Rachel Dolezal
Rachel Dolezal was born to white parents, but identifies as a Black American.

Rachel Dolezal was thrust into the national spotlight when her White parents spoke to the press and identified their daughter as a white woman who, for years, had been posing as Black in Spokane, Washington. Dolezal was the director of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP and had held teaching positions in Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University.

Her story, and questions about her racial identify, dominated headlines for nearly a week, culminating in a Today Show interview that left us with more questions than answers. We still want to know who is Rachel Dolezal? And what does her racial identity mean in a greater cultural context?

The public conversation around the Dolezal subject has turned into a discussion of the term "Transracial." A term that is of growing prominence following various movements in the transgender community, transracial has entered the public lexicon with great force.


Although the implications of the term and its relation to the Dolezal case are debatable, Ellie Freeman sees forth a distinction between trans-racialism and Dolezal case:

"Being transracial is hardly similar to 'feeling black' It's not like gender dysphoria either the politics of race and gender are not interchangeable in this context. Unlike many black Americans, Rachel's family background does not carry the trauma of slavery and institutionalised racism. Unlike people who really are transracial, Rachel has not been physically torn between two cultures and denied intimate knowledge of her birth culture.

Transracialism is a term often reserved for those who are adopted by parents of a different cultural background than theirs. These children must then experience the world through two races: the one they feel at home and the one the world sees them as. Ms. Dolezal, who did not grow up with parents of a different race than her, cannot claim the term, by common definition, like other transracial identifying people.

Academic Responses

Amongst those who identify as transracial, there is a strong agreement that Ms. Dolezal is not one of their community. Kimberly McKee, Ph.D, speaks as someone who identifies as transracial in her op ed piece. The attribution of the term transracial to Ms. Dolezal is a personal attack towards McKee and fellow adopted people.

UW Professor Louis Chude Sokei highlights a growing problem he notices, specifically in cities like Seattle: the racist anti-racist. In places where racist sentiments are not openly visible, non-oppressed groups are moving to speak for oppressed bodies. People like Dolezal are taking the voice from oppressed bodies, in this case Black people, in order to sound out how racist white society can be. Sokei notes although these fillers might believe they are fighting for the greater good, taking these positions of power from the marginalized community is silencing them as much as the oppressive force. Dolezal's Howard degree and activism resume does not excuse her turning down the voices of oppressed groups.

As of late, Dolezal black family have also come out against her. Her adopted brother who is Black, Ezra Dolezal, says that her actions are not ones of activism, but ones of Blackface. Although Dolezal has stated that she does not identify as transracial and continuously skirts over questions about her racial identification following the controversy, her employer, the NAACP, acknowledges they stand by their decisions. The organization does not determine employment on the basis of ethnicity. With the media coming in from every negative angle, the NAACP's statement is one of few coming to her defense for her work in social activism. The public sediment, however, is that her work social work is commendable in theory, but the way she went about it was wrong.


  1. Rick's Avatar Rick

    The woman has issues. We all have issues. I don't know why her issues should be ours. It certainly doesn't affect me. I dress in drag on Halloween and nobody should care about that, either. Virtually all of these social issues are really not about who we are as people. Everyone is different and we've begun categorizing people into groups like during times of African and Irish segregation. (Didn't know there was Irish segregation in this country? Shame on you.) We're moving backward. I'm pretty sure we are declining as a society and not moving forward. I bet people on the left and right agree... So maybe we should prioritize a little better. In my humble opinion, we need to start loving more and looking for what we have in common more and stop making such a big deal about the differences. We're all people. If you think I'm being a bit Pollyanna about the whole thing, I'm not. It's not easy and some people make it impossible. Let them be in their little impossible world and let's not visit that world because it's not reality and it's making us all act half crazy.

    1. Arthur Fischer's Avatar Arthur Fischer

      As long as she does her job well what does it matter. My own heritage is mixed with both and than some even tho the skin cannot tell. It's what we do or say that affects us in the postive of life or the negative. Which do you perfer? I remain postive even when the negative is around me always as well as the psotive is around me. Being at peace is much better. Now she has a job, why sould it matter about her heritage? If the job she did was postive why make a big deal out of it all.There are people of all kinds that cause the negative in life and she gets singled out on weather she is black or white. Don't people know we are all one race, the human race! Lets learn to live together in peace on this one planet we live on. It wouldn't hurt to live in peace. It does hurt to live in war or hatred because of color. We don't hate or use just one crayon or pen. Why have this towards a person who does the job well.

      1. Zeke Hanzl's Avatar Zeke Hanzl

        Well said, I couldn't have put it better!

