When I first saw the story break on Twitter about Rachel Dolezal’s politically unfortunate natural skin color, I set out to write some sort of think piece about how the racial movement in America has become so convoluted that activists would now rather alter their appearances than admit to any sort of connection with anglo heritage. Then, I thought about it some more and concluded that giving this issue the actual intellectual treatment wasn’t really worth the time.

In case you’ve been hiding from the Internet, Rachel Dolezal, 37, identifies as an African-American woman and is the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP. A Howard U grad and civil rights activist, she’s spent the majority of her career positioning herself as a fierce advocate for equality.

I said “identifies as” because she’s not African-American at all—and she just got called out for it. Behold:

More from CNN:

Dolezal represented herself as African-American — along with several other ethnicities, including white and Native American — in an application for a Spokane police ombudsman commission.

And she has presented the public with a different family photograph posted to the local NAACP chapter’s Facebook page. When she announced her father was coming to town for a visit, she showed herself standing next to an older African-American man.

Dolezal’s public racial identity came under scrutiny on Thursday, when a reporter from CNN affiliate KXLY held up that photo asked her if it showed her dad. She replied that it did.

Then came a follow-up question: “Are you African-American?”

“I don’t understand the question of — I did tell you that, yes, that’s my dad. And he was unable to come in January,” Dolezal responded.

“Are your parents — are they white?” came the next query.

Dolezal walked away from the microphone, leaving her purse and keys, and took refuge in a nearby clothing boutique.

“…along with several other ethnicities?” Is this chick for real?

Since Thursday, the media has latched on to the story. WaPo reached out to Rachel’s family, and uncovered a bizarre backstory.

Ezra Dolezal, 22, compared his sister’s decision to conceal her race to blackface.

“Back in the early 1900s, what she did would be considered highly racist,” said Ezra Dolezal, who described himself as “25 percent black.” He added: “You really should not do that. It’s completely opposite – she’s basically creating more racism.”

Zach Dolezal, 21, said when he visited his sister in Spokane, he was told not to speak of Lawrence and Ruthanne as their parents.

“It’s a farce, really, is what it is,” he said, adding he thought Rachel had posted a photo of a black couple from Spokane on her Facebook page and referred to them as her parents.

The Dolezals, it should be noted, are a family divided. Parents Lawrence and Ruthanne and brothers Ezra and Zach do not speak with their sister because, they say, she alleged abuse in the family and obtained custody of her 21-year-old brother Izaiah. Izaiah, who is black, lives with Rachel Dolezal in Spokane — and Rachel says he is her son, the family alleged.

Brother. Sister. Adoption. Parent. Son. Blackface. I need an Adderall smoothie to even begin to deal with this disaster.

The internet apparently agrees with me. After all the think pieces written about acceptance and identity fluidity and Caitlyn Jenner’s genitalia, the online horde was prepared for one thing: ridiculousness. WaPo blogger David Swerdlick beat the #SJW crowd to the punch in his blurb, “I wrote this Rachel Dolezal headline. Here are 14 others you’ll probably read today”:

BuzzFeed: 16 Times Rachel Dolezal Was Blacker Than You

Vox: Why Rachel Dolezal isn’t black, in one chart

Upworthy: The woman in this video had the perfect reaction to being white.

Breitbart: Why The Left Denies Dolezal’s Racial Truth

New York Times: A Black Leader, Now White

New York Post: White? Out!

New York Daily News: Passing? Out!

For what it’s worth (which isn’t much, really) the NAACP released a statement backing their misguided lieutenant:

For 106 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has held a long and proud tradition of receiving support from people of all faiths, races, colors and creeds. NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter. One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record. In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.

Hate language sent through mail and social media along with credible threats continue to be a serious issue for our units in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. We take all threats seriously and encourage the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully investigate each occurrence.

Dolezal hasn’t yet made a statement, but when it comes, I’ll be sure to lampoon it for your internetting pleasure.


Rachel would like you all to know that she doesn’t give two shits what we think.

Well, in another interview with Sky News, she said to the original article that questioned her racial identity, “I don’t give two shits what you guys think.”

She said it’s more important for her to “clarify” this with the black community than to “explain it to a community that I, quite frankly, don’t think really understands the definitions of race and ethnicity.”

Dolezal considers herself to be black and rejects the label “African-American.”

Maybe she’s right, because this white girl is lost.


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