Rachel Dolezal, the former head of the Spokane NAACP who made a career out of claiming she was black until she was exposed last summer, finally recognized what the rest of the world, including her parents, know: she is biologically Caucasian, or white.
Interviewed on the talk show “The Real,” Dolezal acknowledged biological reality: “I acknowledge, I was biologically born white, to white parents.”
But she didn’t buckle to social pressure, and she continued to say she lives as an African-American. “I identify as black,” she smilingly told the African-America host of the show.
When the panel pressed Dolezal as to whether she had truly experienced what black people do, Dolezal offered, “I think, walking the walk in terms of philosophical, cultural, like what I was talking about in terms of the broader definition, the Pan-African definition of blackness… Is there a singular experience?”
Co-host Tamar Braxton responded, “Absolutely. There are opportunities that I might not get that you can have only because of the color of my skin. Even as successful as I am now, there are lots of doors that I can’t walk into that you can definitely walk into. So I just really want to know, like, have you ever experienced anything like that?”
Dolezal answered weakly, “The police mark ‘black’ on my traffic tickets … you know, you get the B, the W or the U.”
Of course, there are those who still believed Dolezal should claim she was black, even after she was outed; Boyce D. Watkins, Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University said in June:
She’s deeply invested in the black community. That’s really what bothers me about it; I looked at her track record, and she’s really into this. She’s teaching about black culture, she understands the subtleties of the black experience, she’s raising black children, she married a black man, she’s going to work for the NAACP. She does more for the black community than 99 percent of the black people that I know. And I know a lot of hard-working black people. So I can’t fault her for this, I just can’t.
Her parents have expressed themselves a bit differently. In June, her father said, “A normal, sane person wouldn’t have taken the approach that she has,” while her mother added, “I think there’s a demonstration of being irrational and very disconnected from reality.”