      2. rfox44's Avatar rfox44

        does your comment include those caterogised as Jews/

    2. Carrie's Avatar Carrie

      Well said and Agree

    3. Mike Williams's Avatar Mike Williams

      God Bless her and the work she was doing, Black/White who cares she is a Caring/giving Human being. The Communists are trying to put a rift in our society, Their goal is to Eliminate God, mainstream Homosexuality, Cause racial tensions, Eliminate the middle class, Dumb down our kids, Destroy the Second Amendment, and Bankrupt our Country. The current Left wing Government is part of the program. Unfortunately all the aforementioned are all works in progress.

      Pray for America !!!

      1. rfox44's Avatar rfox44

        What communists are you talking about? There is no left wing government in the US and you are just paranoid.

  1. Paula's Avatar Paula

    If men can be women and women can be men, why can't she be black, if that's what she wants.

  1. Pj's Avatar Pj

    In a multicultural and inclusive world, does it matter? Yes there is still racism, but if she stands up for what she believes in, has an opinion but isn't oppressive with it, then she can be black, white or multicoloured.

  1. Alicia's Avatar Alicia

    The woman is white, but the big issue shouldn't be about her race; it should be about her lies.

    It's my understanding that there is no requirement in the NAACP that an officer/member must be black. If she wanted to help the organization, she could have explained that she was born to white parents, but can identify as being black because of her family background in having black siblings. This way, she could have helped the NAACP without lying (and asking others to lie) about her race. As it is, she made herself untrustworthy. She also made the organization (at least that branch) appear untrustworthy for not digging into the background of someone put in a position of power.

    Yes....this woman has many issues. She hates her true self, so how can she promote self-love in others?

    1. Ty Ford's Avatar Ty Ford

      Nicely said!

    2. Allen Alexander's Avatar Allen Alexander

      I agree, the issue is not her race; it is that she lied. Worse still she co-opted others into lying for her. To this day, she continues the lie. She has destroyed her integrity and tarnished those around her and when it comes down to it, that is all we have. Years ago, my employer at the time told me to lie to a customer and I refused. He asked why I wouldn't and I told him 'If I lie for you now, later are you going to ask yourself if I am lying to YOU?' Lies are like weeds in the garden, once you let one started, they are impossible to control.

  1. Lucien Cayer's Avatar Lucien Cayer

    Would there be such an out cry if she was saying she was transgender?

    1. Pastor Deb's Avatar Pastor Deb

      Of course not, because it is totally different. This woman lied about her background. She took specific steps to appear black so that she would be seen as black and get other blacks to see her as someone who could sympathize with how they felt. In reality, she never felt those things.

  1. Tayalor Fraser's Avatar Tayalor Fraser

    Sometimes, I think we get too hung up on race. Does it really matter what color a person's skin is, as long as they can do a job? What I mean is, if being black is a prerequisite for a teaching position or the head of an organization which ssupports the interests of people with color, then those organizations are as racist as the people they criticize. On a job application, if one of the questions is"what race are you"?, that application is violating federal laws against discrimination. Why not look at Rachel's track record? Did she support the people of color in her position at the NAACP? Did she adequately cover the subjects she taught in college? And, more importantly, did the students learn from her teaching? If the answers to those questions is "No", then she deserves to be fired. But, if the answer is "yes", why not cut her a break and let her do her job?

    1. D Fry's Avatar D Fry

      Because the end cannot justify the means. You cannot say that a good outcome excuses lies and deceit that were employed to achieve it. The good outcome may not be so good the next time, or from the next person employing the same tactics. No, it has been well said already: she has compromised her integrity and the integrity of the organization. Both have the chance to reclaim it by being open and honest, admitting their mistakes and lies. But both will never reclaim it if they choose to waffle and rationalize and fail to admit the truth. Race isn't the issue; trust is the issue.

  1. Al's Avatar Al

    She is white though wanting to be black. Who really cares. The problem is her self loathing and deception. We as people often deny reality to appease. In her case she did good work by all reports and was a good person or was acting as a good person but she is a white woman. Bruce Jenner was a man. Is a man and will remain a man in reLity. In choice he may choose to live his life as a woman and that's ok but he is not a she. He can change his name and have surgery and shots but the reality remains. He was born a man. Political correctness has gone too far when it denies reality.

  1. Walt's Avatar Walt

    The NAACP has been very plain in saying that whites are welcome and can hold offices in the organization. The issue here is that Ms. Dolezal mispresented her background, something which detracts from the goals of the NAACP.

  1. Walter Linde-Zwirble's Avatar Walter Linde-Zwirble

    I get to say who I am. She is who she says she is.

