. Dixon-Cole, apology or otherwise.
    Mr. King acknowledged that he'd been suckered, but seemingly tried to bluster his way out of it by arguing that this has happened plenty of times (so why not believe this case, too); he trusted sources who affirmed her story; and this was just like The Man, anyways.

     Is he sorry? Sort of. 
     Has he issued an apology to the Texas trooper whose life he tried to ruin? Well, he's thinking about doing it. 

Shaun King -- from Wikipedia

There are some interesting  nuances about Shaun King's background and credibility, that must be taken into account about all this, as well. (Frankly, his name didn't register to my internal radar until the Dixon-Cole incident, though he's been around for decades, and one of the sparks behind Black Lives Matter.)

*He presents himself as black or biracial -- though childhood photos show pale skin and red hair. His birth certificate and family background argue a solid Caucasian status. (King says his mom had an affair with a black man, which resulted in his birth -- and thank you very much for being so darn nosy about that painful part of his mother's history.)

*He says he was attacked and terribly injured by a 'gang of rednecks' in high school... which prompted his awakening to racial injustice. Only the detective involved in that incident says King picked the fight by accusing a girl of breaking a CD...and her boyfriend came to the rescue. (The policeman also says King's injuries were 'minor.')

*King has been involved in several fundraising efforts for various causes, including his position as Executive Director for Justice Together... only not all of the money raised has allegedly gone to the cause it was raised for.  (Some was finally refunded.)

Never mind the international publicity, writing jobs, pay and other perks Shaun King has earned, because of his statements. Is he a moral, ethical biracial activist who has been doing his homework, and Suffering for the Cause-- but just got trapped this time, and this time alone?
      Doesn't seem like it.

Shades of Nkechi Amare Diallo, the artist formerly known as Rachel Doelzal, who has had similar problems -- and ended up in more hot water recently. If you'll remember, Ms. Doelzal is the white girl who used products and subterfuge to bill herself as a black activist -- and got caught. "What I believe about race is that race is not real," she later explained. "It's not a biological reality. It's a hierarchical system that was created to leverage power and privilege between different groups of people."

Diallo/Doelzal - Wikipedia

Ms. Diallo/Doelzal's arguments haven't held much sway with black interest groups or popular spokespeople. But she's tried, nonetheless. She's written a book, In Full Color, about the injustices against her. (She argued that her life experiences, growing up in a strict Baptist family, were similar to slavery. Hey, me too.) She's sold a painting that apparently was a copy of another painting  (something Ward Churchill also tried); has been shilling soap and artisan lollipops, and doing hair-weaving. ( I am not making this up. Really.) Just last year, she was moaning about being broke and homeless. What -- the craft endeavors didn't bring in big bucks?

I did not realize that she was billing herself as a professor before all this brouhaha , when according to the university she taught for...she wasn't.  Nor was she honest, of course, with her background when she was working with the local NAACP chapter, or acting as chairman of the Spokane Police Ombudsman Commission.

Now she's facing a charge of welfare fraud -- because she accepted thousands of dollars of help in welfare, food stamps and childcare, while (oops) not disclosing that she'd banked more than $80,000 in her account, from book royalties and other businesses. (She says she mentioned one job, at least. More here on this charge.)

So is Diallo, like King, also Suffering For the Cause, a 'black' woman (she played the bisexual card, as well) who's being discriminated against, just like her sisters of color in centuries past?
     Doesn't seem like it, either.

See what I mean?  Messy, messy, messy. 

There are enough strange and 'iffy' examples of King's and Diallo/Doezal's veracity that I've lost track. But my favorite concerns their education.

King got his scholarship to Morehouse because he billed himself as black. "Oprah Winfrey paid my way through Morehouse. The leadership scholarship that I received from her is why I have a college degree today," he said. "Five hundred other brothers have the exact same story."  (Obviously, he didn't have to prove anything -- a DNA test, birth certificates, whatever.)

Diallo/Dolezal, on the other hand, actually sued Howard University for showing black students preferential treatment...against white people like herself. Her lawsuit alleged that she could not receive scholarship funds, a teaching assistant position and more, because she was white.  (She lost, by the way.)

English journalist Dominic Lawson made a statement about Diallo/Dolezal that, it seems to me, could be applied to King, too. He called her "the most spectacular example of the growing phenomenon of people posing as victims," which he says are a "consequence of a culture which portrays victimhood as a form of moral superiority."  Or at least -- a valid reason to demand preferential treatment, money, position and power -- without being held responsible for your actions.

Do these people's lives back up what they say? I continue to believe, as my dad advocated, that a good reputation is priceless. Can King and Diallo/Doelzal make that claim?

Can these people be trusted?

Don't you wonder?

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