Dear Slippery-Slope Deniers:
You know who you are. You’re the ones who tell everyone else that the slippery slope is a made up thing, dreamed up by bigots and conspiracy theorists who fear change and don’t want to taste the rainbow. You scoffed at Americans who worried that making gay marriage a constitutionally protected right would begin a slide down the slope of denying religious freedoms. “No such thing!” you scowled. “Two people who are in love and want to spend their lives together in matrimony have no bearing on how you practice your faith. There IS NO SLIPPERY SLOPE!”
Fast-forward to 2015 when bakeries are being closed and florists being fined their life savings and then some for exercising their religious freedoms by refusing to participate in gay marriage events. Gosh, that level playing field dropped off pretty quick there, huh?
When pro-life types objected to the idea of a constitutional right to abort a baby you all were the ones who said, “Just stop freaking out. We want abortion to be safe, legal and rare.”
“But there’s that slippery slope!” cried the pro-lifers. “It’ll just become easier and more incentivized.”
“SAFE, LEGAL AND RARE! There is no slippery slope, idiots!”
Fast-forward to present-day America where abortion is still legal, definitely not safe (Dr. Kermit Gosnell, anyone?) and so frequent that it is now considered a form of birth control. We don’t even refer to it as abortion anymore. It’s so common we simply label the death of a baby in the womb an issue of “reproductive rights” instead of what it is…life. That non-existence slippery slope left quite a burn mark.
So here we are, once again my fine but obtuse friends – standing on the precipice of another slippery slope that shouldn’t exist (in your world, anyway) and yet somehow inexplicably does. I know you’ve read my letter to Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. I’ve received your kind and heartfelt wishes for my death, torture or general discomfort and I want you to know I appreciate every single one.
If you recall, part of my concern about Jenner’s (and others like him) “transition” is what it says about the meaning of identity. Being a woman is more than simply thinking you are and then getting the genitalia to match. It’s an experience that starts at birth. It’s not a skin one can put on. If any man can claim womanhood simply by saying he feels like a woman, what’s to stop a white person from claiming they feel like a black person? Or a black person from claiming they feel like a Chinese person? One could almost see slippery slope starting to form on the horizon. Yet again you screamed, “There is no slippery slope!”
Well, friends I regret to inform you that the slippery slope does indeed exist, and her name is Rachel Dolezal – a white woman from Spokane who just decided she was really black and voila! Some tanning sessions, makeup and some mad voodoo hairdressing skills (seriously, is that a wig? Because if not that is one KILLER perm) and she’s heading up an NAACP Chapter and teaching African-American Studies to future unemployed college graduates.
I know what you’re saying. You’re saying it’s not the same thing. Caitlyn Jenner is transgendered. Rachel is just a poser.
Except it is the same thing. Caitlyn was born Bruce, and lived as Bruce his whole life. He fathered children and won Olympic gold as Bruce. But Bruce always knew he felt different. He knew he wanted to be different. He knew he should be a woman, and when he had the chance to make that dream happen, he went for it.
Rachel Dolezal was born white. She grew up white. She spent her whole life as a white woman. But something inside her told her she’d be happier as a black woman, so when she finally had the chance to make that dream come true she went for it.
I might add, she’s a whole lot more convincing as a black woman than Caitlyn Jenner is as a white woman.
The point is that simply taking a person’s word for who/what they are cannot be enough. Don’t tell me about the mental health studies on transgenders or the exceedingly scarce scientific evidence for said condition. I’ve not seen Jenner’s doctor’s note. Have you? We’re literally taking him at his word that he’s a woman just because he says he’s always felt that way.
If we accept that as the burden of proof to be who you say you are then we can’t expect much more from the Rachel Dolezals of the world. That’s right where the slippery slope takes us. We land directly at her feet and the feet of many others like her who haven’t had the nerve to do what she did. I think many of my fellow black Americans can agree we’ve all met plenty of white people in our lives who wished they were black. Sometimes they mimic our culture, our cadence, our style – sometimes its downright appropriation (looking at you Iggy Azalea). Mostly it’s annoying and at it’s worse, offensive. But if we’re giving this power to the Caitlyn Jenners of the world then we’re giving it to the Chet Hazes (AKA Tom Hanks, Jr.) of the world.
Are you ready for that? Because it’s coming. White people like Tom Hanks’ spoiled brat Ivy League kid will finally get to use the n-word with impunity because hey, they’re black on the inside and that’s all that matters!
Your non-existent slippery slope is actually very real, it has very real consequences and, per usual, it’s headed straight for the black community.
I told you so.
Kira (a middle-class black woman who identifies as a wealthy yacht owner)
Kira Davis is a writer, video blogger and homeschool mother of two. She has interviewed President Obama and appeared on Fox News, The BlazeTV and the Dr. Phil Show. Kira is a dog person but she owns a cat anyway. You can find her on Twitter @RealKiraDavis.
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