Rachel Dolezal is not to be dissuaded by her parentage or lineage: she stands by her claim that she is, indeed, a black woman.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Dolezal doubled down, rebuffing others’ claims that her ancestry leaves her far from an identity as an African-American. She quavered, “It’s not something that I can put on and take off anymore. Like I said, I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really (was) and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be — but I’m not.”
Dolezal ’s parents even stated publicly that their heritage is Czech, Swedish, German, and a trace of Native American, but not black.
Dolezal defended her use of an identity as a black woman to become head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, a position she resigned in June. She insisted that she had not deceived anyone, stating, “I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody. If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African-American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”
Being “black” is “not a costume,” she pontificated, adding she “would like to write a book just so that I can send (it to) everybody there as opposed to having to continue explaining … After that comes out, then I’ll feel a little bit more free to reveal my life in the racial social-justice movement. I’m looking for the quickest way back to that, but I don’t feel like I am probably going to be able to re-enter that work with the type of leadership required to make change if I don’t have something like a published explanation.”