Rachel Dolezal, ethnic politics and the world of make believe

Rachel Dolezal, ethnic politics and the world of make believe

There is something comedic and pathetic about the story of Rachel Dolezal. Ms. Dolezal, 37, is the president of the NAACP local chapter in Spokane, Washington and a part-time Africana Studies professor at Eastern Washington University. It turns outthat after claiming for years that she was black – including on applications, posting pictures on a Facebook page of an African-American man she falsely claimed was her father, and insisting that her adopted brother (who is black) was her child – Ms. Dolezal is actually white. Her birth certificate proves it. And her biological parents, Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal, have confirmed it.

“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 said. Her mother said Rachel began to “disguise herself” in 2006 or 2007.

This interview shows Dolezal being caught in her lie. It also seems quite likely that her claim that she’s received racially motivated hate letters and pictures was a ruse. (Police are still investigating, but say that whoever placed the mail must have had access to the mailbox, as it was not processed through the regular mail.)

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