Civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal pretending to be black, parents say

Civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal pretending to be black, parents say

Controversy has erupted over the racial identity of an NAACP leader in Washington state, after her parents told media outlets that their daughter is white and has been pretending to be black for years.

Rachel Dolezal, 37, is president of the civil rights organization’s Spokane chapter and teaches Africana studies at Eastern Washington University.

Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal, a white couple from Montana, have said in interviews that they are her biological parents. Rachel Dolezal has described herself publicly as biracial and has posted photos of herself online with a black man she identified as her father.

“She’s our birth daughter, and we’re both of European descent,” Larry Dolezal told BuzzFeed. “We’re puzzled, and it’s very sad.”

The Dolezals said their daughter started to change her appearance after her divorce from an African-American man in 2004, KREM reported.

“Rachel has wanted to be somebody she’s not. She’s chosen not to just be herself but to represent herself as an African American woman or a biracial person. And that’s simply not true,” Ruthanne Dolezal told the station.

The couple added that they see nothing wrong with their daughter advocating for African-American rights but do not think she should deceive anyone about her own ethnic background, which they say is mainly German and Czech.

On Wednesday, KXLY reporter Jeff Humphrey confronted Dolezal on her identity, asking about a picture posted to the Spokane NAACP Facebook page. The photograph shows Dolezal standing with an African-American man that the caption identifies as her father (…)
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