Six months ago, Rachel Dolezal, an academic and the president-elect of NAACP Spokane chapter, wrote an op-ed piece piece describing the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter protest movement. On Monday, she resigned her post at the NAACP surrounded in controversy.
Dolezal was profiled back in February where she revealed she is a cervical cancer survivor and that while living in North Idaho, her home was burglarized by white supremacy groups.
However, a postal investigation raised questions about the legitimacy of Dolezal’s claims, namely that she was the only one who could have placed the mail in her post box. Those reports were followed up with questions about Dolezal’s racial identity, stemming from her parents insistence they are of caucasian European descent.
Local television station KXLY confronted Dolezal to confirm the identity of her father, but she refused to talk about race. The video quickly went viral.
Adding to the controversy, Dolezal once sued Howard University, a historically black college, for racial discrimination—for being white. Dolezal’s estranged mother has also added that her daughter was always interested in disguising herself and using makeup.
Why are Dolezal’s parents suddenly interested in how their estranged daughter identifies? Dolezal believes their sudden outing has a lot more to do with the child molestation charges her brother faces than with race.
Fluid racial identity isn’t a new concept. Historically as many as a one-fifth of black men have identified as white at some point in their lives.
Meanwhile, as it turns out, not everyone understands the differences between race and gender. Caitlyn Jenner’s revelation that she is transgender actually has nothing to do with Rachel Dolezal, but if it still seems confusing, try reading this explanation as to why gender and race identity are different. Or this one. Or this one.