Saturday, June 13, 2015

Rachel Dolezal: Does it matter if she is black or white? Can a person claim any identity he wants?

Controversy is swirling around one of the Inland Northwest’s most prominent civil rights activists, with family members of Rachel Dolezal saying the local leader of the NAACP has been falsely portraying herself as black for years.

Dolezal, 37, avoided answering questions directly about her race and ethnicity Thursday, saying, “I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation” before engaging in a broader discussion with the community about what she described as a “multi-layered” issue.

“That question is not as easy as it seems,” she said after being contacted at Eastern Washington University, where she’s a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program. “There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.”

Later, in an apparent reference to studies tracing the scientific origins of human life to Africa, Dolezal added: “We’re all from the African continent.”

Rachel Doleza is a prominent figure in the Washington state civil rights community, but since the story of her dishonesty about her racial background broke, her name has become a worldwide social media trend.

Ms. Dolezal has headed up the local chapter of the The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Spokane, Wash., since January. For many years, she has identified herself as at least as partly African-American.

But this week, when questions were raised about the veracity of some of her claims, her Montana parents came forward and said Dolezal is not black, but Caucasian. Her mother showed pictures of her as a blue-eyed, blonde child. [...]


  1. Perhaps it is her intent that matters. We would be a much happier world if we ignored the color of a person's skin and looked instead at the intent of their heart.

  2. When paying a shiva call a few years ago, the avel introduced me to his 'african american' grandson, age 5. His mother (a distant cousin)r is american, his father south african (yeshivish), born in south africa. He probably has more claim to be 'african american' than obama.

  3. We have some alleged converts who are every bit as authentic.


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