Spokane NAACP chapter head, a white woman who has stated for years she is Black addresses the controversy that exploded today.
Rachel Dolezal is 37 years old. She is the president of the Spokane, Washington NAACP, and she is white – according to her birth parents, who say they are of European descent.
But Rachel Dolezal for years has been identifying herself as Black, and now a huge controversy is brewing.
The controversy isn't that there's a white president of a local NAACP chapter – the nation's oldest civil rights organization doesn't discriminate so they likely would have hired her regardless of race. And they've issued a statement supporting her.
However, people are angered, saying she misrepresented herself, especially since at one point in America's history, a Black person passing themselves off as white could be arrested and thrown in jail. Many are calling it an example of white privilege, but Dolezal doesn't see it that way at all.
“Actually, I don’t like the term African-American; I prefer black. So, if asked, I would say, yes, I consider myself to be black,” she told KREM.
She also says she does not recognize her birth parents – who say she is white – as her real parents. She says, "I don't give two [expletive] what you guys think."
Dolezal addressed yet another controversy over the person she says is her son, but who her birth parents say is their adopted son – making him her brother. That man is Black.
"In my mind," Dolezal says, "we are a family unit." And she says their relationship is no one's business.
Dolezal says she "can understand" people who think she has been misrepresenting herself, but adds it's more important to her to explain it to the Black community and to her Executive Board, than to explain it to the larger community.
That's a community, she says, which "quite frankly I think don't really understand the definitions of race and ethnicity."
Image: Screenshot via KREM