NAACP Activist Rachel Dolezal Accused of Lying About Being Black by Her Parents
By Jackie Willis
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An NAACP leader is having her race questioned by her own parents.
Rachel Dolezal, who is president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, identifies as a black woman but according to her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, she is actually white.
In interview with the Spokesman-Review, Ruthanne claims that after her daughter and her black husband adopted two African-American children, Rachel started "disguising herself."
"It's very sad that Rachel has not just been herself," Ruthanne told the newspaper. "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."
Rachel's parents, who are both white, say their family ancestry is Czech, Swedish and German with a touch of American Indian heritage. In an interview with CNN, Ruthanne said that her 37-year-old daughter "has never claimed to be biracial or African American" in their presence.
"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," Ruthanne told NBC news affiliate KHQ. "She wants to recreate reality. She wants to just invent it herself."
The NAACP was forced to address this controversy Friday morning.
"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 organization said in a statement to ET. "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."
Rachel's ethnicity is also in question by the city of Spokane which is claiming she checked that she was of African-American descent on a city application to be on the Ombudsman commission.
On Thursday, a reporter from CNN affliate KXLY straight up asked Rachel if her parents were white. "That's a very -- I mean, I don't know what you're implying," she told the reporter before walking off mid interview.
This bizarre story has inevitably made it to Twitter, with the hashtag "#transracial" trending. "Hmm interesting article about #racheldolezal. If she identifies as black, can she be transracial?" one tweet reads.
Actress Mia Farrow posted a similar sentiment, writing: "We accept that a person can identify as transgender. Can 'trans-ethnic' be a real thing?"
We accept that a person can identify as transgender. Could 'trans-ethnic' be a real thing? #RachelDolezal