The NAACP said in a statement it’s standing behind Rachel Dolezal, president of its Spokane, Washington, chapter, after her parents outed her as white.
“One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” according to the NAACP’s statement released Friday. It added that the “NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record.”
Parents Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal told KREM-TV that their daughter Rachel has always identified with black culture, but is not actually black.
“Rachel has wanted to be somebody she’s not,” Ruthanne said. “She’s chosen not to just be herself but to represent herself as an African-American woman or a biracial person. And that’s simply not true.”
Her parents said Rachel Dolezal has primarily German and Czech heritage.
She has adopted black siblings, went to school in Mississippi and was part of a predominantly black community, her parents said. She married a black man and in 2004 divorced him, which is when her parents say her self-identification shifted.
The Dolezals said that their daughter began saying she was partially black and the daughter of biracial parents.
Her physical appearance began changing as well, her parents said, but they don’t know what she did to make that happen.
“I don’t give two [expletive deleted] what you guys think,” Dolezal told KREM, regarding her parents on insisting that she’s white. “You’re so far done and out of my life.”
Dolezal and her parents said they don’t speak to each other. Dolezal told the station it’s over a legal issue and that she doesn’t view them as her real parents. “I call them Larry and Ruthanne,” she told KREM.
Her parents, on the other hand, say that while Dolezal has distanced herself from them, they still love her very much and consider her their daughter.
Dolezal — who taught Africana studies at Eastern Washington University last fall — said she’s more interested in discussing her ethnicity with blacks than with whites, according to TheBlaze.
“It’s more important to me to clarify that to the black community, and with my executive board, than it really is for me to explain it to a community that I quite frankly don’t think understands the definitions of race and ethnicity,” she said.
“If I was asked,” Dolezal responded, “I would definitely say that, ‘Yes, I do consider myself to be black.’”
Her parents state they are just now speaking out because no one has asked them until this past week.