It appears that the Rachel Dolezal saga is somewhat over; she’s admitted that she was born white and has white parents. On the daytime talk show The Real, which is hosted by women of color, the hosts confronted Dolezal about her racial background, where she finally said that she was white.
“But even now sitting here asking you; we’re saying why not say you’re white, but you identify as being black and you don’t seem to answer the question straight on,” said host Adrienne Bailon
Dolezal essentially said that we should all be free to identify with whatever racial/ethnic group we see fit, though many have argued that what Dolezal did is at worst, black face or incredibly bizarre at the very least.
Jeannie Mai interjected by saying, “Rachel, I think it’s kind of hard because you’re not black, so when you identify with it; there’s a disconnect.”
“Right, and that’s why I said–I acknowledge I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black,” replied Dolezal.
The statement drew applause from the crowd.
Still, the whole situation is bizarre. In June, Dolezal was the NAACP chapter president in Spokane, Washington. There, police were investigating “racially charged threats” against Dolezal when they uncovered that she may not be black. Her parents, Ruthanne Schertel and Lawrence Albert Dolezal–both Caucasian–came forward; a birth certificate was released verifying that fact.
The final nail in coffin was the KXLY interview, where the reporter held up a photo and asked if the black man featured was Dolezal’s father. She said yes. The reporter then asked if she was an African-American, which caused Dolezal to prevaricate and eventually flee the interview.
Of course, the NAACP circled the wagons around her, but she even denied that there was “no biological proof” that her Caucasian parents were indeed her parents. Dolezal’s parents also have four adopted black sons, which Rachel reportedly told one of them not to "blow" her cover. When Dolezal was an adjunct professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, she objected to Tim Wise, an antiracism scholar, from speaking since he lacked the “authority” to speak on how racism affects the black community to his white background.
It’s a twisted road of lies and self-deception, which has made for good sitcom material. I guess the silver lining is that she admits that she’s white and that her parents are Caucasian. It’s progress, right?
(H/T The Federalist)