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NAACP President Resigns After Facing Accusations Of Lying About Race

NAACP President Resigns After Facing Accusations Of Lying About Race
1st Ave Mike Tigas / Flickr CC BY 2.0


NAACP President Resigns After Facing Accusations Of Lying About Race

After facing allegations of lying about her race, Rachel Dolezal, president of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington, resigned from her post on Monday.

Dolezal’s decision to resign came after questions were raised about her racial identity. Her parents, who are white, claim that she has been pretending to be black when in fact she is not. However, Dolezal neither said anything regarding the allegations, nor apologized for lying.

She wrote on the NCAAP Spokane Facebook page, “Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum.”

She further wrote, “I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions — absent the full story I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion.”

Dear Executive Committee and NAACP Members, It is a true honor to serve in the racial and social justice movement here…

Posted by Spokane NAACP on Monday, June 15, 2015

Amid the fuss created over the allegations surrounding her, Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the civil rights organization, asked people to focus on “the real work of the NAACP and the real challenges to our democracy.”

According to USA Today, Brooks’ statement said, “The NAACP is not concerned with the racial identity of our leadership but the institutional integrity of our advocacy. Our focus must be on issues, not individuals. Ms. Rachel Dolezal has decided to resign to ensure that the Spokane branch remains focused on fighting for civil and human rights.”

Social media was abuzz with posts from users not long after Dolezal’s post appeared on Facebook. While Dolezal received support from some people, there were several who criticized her for lying.

Dolezal, a graduate from Howard University, taught African studies at a local university. She was also married to a black man.

She presented herself as a black individual for years and claimed she was targeted racially. In 2002, she sued Howard University, saying she was discriminated against on grounds of “race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender, as well as retaliation,” as per a 2005 District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruling in the case.

The charges she brought said that the university blocked her appointment as a teaching assistant and, furthermore, did not employ her as an art teacher after she completed her graduation. She also claimed that the university removed some of her pieces of art from a student art exhibition to be replaced by those of African American students. The appeals court upheld the decision of the lower court, and the lawsuit was scrapped.

Her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, said that she started disguising herself as a black individual after her parents adopted four black children. Rachel, though, has shrugged off the controversy and evaded questions regarding her racial identity.

According to Yahoo News, she said, “That question is not as easy as it seems.”

Ezra Dolezal, her adopted brother, said she asked him to not “blow her cover” about the identity she had chosen to adopt.

He said, “She said she was starting a new life … and this one person over there was actually going to be her black father.”

Zach Dolezal, another adopted brother, said, “She didn’t consider them her parents and, you know, if we were to talk about then, they were Larry and Ruthanne, not Mom and Dad,” according to CNN.


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About Shaurya Arya

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