For months, people have been trying to remind former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal that she’s white, and in each interview on the topic, she’s dodged the issue.
Rachel continued to sidestep questions, even after Dolezal’s very white parents came forward to clarify that their daughter was a white person. Now after months of questions, confusion, and probing, Dolezal has finally admitted something everyone pretty much already knew.
Dolezal said she is white. But she’s black inside.
Rachel was grilled on a Monday morning episode of Fox News show The Real, pressed at long last to utter confession everyone has been waiting for, the Washington Post reported.
“I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black.”
Rachel’s admission came after some serious, and rather cringe-worthy, heat from the show’s hosts. The most direct questioning came from host Jeannie Mai, after Dolezal continued to evade the question about her race and preached her belief that people have a right to adopt any identity that feels natural to them.
“You’re not black,” Mai told Dolezal. “You weren’t born black, so when you say you are black it makes it hard for people to understand where you’re coming from.”
Rachel finally gave in and the audience burst into applause. But Dolezal still stressed that while she is a white woman, the identity she’s chosen to assume is that of an African-American woman, the New York Daily News added.
“Sometimes how we feel is more powerful then how we are born. Blackness can be defined as philosophical, cultural, biological, a lot of different things for a lot of different people. I do think you have to walk the walk if that’s how you are.”
Rachel Dolezal became fodder for confusion, criticism, and not a few jokes after the former president of Spokane’s NAACP chapter was outed — by her white parents, and with the help of a probing journalist — as a white person. For years, Dolezal claimed she was African-American, and Rachel’s evasion led to accusations of deception and some raised eyebrows.
The Post called the resulting controversy about Rachel’s race “a cultural firestorm with people arguing whether race is an incontrovertible biological reality or can be an identity that is claimed.”
Dolezal not only became an NAACP president, Rachel also attended the historically black college Howard University — a fact that hosts Loni Love and Tamar Braxton pointed out deprived a black woman of an education, Entertainment Weekly added.
Neither host was on board with Rachel’s “I’m white, but I’m still black” confession, openly criticizing Dolezal for switching races to suit her needs. And that, Love explained to Dolezal, isn’t fair.
“Let me tell you something: I’m black. I can’t be you. I can’t reverse myself. Let’s check you, Rachel. If the police stopped me, you could throw that off and show that nice fine hair up under, and you might get away. I may not. I may not even make in the jail.”
Fellow host Tamar Braxton asked Rachel if she felt she’d lied to the world about her race, and Dolezal said she didn’t, adding “Don’t we all have the right to be exactly who we are?” Also at Braxton’s urging, Rachel assured that she’d “walked the walk” of a black person.
The internet is far from placated. Plenty of people took to Twitter to criticize Rachel Dolezal, not nearly as forgiving and excited as The Real’s studio audience at her declaration.
As for Rachel’s mom, she’s still not speaking to her daughter and had little to say about her on-air confession. All Ruthanne Dolezal told the News was “it’s good to hear that she’s finally telling the truth.”
What do you think of Rachel Dolezal’s confession? Do you agree that people can adopt different identities, even races, if they identify with them?
[Photo Via YouTube Screengrab]