Of heroes and liars – from Atticus Finch to Rachel Dolezal

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

Why did Rachel Dolezal lie about her heritage? Was it to gain acceptance into a community that she felt more akin to? Was it to gain entry under affirmative action for education? Who can say but Rachel. But lie she did, and now she must face the consequences…but truth be known, how many of us are truly one race or another and not a melting of many?

Prose and Thorn

When Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960, the concept of the White, Southern country lawyer defending a Negro accused of touching a White woman was inspirational. It showed how commitment to a moral cause could overcome social norms and bring justice to a community hungry for it.

It also showed something else about our nation’s social structure, that was, perhaps, more complex. If African Americans were to throw off the White oppression of generations, they would need the help of the ruling class, namely, Caucasian Catholics, Protestants and Jews, who were willing to stand up for every American’s fundamental human and civil rights to their neighbors, police, legislators and judges.

Some of those groups, namely the Catholics and the Jews, had also suffered the stigma of difference-ness, though, admittedly, not to the same extent. It was intolerance in different context. But those communities all understood there was…

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