The Corner


A Generation of Rachel Dolezals?

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about Rachel Dolezal. Well, the piece doesn’t actually mention Dolezal, but it does explain her. As Christian Adams points out, Dolezal’s case is far from isolated. Other activist leftists have tried to pose as racial minorities.

But as I argued in 2013 in “The Wannabe Oppressed,” today’s campus climate activists, if only half-realizing it, are actually trying to turn themselves into oppressed southern blacks from the 1950s. As I show in that piece, Bill McKibben, leader of the climate movement, even went through a brief Dolezal-like episode during his college years. Hans Fiene’s argument that “Selma envy” is driving the attacks on Christian religious freedom is a variation on the “wannabe oppressed” idea.

We’ve raised a generation that thirsts for the sainthood conferred by racial oppression. Being well-off and free mustn’t be allowed to stand in the way. Ultimately, this is a question of religion, of needing a crusade to substitute for all that our increasingly secular Millennials have lost.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He can be reached at


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