Nkechi Diallo (f.k.a. Rachel Dolezal) avoids jail time

Nkechi Diallo, who until a couple of years ago was known as the “transracial” NAACP executive Rachel Dolezal, is back in the news. And once again, it’s not for anything good. Diallo got herself into a spot of trouble with the law when she failed to disclose income from her book, In Full Color while collecting public food and child care assistance. This type of welfare fraud can result in time behind bars, but Diallo and her attorneys apparently struck a deal that will keep her out of the crowbar hotel. (KATU News)

A former NAACP leader in Washington state who was exposed in 2015 as a white woman pretending to be black has reached an agreement to avoid trial on charges of welfare fraud.

Rachel Dolezal, who changed her name to Nkechi Diallo two years ago, was charged with two felonies last May.

Investigators alleged she failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in income from her memoir, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” and other sources, so she could collect $8,847 in food and child care assistance from the state.

I’m assuming that the “tens of thousands” of dollars Diallo received for the book represented her advance from the publisher since I never heard anything about the book hitting the best sellers lists. After that, her opportunities for income were extremely limited, at least according to her. She claims to have landed a few jobs under her new name, but employers kept figuring out who she actually was and terminating her employment.

There was a time when I thought that the entire Dolezal debacle might have served some larger public purpose. After all, if people who are born with all the obvious, normal biological markers of males or females can claim that they are the opposite gender just because they feel that way, why couldn’t they say the same thing about race? But if Diallo, whose childhood pictures show her as coming from one of the whitest, most Scandinavian looking families imaginable, can’t be accepted as a member of the black community, why are exceptions being made for transgender individuals?

I never heard or read a suitable answer to that question, but the matter seems to have been largely dropped in social media debates. And left in the wreckage of that fight we have Ms. Diallo, who once had a promising career in community organizer circles, but is now struggling to keep a roof over her head and stay out of jail. It’s really kind of a sad story when you stop to think about it.