Rachel Dolezal on being black: ‘I didn’t deceive anybody’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Rachel Dolezal, former president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, resigned Monday, June 15, 2015, amid allegations of lying about her race. Dolezal is also a quarterly professor at Eastern Washington University. The photograph on the left is her headshot from the University. The photograph on the right was provided by her parents.

Weeks after making headlines amid accusations that she is a white woman passing herself off as African-American, Rachel Dolezal says she is no longer confused about who she is.

She is a black woman, she told Vanity Fair.

“It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore,” Dolezal said. “Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really (was) and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be — but I’m not.”

Dolezal stepped down as head of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP in June over criticism that she’s portrayed herself as black, even though her parents told a local newspaper that the 37-year-old was born white. She said then that she identified as black, and Dolezal maintains that she wasn’t being deceptive.

“I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody,” Dolezal now says. “If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African-American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”

The woman who touched off conversations about what constitutes race now says that the whole thing was a misunderstanding and that she is trying to work out how to proceed, having lost her job and friends over the scandal.

But to her, being “black” is “not a costume,” and she “would like to write a book just so that I can send (it to) everybody there as opposed to having to continue explaining.”

“After that comes out, then I’ll feel a little bit more free to reveal my life in the racial social-justice movement,” she says. “I’m looking for the quickest way back to that, but I don’t feel like I am probably going to be able to re-enter that work with the type of leadership required to make change if I don’t have something like a published explanation.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

18 comments

  • Sara

    With all the plastic surgery, gender shifts, and body modifications who cares how she identifies! The woman fought for good and lost everything because she was outed. If a family came forward and outed thier transgendered kid they would be met with outrage. Let people be who they feel they are if they are not actively hurting people.

    • EastboundAndDown

      Well there is this little thing called integrity. If you live a lie you lack it. This is why she lost it all.

    • hellomurica

      Reality doesn’t work like that, Sara. If someone tells you they think they should have been born as a horse, does this mean you’ll feed them carrots and lead them to a water trough? Enough is enough. When people start pulling this crap is when we as a society should put our feet down and give these mentally ill people assistance, not encourage their lunatic behavior.

  • wowjustwow

    Well, she may be black now, but when she was younger, she couldn’t have looked any more like a Swedish milk maid.

  • Dan Rafael

    I was confused until I found a publisher? Or confused on how she could make money on her race or claimed race again, correction claimed color.

    • Mrs. PLC

      She can, she does, and she wants our approval for her lifestyle. Not acceptable! Its called ‘dishonesty!’ It does hurts.

    • hellomurica

      People can say anything they want – doesn’t make it true. Bruce is nothing more than a mutilated man, this chick is nothing more than a white chick with a bad tan and a horrible perm.

  • AlfredoKHuber

    >my neighbor’s step-mother makes $68 /hr on the internet … She has been fired for 6 months but last month her income was $16093 just working on the internet for a few hours. website link>>>>>> Read More

  • hellomurica

    You poor, deluded, stupid woman. You are not black. You are white as a saltine cracker. Your parents are white. Getting sick of these fools who think they can fight against their own DNA.

  • Brown Wayde

    Mental illness is still mental illness. I can say I’m a piggy bank and that every time someone walks by, they need to put some money in me….now wait, I think I just came up with a new way of making money….

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.