  1. Joseph Lee Langer's Avatar Joseph Lee Langer

    That it matters is the problem. We will not get past our racial problems until the issue is not race, but fairness to all. She is Human. That is the only race that matters.

    1. Kenny McCoy's Avatar Kenny McCoy

      So, in all "fairness" it has nothing to do with "the content of her character".(?)

  1. rose's Avatar rose

    The woman committed fraud. She lied to gain her position. She lied on her applications for college scholarships, grants, etc. She lied on her resume as to her true ethnicity. She lied to everyone. She is a liar. She will be judged on her falsehoods rather than on any good she has accomplished.

  1. Cathy Silver's Avatar Cathy Silver

    Okay, dear ones . . . let's think beyond our linear 3D reality and accept that we are multi-dimensional and have all lived many times. For the oldest of the souls here on earth, that's thousands of lives. All of these lives are stored within the Akashic records and at some level there is a remembrance--called our akashic inheritance. Take a look at the four year old who plays the piano like a maestro or the 10-11 year old's singing opera on the talents shows or the baby who knows how to read! What about your food choices or fear of heights, water or cats? Where does this come from? Our akashic inheritance is far stronger than we give it credit for. Past life energies are NOT in the past! They are a quantum energy of our spiritual makeup that is current and something we carry around as part of our "whole self"--and they affect us. Perhaps, we should really focus on our oneness? Instead, accepting compassion, love and wholeness for who we are--at the deepest level. We are ALL divine and part of ALL THAT IS. Let's start there!

    1. kathleen hall's Avatar kathleen hall

      so very true miss cathy... i wish more people felt that way.. the world would be a better place.. kat

    2. Ryan Palumbi's Avatar Ryan Palumbi

      Bless you! Truer words have never been spoken. I applaud you for this post! It's about the soul of a person, not the vessel! I'm very happy to know that I'm not the only other person living who understands the akashic records, or the fact that we're only given a "temporary body" if you will. As far as her lying, what if she truly feels african american? then it wouldn't be a lie to herself. She's being true to herself, and the sooner people start to accept others for their true selves, and recognize their true nature, only then will we ever start to forge ahead. I say, as long as she has the proper credentials for doing the job to the best of her abilities, and for what that job needs, then why should it matter? All the best to you Miss Silver, and may God & universe bless you & yours!

  1. rev. Bolton's Avatar rev. Bolton

    We are all children of one.Black or White, we're all human. Racism is j a sin as Homoseualality is also. In the Bible.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned


    1. Daniel Swan's Avatar Daniel Swan

      THANK YOU! Yeesh.....

  1. Justin Allen's Avatar Justin Allen

    My first thought was this woman was a manipulative person looking for a good paying job. Then I remembered something. I know the woman who 30 years ago decided she was Native American. She changed everything about her. Name, dress, demeanor were all redone so she felt like a Native American. She was 100% European in her ancestry, but something in her beliefs made her identify with the Native American culture, religions, beliefs and ideals that she has now lived the last 3 decades as a Native American.

    So I thought, if she did this 30 years ago, is it that much of a stretch that Rachel felt the same? I think some counseling may be in order, but if she hasn't hurt anyone, why judge her?

  1. Mitch's Avatar Mitch

    She's transracial.

  1. john's Avatar john

    I don't think there is a factual definition of race. Census data shows that people commonly change their race. The word "race" is so imprecise that that policies based upon "race" will frequently be flawed. Certainly Ms. Dolezal did not suffer as did the descendants of African slaves, but does that mean that African immigrants shouldn't identify themselves as African Americans?

    It might be more productive to emphasize poverty to a greater degree than race. The reality of our economic system is that good jobs rarely substitute for inherited capital as a means of economic independence, health or education. The economics of the 20th century were an aberration. The wealthy classes were decimated by 2 world wars and a depression, unions were strong, and the post war economy grew at 5 times the historical rate. Citizens earned more and, for the first time, could amass capital with the benefit of investment in a house and social security. The economic boon may be over, but many of us will continue to benefit from the proceeds of inherited capital. Not so for those that could not participate in the gifts of this unique period.

    "Redlining" denied African Americans from prospering in the real estate boom, which was the main source of capital appreciation for most Americans. Social security was denied to most African Americans because the program excluded agricultural and domestic workers.

    If the onus of race could be eliminated tomorrow, the disadvantages suffered by families that begin life without capital would continue just as they do today. So many African Americans are impoverished that elimination of poverty, without regard to race, would very likely benefit those of African American heritage most. Ms. Dolezal's racial identification should be a non-issue, except that it underscores the fact that we are all the same and that self-identification of race is routine and not abberrant.

