Read the NAACP’s Full Statement on Rachel Dolezal

By Aura Bogado Jun 12, 2015

The NAACP is standing by Rachel Dolezal, the Washington state woman who pretends to be black—despite the fact her own white parents say she’s white with “traces of Native American.” Dolezal claims she was born in a teepee, and that as a child, she hunted her food with bows and arrows—all claims her family denies. She’s a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, and also maintains a column at The Inlander where she publishes as if she’s black.

Dolezal also heads the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, and has claimed to be the target of numerous hate crimes, none of which have ever been independently verified. The NAACP has issued the following “statement on Rachel Dolezal”:

For 106 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has held a long and proud tradition of receiving support from people of all faiths, races, colors and creeds. NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter. One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership.  The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record.  In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.

Hate language sent through mail and social media along with credible threats continue to be a serious issue for our units in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. We take all threats seriously and encourage the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully investigate each occurrence.

According to The Guardian, the City of Spokane is determining whether Dolezal violated any policies when listing “her ethnicity as a mix of white, black, Native American and a number of others in her application to the office of the police ombudsman commission.”