Rachel Dolezal Says she Identifies as Black
Rachel Dolezal is a former NAACP leader who recently decided to step down from her position after being outed as being white by her parents.
Rachel’s parents Larry and Ruthanne recently revealed to a local newspaper that their daughter has been lying about her ethnicity for many years and even provided the paper with her birth certificate and photos of Rachel as a white woman.
But despite her parents’ evidence that she is in fact white, Rachel says that she identifies as black. Rachel also insinuated that Larry and Ruthanne are not her biological parents.
"I haven't had a DNA test. There's been no biological proof that Larry and Ruthanne are my biological parents,” she said in a recent interview with NBC Nightly News."I'm not necessarily saying that I can prove they're not, but I don't know that I can actually prove they are. I mean the birth certificate was issued a month and a half after I'm born. Certainly there were no medical witnesses to my birth. It was in the woods."
In a separate interview with NBC’s “Today,” Rachel revealed that Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender story resonated with her because she, too felt isolated in her community and always felt that she was black.
“I cried,” Rachel said about Caitlyn Jenner’s story. “Because I resonated with some of the themes of isolation, of being misunderstood—to not know if you have a conversation with somebody, will that relationship then end because they have seen you as one way.”
And though Rachel insists that she’s struggled with race identity for many years, her parents are saying that this is not true.
"That didn't happen," Rachel’s estranged mother Ruthann said in a recent interview."It's disappointing to see that Rachel is still making false statements... I was hoping to see a change.”
Since being outed by her parents, Rachel’s story has received mixed reviews in the media and on social media. Celebrities such as Keri Hilson and Dave Chapelle have asked their fans to sympathize with Rachel’s struggle and acknowledge all of the positive work she’s done for the African American community.
Keri tweeted, “Let's just all thank #RachelDolezal. Identity, pathological, & parental issues aside, she's doing more than most of us do for ourselves.”
Meanwhile other public figures such as the NAACP President Cornell Brooks and CNN education contributor Steve Perry have condemned Rachel as being a fraud and making a mockery of the black community in many ways including using self tanner to make herself appear darker.
Rachel Dolezal’s story is an interesting one in that it sparks discussion on race identity. The topic of gender identity has become more mainstream since Caitlyn Jenner’s big reveal, but race identity struggle is something that has yet to be discussed or even contemplated.
Rachel Dolezal identifies as a black woman and has made many positive strides in the black community. However her methods in doing so are being questioned.
Is she making a mockery of the race and is there even such a thing as feeling like you identify with another race? Does the bad outweigh the good?
What are your thoughts on this very controversial topic? Sound off below!