Rachel Dolezal, who faked being a black woman for years, stepped down from her position as Spokane’s NAACP chapter president this week, but not after more bizarre developments were revealed in what could be the weirdest story so far this year.
First, let’s go to her interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, where she says she identifies as a black woman. As for the blackface allegations, Dolezal is, like, totally against it. She wants to make something very, very clear; this isn’t some sort of “Birth of A Nation” performance. Here’s her interview with Lauer where she detailed her entry into the “black experience” (via Today):
"I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair," she told Lauer. But she insisted she never deceived anyone as numerous critics have suggested.
"I do take exception to that because it's a little more complex than me identifying as black or answering a question of, are you black or white?" she said.
As much as this discussion has somewhat been at my expense recently, and in a very sort of viciously inhumane way come out of the woodwork, the discussion is really about what it is to be human," she said. "I hope that that can drive at the core of definitions of race, ethnicity, culture, self determination, personal agency and, ultimately, empowerment."
Dolezal defended her identification as an African American against comparisons to putting on blackface, as some in her family have suggested, as well as many on social media.
"I have a huge issue with blackface. This is not some freak 'Birth of a Nation' mockery blackface performance," she said. "This is on a very real, connected level. How I've had to go there with the experience, not just a visible representation, but with the experience."
In Lauer’s interview, Dolezal said she was identified as “transracial” and then “biracial” in the local media concerning the human rights work she was doing. She never corrected the reports because “it was more complex.” Lauer aptly noted that the cynics would say she didn’t correct the record since it helped her push her agenda. Dolezal said that isn’t a “fair” assessment.
Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP chapter president who resigned yesterday after she was accused of pretending to be black, told MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry in an exclusive interview that she is black. She also explained what it meant to her to “experience and live blackness.”
“It means that I have really gone there with the experience in terms of being a mother with two black sons,” she told Harris-Perry in an interview that aired Tuesday evening on “All In with Chris Hayes.” “From a very young age I felt a spiritual, visceral, instinctual connection with black is beautiful. Just the black experience and wanting to celebrate that. And I didn’t know how to articulate that as a young child … But that certainly was shut down. I mean I was socially conditioned to not own that and to be limited to whatever biological identity was being thrust upon me and being narrated to me.”
So, is that why you identified as white in the early 2000s, Ms. Dolezal?
FOX 5’s Emily Miller reported that Dolezal not only sued Howard University in 2002, alleging discrimination as white woman, but she received three speeding tickets when she lived in Virginia in the early 2000s where she’s listed as such as well (via Emily Miller):
As FOX 5 reported on Friday, when former NAACP Spokane chapter president Rachel Dolezal went to Howard University for graduate school over a decade ago, she was openly white.
In 2000, 2001 and 2003, Dolezal received three speeding tickets in Virginia -- where she lived in those years -- and all three court documents listed her race as white.
On Monday, we have uncovered that after Dolezal graduated from Howard University in 2002, she filed a lawsuit against the historically black college for discriminating against her for being white.
She asked for damages for "medical and emotional distress."
But a judge dismissed the case saying he found no evidence of discrimination. The appeals court upheld that ruling and ordered Dolezal pay the university $2,700 for the lawsuit costs.
Rachel Dolezal, an NAACP activist and the daughter of a white couple who claims to “identify as black,” told NBC News Tuesday night that “there’s been no biological proof” that her mother and father are actually her parents.
Dolezal, who resigned Monday as president of the African-American advocacy group’s chapter in Spokane, Washington, after her parents said she’d been misrepresenting her racial heritage, told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, “I haven’t had a DNA test. There’s been no biological proof that Larry and Ruthanne are my biological parents.”
Guthrie noted that Dolezal’s birth certificate includes both her parents’ names.
“I’m not necessarily saying that I can prove they’re not,” Dolezal responded. “But I don’t know that I can actually prove they are. I mean, the birth certificate is issued a month and a half after I’m born. And certainly there were no medical witnesses to my birth.”
Wait; there’s more to this circus. The Daily Mail obtained an audio clip of Dolezal discussing on a podcast with Taylor Weech how her father fled the Deep South after assaulting a police officer. Of course, this isn’t true. Also, Dolezal said we should boycott films that have white actors playing black roles.
This story has devolved into sheer insanity. We have a woman who appears to be nothing but a liar. To make things worse, everything she has done in her social work, whether you agree with it or not, could have been achieved if she had remained true to her Caucasian identity. Yet, again, the story with Dolezal is that she deceived the public and her supporters. She never corrected the local media reports when they misreported that she was biracial/transracial. She’s listed as white on her Virginia parking tickets; she sued a college as a white woman; and she even admits that she has something akin to white privilege … as a black woman (via Mediaite):
…in a subsequent online interview with NBCBLK’s Amber Payne, Dolezal did acknowledge that her light skin provides her with a “privilege” not shared with most black Americans. While most African-Americans can’t “choose to be white,” as CNN’s Don Lemon pointed out on Monday, Payne asked if she is willing to recognize the “white privilege” that allowed her to choose to be black.
“I am willing to acknowledge that there is privilege available to people with lighter skin,” Dolezal admitted. However, citing figures like Michael Jackson and Sammy Sosa, who both allegedly bleached their skin to appear more white, she argued that racial transformations can go both ways.
Liberalism isn’t known for having consistent standards, especially when it comes to racial issues. If people actually believe this story, accept Dolezal is a black woman (when she is not), and actually believe she is the “Caitlyn Jenner of the African-American community,” then we should all happily chug a gallon of bleach. For goodness sake, Dolezal is denying her own birth certificate to maintain a narrative. Yet, reality will always beckons us back. It's unbendable. I'm sure more interesting nuggets will fall from the tree of lunacy regarding this story.
This isn’t a landmark discussion about race. This is a story about a charlatan, who’s white, pretending to be black–and thinks she’s some sort of authority on the black experience.
BONUS: Some fun for y'all.