"Our daughter is Caucasian" say parents of Spokane NAACP President Rachel Dolezal. pic.twitter.com/6VHxm9v4Wt
— Taylor Viydo (@KREMTaylor) June 11, 2015
But this confuses me. If I can be whatever gender I want if I say I am, why can’t I be black if I believe myself to be? And then why isn’t everyone championing my choice?
SPOKANE, Wash. — Controversy is swirling around one of the Spokane region’s most prominent civil rights activists, with family members saying the local leader of the NAACP has falsely portrayed herself as black for years.
Rachel Dolezal is president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, chair of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, and an adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University.
The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday that questions have arisen about her background and her numerous complaints to police of harassment. The story was first reported by the Coeur d’Alene Press.
Dolezal’s mother, Ruthanne, says the family’s ancestry is Czech, Swedish and German, with a touch of Native American heritage.
Dolezal has identified herself in application materials as white, black and Native American.
Police say they have found little evidence of racial harassment.
Just classic, reporter corners her and asks her flat out, “Are you African-American?” Her answer? “I don’t understand the question”.
Oh my lord, this is the gift that keeps on giving:
— Mentality Mag (@MentalityMag) June 12, 2015
President Dolezal's dad will be at the ribbon-cutting ceremony & will speak at the 7pm MLK tribute membership meeting pic.twitter.com/u5kvlCNWwY
— Spokane NAACP (@SpokaneNAACP) January 14, 2015
Her mother is on the far left, grandparents on the right. Her parents adopted black children are in the front row.
She teaches classes on the black woman’s struggle:
LOL LOL LOL pic.twitter.com/it9uNKDMZW
— A.M.H. (@alimhaider) June 12, 2015
This was the full interview that cornered her. Focus on Dolezal began after she claimed multiple different hate crimes against her family, and specifically hate mail to the NAACP post office box. Questions arose as to the validity of the claims, with police concluding only someone with key to the box could have put the mail in their, that it wasn’t sent thru the mails.
Within the interview she talks about the ‘terror’ that some of these incidents allegedly brought to her sons. Now it turns out even her sons are perhaps not her sons. At least one boy is her adopted brother.
Who the man in the above picture is not yet clear.
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.”
She lied about being black on a signed application to be a ‘police oversight’ ombudsman. So she’s now in trouble with the city of Spokane.
“The community wanted diversity and limited background checks,” Coddington said, explaining that the committee didn’t want to deter applicants who may have had a misstep or two in their past. “The low level background checks were intentional.”
On the application for the oversight committee is a section to declare ethnicity. On Dolezal’s application, she indicated that she was white, African-American, Native American and two or more races.
While ethnicity was not a criterion for selection, Coddington said it was certainly taken into account. The section of the 2-year-old city ordinance that details the age and residency qualification requirements of commissioners also lists six characteristics given serious consideration in the appointment process. One of them is the individual’s ability to “Contribute to the diversity of the commission so that the makeup of the commission reflects the diversity of the people most likely to have contact with members of the police department, including geographic, racial and disability diversity.”
Yet, this crazy woman, a Black Lives Matter proponent, would then have had power to evaluate actions of the police…