Rachel Dolezal: a Bizarre and Fascinating Story about Race and Identity

The story of Rachel Dolezal is one that will likely continue for some time. And it is a bizarre story, as LBN’s Bob Donley recounts it in this report.

As most of us know by now, Dolezal was the president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP. She was a professor of African-American studies at Eastern Washington University. She claimed to have grown up in South Africa. She was always a strong spokesperson for issues of interest to African-Americans. She has said that she was a victim of racial prejudice.

“Problem is, Dolezal has never been to Africa.” And as everyone probably knows by now, her ethnicity is not African-American. Her parents, who are white, say that their daughter has been living a lie for years. Pictures of her from her younger years show a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. She has said that a black child was her son when, in fact, he was her adopted brother. Her narrative also included a black father; but in fact her father is a white man.

Questions are now being asked about the legal implications of the Dolezal story and what it means. There have been concerns that Dolezal’s deception could have a negative effect on the efforts of the NAACP. Over the years, she led protests and rallies calling for racial equality. The NAACP’s initial response to the story was to support Dolezal and say that they expected her to continue in her position. But Dolezal decided it would be better for all concerned if she simply resigned.

The NAACP still supports her, because skin color doesn’t matter. But it continues to be a problem that America hasn’t solved.

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