  1. Colin F Crickett's Avatar Colin F Crickett

    Left wing nut

    1. Rick Pascal's Avatar Rick Pascal

      Let's leave politics out of this. She's a woman with deep seated problems and should seek professional help.

      1. Steve's Avatar Steve

        The woman is mentally ill and should be seeking professional help,period

  1. John Addington's Avatar John Addington

    I fail to see why it matters. As a white member of the NAACP, I feel that my race is of no importance, but my political and social activism is all that matters. Why would I apply any different standard for this activist?

  1. melinda's Avatar melinda

    she's white

  1. Larry's Avatar Larry

    To claim a race just to be a part of an organization is ludicrous. And we were skin tents , why can't we get along? Higher ups don't want that'

  1. chefette's Avatar chefette

    If she lied on her app for work that was cause for termination. Other than that no one should care if shes blsck or white.

  1. Kim's Avatar Kim

    Who cares!!! She is still a person whatever race she is. It really should not matter.

  1. R. B. Spell's Avatar R. B. Spell

    If we want to get really picky about it, this is really a moot point. Biological anthropologist point out that all of the human race began as black-skinned people in Africa who eventually fanned out into the rest of the world. Darwinian input suggests that skin colors changed based upon environmental factors, and the amount of sunlight, in various parts of the world. To make a long story a short one, it could be argued then that all human beings have "black" genes somewhere in their genome. Of course, we can trump the biological anthropologists by pointing out that Adam and Eve were probably black since that color can be considered to be the embodiment of all colors. Then, of course, we let Mendelian genetic inheritance take over to spread the various skin colors around the world. Now, let the debates continue. Thank you. Rev. R. B. Spell



  1. Bat Eats Moth (@BatEatsMoth)'s Avatar Bat Eats Moth (@BatEatsMoth)

    In my opinion, Rachel Dolezal is perpetuating identity fraud for personal gain that she would otherwise not be entitled to. Any other issue being presented by her or the media is entirely fictional. It's political maneuvering to raise questions about the validity of transgenderism in the public mind without having to directly attack transgenderism. I don't know for a fact that she's a political shill, but it appears to me that this whole debacle is entirely staged for such purposes. I think someone should follow the paper trail to see if she has received any large sums of money since she started "identifying" as black.

  1. Diane's Avatar Diane

    She was born a white woman but identifies with the black culture. I do t understand why her parents felt the need to bring it to the attention of the media. I'm sure the NAACP appreciated her work and beliefs. When are we as a country going to stop looking at the color of our skin and just be; without racial issues.

  1. Mike's Avatar Mike

    It's about matter/spirit, and Dolezal is BOTH black and white. She's somatically white. She is psychically black. What's wrong with that? Psychologically, Carl Jung called it the union of opposites; somatically, quantum physics notes by reliable observations that particles can be in two places at the same time. C'mon, let's get with the 21st century!

  1. J's Avatar J

    What matters to me is her heart! She has done so much good! There are several people passing as other races,as we speak' I will not bash her! She had adopted brothers,etc that were black! So what! Do I think she should have stepped down no! Only she knows and the powers that be! It's not for me to judge her! Stay strong rachel!

  1. Mycroft's Avatar Mycroft


  1. George R Taylor's Avatar George R Taylor

    If her heart and her actions are of Love and Peace. I don't care if she is from the moon and stars. I welcome all that walk this earth in peace. G. Robert Taylor

  1. Martha Knight's Avatar Martha Knight

    My hometown and area have scarcely a freckle on our collective lily-white complexion. When we saw an African American child here, we knew it was Fresh Air time. Children from New York City ghettos stayed with local host families for two weeks in the summer. We did have a "mixed" family, and there was one food-service business owned by an African American family. But while I was in high school I developed strong feelings against the racism, suppressed or overt, that was pervasive here. I came to know some African Americans as an adult, working in a statewide organization that interfaced with the then New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. My Fresh Air son and his family also taught me a great deal. Then a visit to Memphis opened my eyes further. A jazz musician, I associated with many black musicians, and initially was crow-jimmed when I was union-called into a black combo, so in Memphis I walked down Beale Street and to Handy Park. -- but also went to the Lorraine Motel, stood on the balcony, signed the guest book, bought some photos and such. I wore my "Equals" button all the time I was in Memphis. Photographed the back or the Shelby County Jail where James Earl Ray was being held. Was accosted by Shelby County Sheriff's Department deputies, who tore the back off my camera and took out the film rolls and stomped on them, in the street. When I got home I got a letter from an organization of women of color-- I forget the exact name. I was invited to become a member. I had to decline, explaining that I did not feel I should join under "false colors," but saying that if there was a related group for people who were supportive of their aims I'd like to join that. I was put in touch with several such groups, and was able to be useful. It isn't necessary to masquerade as a rape victim to be supportive of rape victims. It isn't necessary to pretend to be gay to be wholeheartedly in favor of gay rights (or LGBT... rights). It is only necessary to embrace the causes affecting our fellow-humans, openly and honestly. I don't claim to have experienced blackness, or other-than-straightness, personally, but only to relate to my fellow humans who do experience those aspects of personhood.

