A NAACP leader and civil rights activist has been accused of disguising herself as a black woman when she is really white. Rachel Dolezal’s parents, Ruthanne and Larry, outed her, saying that they are white and their daughter is of Czech, Swedish and German descent, Buzzfeed reports.
“She’s our birth daughter and we’re both of European descent,” her father said. “We’re puzzled and it’s very sad.”
When confronted about it by the Spokesman-Review, Dolezal said she wants to speak with her superiors before addressing the media.
“I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation” before engaging in a broader discussion with the community about what she described as a “multi-layered” issue.”
Dolezal is the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington and is also an adjunct professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University. She also obtained her master’s degree from Howard University, a historically black university. She has even gone as far as identifying a black man as her father and passing off her adopted black brothers as her sons.
Mrs. Dolezal told the Spokesman-Review that her daughter began to disguise herself as a black woman between 2006 and 2007, after she and her husband had adopted four black children.
“It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself,” Mrs. Dolezal said. “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.”
Mr. Dolezal said that he is not sure of why his daughter would lie about her race but that it may be related to her two decades worth of civil rights work.
“She has over the past 20 years assimilated herself into the African American community through her various advocacy and social justice work, and so that may be part of the answer.”
Dolezal’s parents, said that their daughter “doesn’t want us visible in the Spokane area in her circle because we’re Caucasian.”
Dolezal is also the chair of Spokane’s police oversight commission. She is now being investigated by Spokane City Hall, where she indicated on her application for the commission that she was white, black and American Indian.
“We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated,” Mayor David Condon and Council President Ben Stuckart said in a joint statement. “That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions.”