Rachel Dolezal formally stepped down from her position as the head of the Spokane NAACP on Monday afternoon, but even that sign of defeat is unlikely to stop the rabid fascination that the press and public have developed for Rachel’s bizarre race-swapping deception.
Dolezal has found herself under this wave of scrutiny after years of pretending to be African American, but new evidence from her past is indicating that Rachel wasn’t always so eager to pass herself off as black. In fact, new court documents published by The Smoking Gun allege that Dolezal actually engaged in a discrimination lawsuit against her former alma mater, Howard University. Rachel’s complaints centered around discrimination based on her “race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender.”
At least at the time in 2002, Dolezal appears to have both officially and privately identified as Caucasian. Among her long list of claims against Howard University, Rachel alleged that African American students were shown favorable treatment compared to her while she attended the predominantly black university. Rachel attempted to illustrate this bias with claims that she had been unfairly dropped from a scholarship and snubbed while seeking a teacher’s assistant position and later for a post-graduate job with university. Dolezal was unsuccessful in convincing the court of her grievances, and the entire suit was thrown out 18 months later.
In the Court of Appeals’ opinion, Rachel’s case was discounted for not having any real proof that discrimination of any kind had occurred. Some of her claims disintegrated even further upon deeper probing, particularly one accusation that Howard had unduly “terminated” Dolezal from a scholarship.
“[Rachel] prevented no evidence that she was ‘terminated’ from the scholarship she had received during the first year of graduate work, and which she expected would be renewed. Although the record is unequivocal that she did not follow the normal application process for obtaining the scholarship in the second year, she was in fact awarded a scholarship in September 2001 for the entire 2001-2002 year, and she presented no evidence that any delay in the award caused her to miss classes.”
After losing the case against Howard, Dolezal was ordered to pay nearly $4,000 in court fees to the university. Rachel’s mother Ruthanne has stated that Dolezal first began to assert her “biracial identity” around 2004, but Rachel’s father Lawrence has previously stated that Dolezal seemed to slip into Howard without being detected as white, reported The Washington Post.
“You’ve got a white woman coming in that got a full-ride scholarship to the black Harvard. And ever since then she’s been involved in social justice advocacy for African Americans. She assimilated into that culture so strongly that that’s where she transferred her identity.”
Although Rachel Dolezal has officially stepped down as the head of the Spokane NAACP, even her lengthy statement has left the public wanting clarification about her racial identity.
[Image via Getty Images]