Friday links! Best of all possible worlds edition

Mike Pence experiences God’s plan in Korea

Every time I get down about world events—like the United States elects a reality TV star to be its president instead of addressing historic inequality and the threat of environmental collapse, or whatever—I remember that we live in the best of all possible worlds. How could it be otherwise? As we know from reading the philosopher Huckabee, God controls everything. God is also perfect and loves us, so this must be the best world He could arrange. Sure, it would be nice if Noah Baumbach had Lena Dunham’s career instead of her, but then some kid in Chile would fall in love with his sister or something. Trust us—this is as good as it can get. Today is Friday, and non-deities shouldn’t expect so much. Won’t you reconcile yourself to this world with me?

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Why won’t we let Rachel Dolezal be “trans-racial?”

Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal now and in the late 1990s, respectively

Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal now and in the late 1990s

By now you have either quit Twitter or heard about Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP who identifies as black but whose parents insist she is white. It’s not my job to say what races people are, but Ma and Pa Dolezal sure seem to be right. A professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, Dolezal says in her faculty bio that she received an MFA from Howard and has been the victim of “at least eight documented hate crimes.” That’s a weird item to put in your CV. But everything about the Rachel Dolezal story is weird, from her parents’ estrangement from more than one of their children to her refusal to simply say she is black. Again, it looks like she isn’t. But who gets to decide?

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