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Steve Martin

Why Rachel Dolezal deserves a break

Why Rachel Dolezal deserves a break

In the 1979 movie "The Jerk," Steve Martin introduces us to his character (Navin Johnson) with the classic and hilarious line: "I was born a poor black child." The flashback to his upbringing shows him surrounded by his happy black family singing and dancing on the front porch of their sharecropper's shack in Mississippi. Despite his lifelong surroundings, Navin is dressed differently, acts out of place and has no sense of rhythm. Whether his awkwardness is due to his being white or being a jerk is unclear, but the joke clearly works because Martin is so immediately seen as instinctively white. Or so we presume. Sticking with our fictional character,...