Rachel Dolezal Resigns as NAACP President in Spokane

by Jackie Willis 10:00 AM PDT, June 15, 2015
Photo: Facebook

Rachel Dolezal has come under fire for allegedly lying about being black, and now she's relinquishing her duties as president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

"It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley," Dolezal said in statement posted to the NAACP Spokane Facebook page. "Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me."

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A few days ago, Dolezal caused a media frenzy when her white parents alleged that their daughter had been pretending to be black since 2007.

"She knows it's false but I think she's told herself as well as she's told others this erroneous identity of hers enough that by now she may believe it more than she believes the truth," her mother, Ruthanne, told NBC news affiliate KHQ. "She wants to recreate reality. She wants to just invent it herself."

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"I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions - absent the full story," Dolezal noted in her statement. "Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm."

The statement goes on to call out the 37-year-old activist's strides in civil rights and social justice movements and encourage others to continue supporting the NAACP's cause. "The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person's story," she said.

Photo: Facebook

"This is not me quitting; this is a continuum," Dolezal's statement concludes. "It's about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment."

Dolezal addressed questions about her race during an interview with KREM reporter Shawn Chitnis. "Actually, I don't like the term African-American; I prefer black," she said. "So, if asked, I would say, yes, I consider myself to be black."