The Rachel Dolezal cisracial/transracial meme isn’t doing the fight for transgender acceptance and equality any favors. While some social conservatives are warning of a slippery slope and suggesting that transracialism will allow self-identification with other races in a way that opens an entitlement floodgate, some progressives seem to be, gingerly, starting to question whether the appropriate social justice warrior position might be to defend transracial identity:
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry entertained the notion on her show today with kind of a huge question. “Is it possible that she might actually be black?”
While not wanting to make the transgender comparison, Harris-Perry questioned whether one can be “cisblack and transblack,” and whether there’s a way to describe “the achievement of blackness despite one’s parentage.”
Alyson Hobbs, who literally wrote the book on “racial passing,” said there’s “certainly a chance that she identifies as a black woman and there could be authenticity to that.”
Here’s a wrap-up of others willing to entertain the idea that racial self-identification can be more “authentic” than one’s birth race.