The leader of a Washington state NAACP chapter was outed by her parents as a white woman after reportedly claiming she was the daughter of bi-racial parents.
According to Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, their 37-year-old daughter, Spokane, Washington, NAACP president Rachel Dolezal, always identified with African American culture. Growing up in Troy, Montana, Dolezal had adopted brothers and sisters who were black, and later married and divorced a black man, according to 11 Alive.
In 2004, after filing for divorce, Dolezal’s parents said she started acting differently. She began to make claims that she was bi-racial and even started changing her appearance.
“Rachel has wanted to be somebody she's not. She's chosen not to just be herself but to represent herself as an African American woman or a biracial person. And that's simply not true,” Ruthanne told 11 Alive.
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(Dolezal's birth certificate, according to Larry and Ruthanne)
She and her husband said they have no problem with their daughter’s advocacy work, just that she has been deceiving others regarding her background. Dolezal is reportedly of German and Czech descent.
The controversy surrounding Dolezal’s race began after she alleged that racially charged threats were made against her in the form of letters sent in the mail. According to Dolezal, she discovered an envelope that included hate mail and pictures of lynchings in March.
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However, according to a report released by the Spokane Police Department on Wednesday, the hate mail that was allegedly delivered to the P.O. box did not have a date stamp or barcode. Postal officials reportedly told the SPD that no letter or package would be placed in a mailbox without those vital identifiers. Thus, the letter would had to have been placed in the mailbox by someone with a key or a Postal Service worker. Police have reportedly ruled out postal employees as possible suspects.
The scandal intensified after Dolezal was questioned by a reporter earlier this week, who presented her with a photograph posted to the NAACP chapter's Facebook page. The picture was of an African-American man who Dolezal reportedly claimed was her father.
“Is that your dad?” the reporter asked.
“Yeah, that’s my dad,” she said.
“This man right here is your father?” he replied. “I was wondering if your dad really is an African American man.”
“I don’t know what you’re implying,” she replied.
“Are you African American?” the reporter responded.
“I don’t understand the question. I did tell you that, yes, that’s my dad.”
“Are your parents, are they white?” the reporter asked as Dolezal began walking away angrily.
According to 11 Alive News, Dolezal “does not consider her biological parents her real parents,” and has not spoken to them for some time as a result of legal issues.
Photo Credit: 11alive.com, LinkedIn