This is embarrassing, and no doubt Dr. King is spinning over in his grave.
Organizers want the town’s annual MLK Dreamfest Celebration in January to highlight Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s values through discussions on race relations and racial identity. They hope nationally known speakers like former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal of Washington state will facilitate the dialogue.
The theme of the annual celebration, which will run Jan. 14 to 16, is “Healing Race Relations through Conversation and Participation.” Attendees will be able to delve into this theme through a variety of events, including an International Diversity Summit at the Cary Arts Center, featuring panel discussions with community and religious leaders.
Dolezal, who was born to white parents, drew national attention last year after resigning as president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash., following allegations that she lied about her racial identity.
“We chose a person like Rachel Dolezal that has been depicted as a major villain through media because of her preference of racial identity,” said Al Cohen, CEO of Jireh Management Group. “And yet, she didn’t steal from anybody. She didn’t murder anybody. She didn’t rob anybody. She only had an affinity for a group of people, and she served her community well.”
Some Cary Town Council members reported receiving emails from residents who were concerned about Dolezal’s involvement, and councilman Don Frantz agreed with their concerns.
“I fail to see how somebody who lives a lie adds value to an honest discussion about real racial issues in this country,” he said. “I fail to understand the logic behind that decision if the goal is to have an honest discussion about racism in America.”