An NAACP leader’s parents have made a startling revelation: their daughter, for years a highly visible civil rights activist in Eastern Washington, is white.
Rachel Dolezal, Spokane’s NAACP Chapter President and part-time Africana Studies professor at Eastern Washington University, has been misleading people about her ethnicity for years, her parents say.
Her mother even offered photographic proof. While today the 37-year-old divorcee currently sports tight, dark curls, her mom Ruthanne Dolezal showed KREM photos of the fair and freckled blonde daughter she once knew.
Dolezal is now facing a city ethics probe after she identified herself as black in an application to serve on a local police ombudsman commission – a position she secured.’It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself,’ Ruthanne Dolezal told the Spokesman-Review. ‘Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable, and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody.’
The Dolezals remain in Northwest Montana, where Dolezal grew up. It is not clear why they have now shared the revelations but Dolezal has previously said that she no longer has any contact with her parents. In articles in the Easterner, she claimed they were violent towards her.
But her father denies this and said that Dolezal cut off all communication with them and doesn’t want them to be seen in Spokane ‘because we’re Caucasian’, Buzzfeed News reported. According to her mother, Ruthanne began to ‘disguise herself’ in 2006 or 2007.
Other than some ‘faint traces’ of Native American blood, Ruthanne said the family background is Czech, Swedish and German.
However, that’s not how her daughter identified herself when she became chairwoman of Spokane’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission.
In her application for the volunteer appointment, Dolezal marked herself down as white, black and American Indian, reports the Spokesman-Review. She has also previously claimed that her white father is her step-father. In January, a photo showing Dolezal and a black man on the Spokane NAACP’s Facebook erroneously identified the man as her father.
On Wednesday, a reporter from KXLY confronted Dolezal a photo of her with the African-American man while on camera.
‘Ma’am, I was wondering if your dad really is an African-American man,’ the KXLY reporter asked.
‘I don’t understand the question,’ Dolezal replied. ‘I did tell you [that man in the picture] is my dad.’
‘Are your parents white?’ the reporter asked. Dolezal then removed her mic and walked away.
Reached by the Spokesman-Review, Dolezal answered questions about her ethnicity by saying: ‘That question is not as easy as it seems… There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that… We’re all from the African continent.’
According to her staff biography at Eastern Washington University, Dolezal received her master’s degree from Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. As Buzzfeed notes, Dolezal’s blog posts and interviews often reference her ‘black sons’.
However, her mother told CDAPress.com that one of those boys is Izaiah Dolezal – who was, in fact, one of four African American infants Rachel’s parents adopted in the 1990s, meaning the boy is Dolezal’s brother, rather than her son.
Izaiah, now 21, has since gone to live with Dolezal and no longer speaks with his adopted parents.
Publicly available birth records, list her biological parents as Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal of Montana.
Her Eastern Washington University bio also says that Dolezal has been the victim of at least eight ‘documented hate crimes’.
While in the position, Dolezal filed multiple police reports ranging from theft to harassment to racially motivated hanging of a nooses in her home.
In a more recent claim of racially motivated harassment, Dolezal made local headlines early this year when hate mail was supposedly sent to her at the NAACP post office box in Spokane.
However, police reports on the case revealed this week that whoever placed the letters and packages into the box would have had to have the key because none had bar codes or stamps.
In an official statement, the NAACP said on Friday: ‘NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter.
‘One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record.
‘In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.’
Source: Daily Mail