Local NAACP President Is Lying About Being Black, Parents Say


The president of a local NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, is currently under investigation after her parents, both of whom are white, publicly accused her of lying about being African American.

On Thursday, the city announced it was looking into the allegations of whether Rachel Dolezal, who also serves as the chair of Spokane’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission and is an adjunct professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, violated the city’s code of ethics by falsely identifying herself as African-American in order to serve as chair.

The controversy erupted earlier this week, when Dolezal’s parents, Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal, announced that their daughter was fabricating her ancestry. In fact, they say, she is part Swedish, Czech, and German with “traces” of Native American heritage. Her parents supported their claims with official documents including a birth certificate presented to CDA Press

“It is very disturbing that she has become so dishonest,” Ruthanne said in a recent phone interview with CDA Press.

There are other problems as well. For example, a photo posted on the Spokane NAACP chapter’s Twitter account earlier this year shows Dolezal with an African-American man identified in the caption as her father. When asked about the allegations and the photo by a KXLY reporter, Dolezal was evasive and then abruptly walked away.

The photo, which has since been removed, can be seen below:

In an interview published by the Seattle Times on Thursday, Dolezal called the allegations a “multi-layered” issue and again did not respond to any direct questions.

Instead she struck a more philosophical note, saying, “There’s a lot of complexities and I don’t know that everyone would understand that. We’re all from the African continent.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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