linc_hayes_1024_683Controversial Former N.A.A.C.P. Leader Reveals New Identity To “Settle Into” Moving Forward.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Amid swirling controversy, Rachel Dolezal, who recently stepped down as Spokane Chapter President of the N.A.A.C.P. for claiming to be a black woman although born Caucasian, has announced that she self-identifies as Lincoln “Linc” Hayes, the fictional undercover police officer portrayed by Clarence Williams III, from the ABC series, The Mod Squad, which aired from September 24, 1968 to August 23, 1973. The renowned, six-time, Emmy-Award-Winning, counterculture series was a favorite with younger audiences during the tumultuous, multicultural explosion of the era.

Although Dolezal was born more than four years after the show’s last episode aired on broadcast television, she remembers watching repeats in syndication after school as a young, at-the-time, white girl. “My friends would say, ‘why don’t you be Julie? She’s blonde and a girl just like you,’ and I would be all, ‘That’s so obvious! Really!”’ Dolezal talked fondly about the show and how it informed her later in life. “I mean look at that hair! That Afro meant everything to me — strength, power and justice. It was like the ‘fro of justice’ I would think to myself.”

Ms. Dolezal’s identity has transformed many times over the years, but she believes she’s found a real home to “settle into” in being Linc Hayes. “It all comes around — those things you feel even as a child — they’re pure.” She continued, “For a while, I identified as the guy that looks like Jimi Hendrix’ drummer on the show,” she said sheepishly, unable to recall his name, “but after a few hours, maybe an afternoon, I knew I was Linc then and I know I am him now.”

When asked if there were any other formative figures that shaped her identity in a meaningful way, Dolezal responded, “For a while I vacillated between the black guy with the big Afro on Room 222 and the Jewish kid, with an even bigger, bright orange fro (Bernie, I think?) but I couldn’t remember the brother’s name, so I thought that might look pretty silly.” And what about Mr. Hayes’ gender being male? “Let’s leave that for another day. I can only focus on one self-identity thingy at a time.”


Jerry Sisti
Jerry Sisti is a frequent contributor to His Own Amusement.

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