NAACP activist Rachel Dolezal will formally address the Spokane chapter of the NAACP on Monday regarding the “multi-layered” issue of her race. Dolezal, a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University and Spokane chapter NAACP president, has been thrust into the national spotlight after her parents provided evidence to a local Spokane news outlet that Rachel Dolezal was not a black woman, as she has been claiming, but rather a white freckled-skin girl from Montana.
It appears that Dolezal concocted an elaborate back story in order to claim her blackness in the public eye. She has identified her younger brother Izaiah, adopted by Dolezal’s parents, as her oldest son on social media. While Rachel does hold custody over Izaiah since a falling out with her parents, many have raised their eyebrows in the ways that the Spokane NAACP president has presented herself and her family. Another of Rachel’s brothers, Ezra, has said that Rachel’s behavior has been tantamount to “blackface”. In an interview with the Washington Post, Ezra Dolezal commentated on his sisters public persona stating,
“Back in the early 1900s, what she did would be considered highly racist…a farce, really, is what it is.”
Dolezal has her supporters, however. The NAACP national office issued a statement Friday that they “stood behind” Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record. Scores of people online have likened the president of the Spokane NAACP to Caitlyn Jenner, embracing Rachel Dolezal as a “transracial” black woman.
Al Sharpton has questioned the motivation of Rachel’s parents, asking “Y’all just noticed she was in the NAACP? Where ya been at mom and dad?”
Even Cher has expressed her support.
Currently, Dolezal is maintaining steadfast that she is indeed black. It is unexpected that she will back away from identifying as such in her comments on Monday. What is in question is whether or not Dolezal will step down from her position as president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP given the scrutiny and ridicule she has brought the NAACP’s way in the previous 48 hours. While the NAACP have given words of support for Rachel thus far, many have already criticized the idea of having a white women in blackface as public figurehead for the organization.
More troubling for Dolezal is that she is currently being investigated for lying about her ethnicity on a job application for the local police board. As of now, the Spokane Police Department have also suspended investigations into Rachel Dolezal’s complaints regarding instances of “racial harassment” such as receiving hate mail.
What do you think Rachel Dolezal’s fate with NAACP will be? Should she resign?
[Image via Heavy]