Last year, Rachel Dolezal was elected president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP. However, last week she resigned that prestigious position because she was caught in a lie.
She lied about her racial heritage. There is absolutely no African-American ancestry in her family tree, yet she has been parading as an African-American for years. She claims to identify closer to that ethnicity more than her actual Czech-German blood line.
But, race in itself is not the bigger story. I’m looking at this in a totally different way than most people.
Consider another recent story that has been making headlines and magazine covers. I’m referring to the former Bruce Jenner. According to him, throughout his life, he felt there was a woman inside that desperately wanted out. As he grew older, medical advances and social attitudes had progressed to a point where he felt it was time to release the woman trapped inside. Bruce is no more. Caitlyn lives.
And then there are those who desparately desire to change, but will never be able to. Society is not ready for them, but neither is science. No, I am not talking about race or gender. No this goes even deeper. I’m talking about species.
Gary Matthews, of Pittsburgh lives much of his life as a dog. He first got this idea when he was a kid of seven years old and saw the Disney Movie, the Shaggy DA. At that age, his parents just assumed it was a child’s wild imagination when he barked and dug holes in the backyard with his bare hands. But when he continued these behaviors as a teen and then as an adult, his parents would scold him and forbid his dog bahaviors.
So he stopped—in front of them. But it went underground until his parents died.
Now as a 50-year old man, he lives much of his life as a dog named Boomer. He wears a shaggy dog costume, eats dog food from a bowl on the floor, chews on dog treats, and even sleeps in a doghouse he built himself. Not surprisingly, he is a member of a Pittsburgh Furry group.
In case you are unaware, Furries are people who dress up in animal costumes and socialize together. To many in the furry community it is an obsession as it is for Gary Matthews. Furry role playing was introduced to the public at large in a 2013 music video entitled “What Does The Fox Say”
Vastly different as these three stories are, there is a common thread. Some people are willing to give up the person they are to become something totally different, taking the chance of being shunned by society.
Being born one thing (be it race, gender, or even species) is now becoming optional and changeable. With enough cash, creativity, and/or courage, we can transform ourselves into whatever we desire.
But should we? Are their limits? Where will this lead us next?
I believe that the next thing down the line is transhumanism. This involves augmenting humans with technology to enhance our mental and physical abilities.
People who are old enough, might remember the popular TV show “The 6 Million Dollar Man” starring Lee Majors in the title role. In this series, his sight, strength, and running speed was way beyond normal human ability. We didn’t have a name for it then, but that is the definition of transhumanism.
Many people who suffer now, could benefit greatly. Those who have lost limbs could have some of their normal abilities restored.
But, I predict that people with normal abilities will also be taking advantage of these technologies, to become super humans. And these super humans may become the soldiers of our future. Because, as we know, every time a new technology is developed, it eventually ends up on the battlefield.