Rachel Dolezal was the Spokane Chapter NAACP president, a professor at Eastern Washington University, and was the chair for the local police ombudsman commission. Then, in the summer of 2015, a local news outlet asked her if she was white. Dolezal bolted. What followed could only be described as a trainwreck. Dolezal’s birth certificate and biological parents were found. She allegedly told her adoptive brother not to blow her cover concerning her new identity as a black woman. In short, it appeared that this was a years long campaign of deception. She later stepped down as the NAACP chapter president. She doubled down on her identity, saying that she was trans-racial, and that there was no biological proof that she was white. She remains unapologetic about her identity, despite the black community being puzzled about her insistence that she’s one of them.
The Guardian’s Decca Aitkenhead recently wrote a lengthy piece about the exposed and disgraced activist, who is now on the verge of homelessness and has only received job offers relating to reality TV and porn—despite applying for over 100 jobs. She can’t even get a job stacking shelves at a supermarket. Most of her allies have abandoned her, and she said that she could count on her fingers how many friends she still has left. She has said that white is not a race, it's a mindset, citing activist Dick Gregory, which caused black talk show host Loni Love to say, “No, let me tell you something. I’m black. I can’t be you, I can’t reverse myself. That’s the difference.”
And it was totally avoidable, as The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart wrote at the time of this fiasco, there’s nothing with a white person identifying with African American culture, nor is there a problem with a white person running a NAACP chapter. The Spokane chapter had white presidents in the past.
“A white person running a chapter of the NAACP is not a problem, either. That’s someone so down with the cause that they are putting their time, energy and clout into public activism on behalf of fellow Americans,” wrote Capehart. “But a white person pretending to be black and running a chapter of the NAACP is a big problem,” he added.
In short, Capehart noted that this black charade destroyed her credibility and the good work she had partaken in on behalf of Americans. She had become a laughingstock.
The reason for a refocus on Dolezal with this Guardian piece is the fact that she has a new book, which was turned down by 30 other publishers—and she remains unapologetic over her behavior:
Footage of the confrontation flew around the world. Dolezal’s white parents released photographs of their daughter as a blonde white child, and appeared on TV to denounce her as a fraud; she had been living a lie, pretending to be black, when she was no more African American than they were. Dolezal resigned from her NAACP position, was fired by the university, lost her local newspaper column and was removed from the police ombudsman commission. Enthralled by her disgrace, talkshows and radio phone-ins sneered and raged. Why did she do it? What had she been thinking? When it emerged that she had once sued a university for discriminating against her because she was white, Dolezal’s notoriety was complete.
Today Dolezal is jobless, and feeding her family with food stamps. A friend helped her pay this month’s rent; next month she expects to be homeless. She has applied for more than 100 jobs, but no one will hire her, not even to stack supermarket shelves. She applied for a position at the university where she used to teach, and says she was interviewed by former colleagues who pretended to have no recollection of having met her. The only work she has been offered is reality TV, and porn. She has changed her name on all her legal documents, but is still recognised wherever she goes. People point at her and laugh.
She wrote it [her book], she says, “to set the record straight. But also to open up this dialogue about race and identity, and to just encourage people to be exactly who they are.” Some will read it as the first draft of a new version of identity politics, which casts race – just like gender – on a spectrum, and its author as the world’s first trans-black case. Others won’t believe a word of it. I’m not even sure whether this is a story about race, or a strange tale of one family’s dysfunction.
In all the intrigue and drama of her disgrace, does she think she’s done anything wrong? “No, I don’t. I don’t think you can do something wrong with your identity if you’re living in your authenticity, and I am. If I thought it was wrong, I would admit it. That’s easy to do, especially in America. Every politician, they’re like, ‘I’m sorry’ and then they just move on and everybody’s like, ‘Oh, they apologised and it’s all good’. Five minutes later, nobody remembers it. I’m not going to stoop and apologise and grovel and feel bad about it. I would just be going back to when I was little, and had to be what everybody else told me I should be – to make them happy.”
Yet, one thing this article did gloss over was the nothing burger that was her racial harassment while working at the Human Rights Education Institute (HREI) in Idaho:
With the jigsaw of her new racial identity complete, Dolezal’s profile as an academic and civil rights activist began to attract the attention of local white supremacist groups. Nooses started turning up on her front porch, and racist hate mail in her mailbox. Sinister men showed up at her office to issue threats; there were mysterious break-ins. In 2011 she moved the family across the state border to Spokane, and became involved in the local NAACP chapter.
At the time, William Saletan at Slate wrote about how these allegations never really panned out. In fact, they weren’t even reported by Dolezal to the local police:
Dolezal says a “violent hate group” may have been involved in a “home invasion” at her residence. But the only home intrusion she reported, in April 2009, involved a man and woman who had walked in through an unlocked door and had told Dolezal’s son they were there to take care of a dog. At the time, Dolezal claimed that “two white adults broke into my home,” and she said the incident “scared my 13-year-old son to death.” But according to the police report, her son said that he wasn’t scared and that the couple merely “seemed confused.”
Between April and August 2009, HREI installed security cameras to monitor potential hate crimes at its office. But in November 2009, after Dolezal reported a swastika sticker that had shown up on HREI’s door overnight, police found that the cameras hadn’t recorded the incident. Dolezal attributed the cameras’ failure to a power surge that had taken place a week earlier.
In June 2010, Dolezal told police that her brother had found a noose hanging from a carport behind her rented home. A week later, she repeated this account at a press conference. “There have been hate crimes in the past two years that have been directed toward me,” she told the assembled reporters. The owner of the home, when contacted by police, said he was nearly certain it was the same rope he had hung there a year earlier to string up a deer. The owner told police that after Dolezal filed her report, he had explained the situation to her. When the police left Dolezal a message to follow up, she didn’t call back. She now denies that the rope was there before she filed the report or that she was told that it had been used for a deer. She also claims that “my sons found the noose.”
This year, Dolezal told police she had received hate mail at the Spokane NAACP’s post office box. Nearly 200 people rallied outside the NAACP office to support her. But when police investigated the incident, they found that the envelope had no marks indicating that it gone through the mail. A postal inspector told police, “The only way this letter could have ended up in this P.O. box would be if it was placed there by someone with a key to that box or a USPS employee.”
Dolezal had a key by the way, but Saletan added that maybe she was a victim of some of these crimes, but added the disturbing pattern with this history is that they don’t seem to check out based on the evidence. I guess what's sad about the whole Dolezal deception was that it was unnecessary concerning her work with the black community. In the end, she's the epitome of how insane identity politics can get and how even the most ardent progressives think that this goes way too far for their tastes.
BONUS: The insanity of politically correct liberals when it comes to this stuff.