Signature Significance: The concept is the creation of baseball statistics genius Bill James, who applied it to baseball performance. Signature significance posits that a single act can be so remarkable that it has predictive and analytical value, and should not be dismissed as statistically insignificant. Thus, in James’ example, certain outstanding pitching performances can prove that the pitcher involved is an outstanding one, because average pitchers literally never reach such levels of excellence, even as a one-time fluke. Ethics Alarms employs the term to describe an extreme ethical or unethical act that similarly reveals the true character of the individual responsible for the conduct, and that can be reliably and fairly used to predict future conduct and trustworthiness.
My immediate assumption about now-ex NAACP executive Rachel Dolezal’s charade as a black woman her conduct was signature significance, that anyone who would construct and benefit from such an audacious deception was unreliable, untrustworthy, and a likely sociopath. My posts never got into this issue, in part because I was waiting for a unanimous consensus that the woman was lying–sadly, a lot of stubborn progressives, civil rights advocates, celebrities and culture warriors either ducked the issue or, to their eternal discredit, denied that she couldn’t be black is she said she was. I was waiting for the “she just made a mistake” arguments, and the “anyone can get confused about what race they are” rationalization by playing the signature significance card, and never got to play it.
Fortunately, the Dolezal saga has become its own signature significance card. William Salatan at Slate amassed an impressive list of Dolezals many fictions, scams, fudges, deceptions, false statements and deceits here, but the best is this:
Dolezal submitted her collection of African-American art as part of her application for enrollment to Howard, which not only admitted her but gave her a scholarship. The Huffington Post reported that Dolezal’s mother believes Howard assumed her daughter was African-American because of the collection and other factors, such as the absence of any race-identifying information in her application that would suggest otherwise. One of Dolezal’s “African-American paintings” is one depicting a slave ship at see, titled “The Shape of Our Kind.” It is in fact a shameless rip-off—a copy, essentially—of “The Slave Ship,” an 1840 painting by J.M.W. Turner (who was not black, or at least never claimed to be, so he wasn’t. I guess. It’s confusing.). “The Shape of Our Kind” is offered on Dolezal’s art website, on which she claims to be “an award-winning Mixed Media Artist with over 20 exhibitions in 13 states, internationally, and at the United Nations Headquarters” and pedals her paintings for sale.
She is a serial liar, you see.
She cannot be trusted or believed about anything.
A person who would lie about her race
and benefit from that lie
is not trustworthy.
Source: SF Gate