She’s done. Rachel Dolezal announced her resignation from the post of president of the Spokane, Wash. NAACP chapter on Monday, June 15, after her parents Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal revealed last week that she has been lying about her race. Us Weekly spoke to Rachel’s parents on Monday, immediately following their daughter’s resignation, which was announced via the chapter’s Facebook page.
“Dear Executive Committee and NAACP Members,” Rachel wrote in an elaborate message about her headline-making decision. “It is a true honor to serve in the racial and social justice movement here in Spokane and across the nation. Many issues face us now that drive at the theme of urgency. Police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, economic disenfranchisement, health inequities, and a lack of pro-justice political representation are among the concerns at the forefront of the current administration of the Spokane NAACP. And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity. I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story.”
Dolezal turned to what she considers the social construct of race, and its implications. “While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome,” she wrote. “I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.”
She then announced her successor. “It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley,” Dolezal continued. “Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It’s about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment. With much love and a commitment to always fight for what is right and good in this world, Rachel Dolezal.”
Dolezal has identified as African-American, but her birth certificate states that both her mom and dad are Caucasian. Her parents revealed last Thursday, June 11, that their daughter, who married a black man, was Czech and German in her own personal background. “Rachel has wanted to be somebody she’s not,” Ruthanne told Spokane’s local outlet KREM. “She’s chosen not to just be herself but to represent as an African-American woman or a biracial person. And that’s simply not true.”
Her parents told Us Weekly exclusively on Monday about how their confirmation has affected their daughter’s post. “We don’t know,” Larry told Us of Rachel lying about her race. “That baffles us as much as anyone. She’s the only one that can explain that.” He added that they knew nothing about the black man pretending to be Rachel’s father.
“We’ve never met him,” Larry told Us, while his wife added: “His name was Albert Wilkerson and I’ve heard Albert Wilkerson Jr. but we’ve only seen his picture on Facebook and heard his name from press.”
Ruthanne maintained that their intention was never to tear down their daughter. “No we have not tried to expose Rachel. It was just when the press contacted us within the last week that we went ahead and talked to them and answered their questions. Before that no one had approached us and asked us those questions so we didn’t go about setting out to expose her.”
The parents added that the revelation has been cathartic for other family members. “It’s been a relief to her brothers who she told ‘don’t blow my cover’ so they’re kind of, now they don’t have to walk on eggshells if they are in her area,” her mom told Us. “We have been cut off by Rachel all contact so it’s a sad situation but in a way it’s best for everyone including Rachel if things are out in the open and people are being honest about what the reality is.”
The two found out about Rachel’s resignation like the rest of the public. “We just read it ourselves because someone else called asking for a comment,” Larry concluded. “I guess, it’s most unfortunate that she felt it necessary to resign but we think that her letter was very well written and her closing especially so we look for the same type of healing and restoration within our family that she is pursuing within social justice issues within the African-American community.”
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