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Rachel Dolezal speaks about Moral Mondays Northwest/Tracy Simmons - SpokaneFAVS

Dolezal accusations prompt question, “What does good parenting look like?”

By Jan Shannon

Parenting is hard. Parenting in the 21st century is scary. Parenting in the media is awful. Recently, media outlets have been flooded with issues of parenting; there’s the “free-range” parents, the conservative Christian parents, and now questions about the parents and parenting of Rachel Dolezal.

The free-range parents come under fire for giving their children expansive amounts of freedom, allowing them to walk over a mile to and from a local park without supervision. For this, the media vilified them. Most school bus systems require that a child live over two miles from school before allowing them to ride the school bus, so why are these parents subject to such harsh criticism for doing what many local school systems do?  If a kid can walk two miles to school, and I think that all children ought to be able to walk that far, then why did they parents get fried by America media outlets for allowing their kids to walk that far to the park?

The Duggars, on the other hand, knew their child had committed a very serious crime, and yet they (who have their own TV show about how wonderful their family is) hid this information from view, did not take the kid to counseling or to treatment, causing a firestorm of articles across America. Despite this criminal behavior, there are thousands who still hold the Duggars up as models of good parenting.

Now, in Spokane, we have a situation developing around Rachel Dolezal, with accusations and allegations coming from all sides, and topping off the horrid comments are the statements made by Dolezal’s “parents.” I use quotes around that word because biology doesn’t necessarily make you a parent, let alone a good one. I can’t begin to imagine the thought process of a these people, who would throw their own child under the bus of public criticism, all the while painting themselves as paragons of parenting virtue.

Who gets to decide what “good” parenting looks like? SpokaneFAVS recently held a Coffee Talk forum on parenting, and the articles that were written covered the gamut of family situations. Andrea CastroLang wrote about grandparenting, while Charlie Byers, brand-new dad, wrote about that. Eric Blauer wrote about fatherhood, and Emily Geddes wrote about being mom. Following that, we held a Pub Talk to further discuss how our  individual belief systems inform our parenting styles. This conversation quickly went into a discussion of how our parents raised us, and how, when, and from whom, we grew in our understanding of God. In almost every case, it was either from parents or grandparents. It was not only the information about God that we learned from our parents, it was their behavior and influence from which we gained our image of who God is. If we used this example in the Dolezal case, our image of God would be a god who pats themselves on the back while watching our kid’s pain. This is NOT the God I serve!

There are as many different kinds of families as there are people in the world, and no family system or set up is perfect because people are not perfect. Dolezal has been raising her adopted brother as her son, as a single mom, and he is a standout young man. What about that situation can be criticized? In my own family, there is a grandson being raised as a son, and he is lucky to have such wonderful, selfless people in his life. Who is to say whether a child is a son, grandson, or brother? Or what he should call the people who raise him? All over the world, people are parenting across generational and familial lines. As long as the children are healthy and well, why demand full disclosure on the bloodlines?

There is no perfect parent, and I have stated some of my opinions on parenting here in this article, but we/I must always remember that we do not have all the facts. When a public person comes under fire, it’s easy to jump on the Comment Train and run them over. It’s easy to point fingers and call into question the behavior of other people, especially in a public forum, but as always I think the Golden Rule should be applied; if you would not want someone looking into your past or inside the windows of your house, then don’t do it to others.

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18 comments

  1. Brava!

  2. You’ve got to be kidding me to criticize Rachel’s parents. All they did was tell the truth when it was asked of them. Rachel is the one who has to sleep in her bed of lies, not her parents. Rachel has thrown them under the bus too with false accusations of baboon-whip abuse.

    • Did a judge require them to testify on their daughter’s DNA under oath, or did some media hack ask them? And how do you know the accusations are false? There is only one person I can vouch for; and that is myself. There is a serious, a very serious disconnect between this woman and her parents that began decades before this story broke. We should leave them to work it out.

      • Lisa, yes! The Bible teaches me that I should treat others the way I would want to be treated. I certainly wouldn’t want my family skeletons brought into national media attention, so I shouldn’t drag her out either.

    • How do you know that Dolezal’s parents are telling the truth? Because you heard it on the news? Do you believe everything you hear or see on the TV?? And how do you know her accusations are false? That’s a very dangerous place to go, to accuse someone who has said they were abused of lying. There are tens of thousands of children and women all over the world whose stories of abuse have been silenced by statements like yours, and it perpetuates the violence.
      And, accusing her of lying when you don’t know that you are correct is libelous. Careful.

      • Rachel framed the abuse as by a “stepfather” which we know is false. She wasn’t content to just say that she was abused — she accused her stepfather of baboon-whipping her siblings too, according to “skin complexion.” Her adopted brother Ezra, who has a lot to say about Rachel’s numerous claims, said he was never abused and the accusations are false. Her parents also deny the allegations, calling them “malicious lies,” and encouraging those who doubt them to ask anyone in their hometown and they will tell you that Rachel had a happy, healthy childhood growing up.

        You can put these allegations in the same category of the phony hate crimes she conjured up — all constructed in a way that puts her in the center of her victimhood in a dramatic way (whipped like a slave by her white stepfather, nooses on her front porch and backyard, a swastika on the front door of a building that has security cameras but they were turned off, a highly-detailed hate crime kit magically appearing in a locked PO box, and so on). It’s a disgusting and contemptious pattern. Her parents just want her to stop lying. Even so, they still love her as their daughter and would like to reacquaint with her and their grandchild Franklin; meanwhile Rachel tells the media that she doesn’t give “two sh**ts” what her parents say. What a class act.

      • I read it, as well as the accompanying article about Joshua Dolezal. I read both of them very closely for evidence of child abuse in the Dolezal household and I found nothing. Anonymous allegations are a dime a dozen. If those homeschoolers who know the Dolezals want to come public with testimony that the Dolezal kids were abused, please do. Rachel probably provided fabricated those anonymous allegations too; that’s how she works. I have yet to see where Joshua confirms abuse in his book; none of the quotes provided in the second article support the allegation. There is a difference between corporal punishment and prosecutable “child abuse.” I was spanked as a child. My dad raged at us kids at times but never went beyond spankings. Pretty much everyone had to do chores as a kid. I doubt the Dolezals even scratched the surface at what real child abuse would be.

      • Homeschoolers Anonymous has officially retracted the two articles about the alleged history of abuse and control within Rachel
        Dolezal’s family:

        https://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/statement-concerning-our-rachel-dolezal-coverage/

        • I reject HA’s notion that talking about Dolezal’s possibly abusive childhood home environment is somehow problematic because it could influence people to excuse her actions.

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