Rachel Dolezal, the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, came under fire this week when it was revealed that she was born to white parents, but has claimed to be African American.
Dolezal was asked if she was African American by a KXLY reporter (video below) and replied, "I don’t understand the question."
When Dolezal applied for a position with the City of Spokane, she claimed on her application to be "white, African-American, Native American and two or more races," noted CDAPress.com.
The NAACP has stood by Dolezal's record of advocacy, but her white father Lawrence recently told The Washington Post:
There seems to be some question of how Rachel is representing her identity and ethnicity. We are definitely her birth parents. We are both of Caucasian and European descent — Czech, German and a few other things.
You’ve got a white woman coming in that got a full-ride scholarship to the black Harvard. And ever since then she’s been involved in social justice advocacy for African Americans. She assimilated into that culture so strongly that that’s where she transferred her identity.
But unfortunately, she is not ethnically by birth African American. She is our daughter by birth. And that’s the way it is.
Dolezal’s brother Ezra compared his sister's actions to wearing blackface: "Back in the early 1900s, what she did would be considered highly racist. You really should not do that. It’s completely opposite – she’s basically creating more racism."
Her brother Zach claims that his sister is trying to pass off his brother Izaiah, whom Dolezal has custody of, as her son.
Ezra added, "She turned Izaiah kind of racist. Told Izaiah all this stuff about white people, made him really racist toward white people."
Dolezal’s mother Ruthanne told The Spokesman-Review:
It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself. 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.