Rachel Dolezal, president of NAACP Spokane, faces public and media attention as her ethnicity is put under scrutiny.
Her adopted brother, Ezra Dolezal, told Buzzfeed News that “She puts dark make-up on her face and says she’s black.”
“It’s basically blackface.” He added.
Last Thursday during an interview with CNN affiliate KXLY, Rachel’s ethnicity came under enquiry when a reporter asked her about a photo she posted on the NAACP website in January.
The photo showed Rachel standing beside a black man on NAACP’s website, claiming he was her father and that he will be coming to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Rachel was asked if the photo showed her dad. She said that it did.
Then the reporter responded with a follow-up question: “Are you African-American?”
To which Rachel answered, “I don’t understand the question of — I did tell you that, yes, that’s my dad” and added “And he was unable to come in January.”
Since then people have questioned Rachel’s public racial identity.
A reporter from Coeur d’Alene Press named Maureen Dolan, was prompted to examine Rachel’s ethnicity after Spokane citizens contacted her paper with concerns about how Rachel was representing herself.
Dolan met Rachel several years ago when Rachel was working in Idaho.
According to documents obtained by CNN, Rachel was born to Caucasian parents. She, however, has four adopted black siblings.
Dolezal, who grew up in Montana, moved to Spokane, Washington in 2012 and lived her life as a light-skinned black woman.
Last Friday, Lawrence Dolezal, Rachel’s father, told CNN that he does not understand why his daughter has to misrepresent her identity. Her mother, Ruthanne, outed Rachel as white but described her as dishonest and deceptive.
Ezra disclosed to CNN that Rachel had asked him “not to blow her cover” when he came to visit her in Spokane last 2012.
Rachel’s actions were a “slap in the face” to African-Americans, according to Ezra, “who was co-opting their racial struggles after growing up with all the rewards of a white, middle-class girl”, he told The Guardian.
Ezra described himself as 25 percent black to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, the Spokane NAACP supports Rachel as “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” the group declared.
According to CNN, the Spokane NAACP “stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record.”
Rachel had been vocal against racism and race-influenced police brutality. She is also an academic expert on African-American culture and she teaches many related classes at Eastern Washington University.
Nevertheless, Rachel was scheduled to attend a meeting with the NAACP board on Monday to answer all questions pertaining to her identity but she postponed the meeting.
[Image via YouTube]