  1. Jim Stoner's Avatar Jim Stoner

    It occurred to me that there is something else at play here. If a person that isn't white, but appears to be so does what is unfortunately called "passing" as a white person, then it does seem reasonable that they might do that. We understand it completely. We are confused as a entire population however when someone who is white tries to "pass" as a visible minority. It seems to confuse us all. No matter what demographic we are. Let's ask ourselves why that is. It is because every single one of us, no matter what our ideology, spiritual beliefs or political stripe, understand full well how racist America and her institutions are and we wonder out loud why anybody that is white would wish to place that burden on themselves. This story just points out the fact that we all know how truly racist America is and maybe a lot of us are not willing to admit it. Even to ourselves. We certainly know in or heart of hearts, almost all of us, that racism is real enough and systemic enough in America to wonder about what this woman was doing though don't we?

  1. JAK's Avatar JAK

    Genetically, we are all tied to Africa. So, in some sense, we can all be considered "black" in some fashion. The human genome is like an encyclopedia of possible traits. Being born with predominantly "black" characteristics to white parents would just be an example of a random choice taken by Natural Selection from the expansive human genome.

    But it is also not clear if she has more recent African heritage. Many slave owners and ship's crews mated with slaves, so some infusion of recent African heritage is possible. This might increase the opportunity for African traits to show up again despite both parents being "white."

    Finally, what's the point? Some of us are taller, shorter, fatter, skinnier, big noses (like Doc Holliday's girlfriend, "Big Nose Kate"), blue eyes, almond eyes, buck teeth, flat feet, etc. If Nature likes diversity, who are we to argue? And who are we to be concerned about it? And why do we keep trying to "pigeon hole" people into categories? Dolezal has skills and talents, and if she helps to promote the ideals of the NAACP and of racial equality, why vilify her?

    The last group to try to "purify" a race were the Nazis, and the world combined to expunge them. If Dolezal believes she is a green Martian and then works for the betterment of all humans everywhere, I say let her continue on. We all have our quirks. Natural Selection seems to "love quirks," and seemingly, so does God.

  1. James grimes's Avatar James grimes

    If this woman had god in her life she wouldn't doubt or be confused about who or what she is. All the problems the trans gender, trans racial , trans whatever stems from a psychological issue. And for people not to speak out and just accept it as so shows how far our principles are sliding down that slope of political correctness.We accept lies of politicians and community organizers as facts. Because they say they are. Even though the evidence is against it they label you a racist or a denier. I believe in truth not lies and speak my mind about the deceit to profit off of those who are willing to believe whatever so called leaders tell them. And I won't allow my principles to be corrupted because someone has a agenda to fullfill. We really do need a conversation about issues in our society not to be shut down by being labeled a racist or homophobe. Speak your heart your mind and let No one shut you down.

  1. Reverend Mike's Avatar Reverend Mike

    I'm all for the admiration and assimation of other races. I respect eastern philosophy greatly and integrate it into my daily life. BUT, I can't just go to work tomorrow and tell everybody that I am now Asian and wish to be treated as such. Nor can I be a proper representative of the Asian culture or be head of any Asian representative organizations. I'm white. And that's it. I can act Asian but I can not be Asian. What this women did was fraud. She didn't grow up in a black neighborhood or have any experiences growing up that would make her a credible member of the black race. She's a lilly white girl in black face. A perpetrater in a costume. I grew up in a mostly black neighborhood but would never insult my black friends and neighbors by pretending that i was black. She can still live life however she wants and identify with whom ever she wants but I there's no point in pretending to actually physically be something you're not.

  1. Randall Lord's Avatar Randall Lord

    If she self identifies as "black" who am I to care about that? What is race anyway but a human construct.

    1. Lois's Avatar Lois

      Exactly! If we would forget about 'race & color' and remember we were all created 'soul worthy' peace and love would rise. Most of us would find we have many nationalities in our heritage. Mine supposedly is British and German; however, in the last 20 years (born in 47) I have been asked many times about my 'Native American' ancestry. Maybe/Maybe not - what does it matter? I feel honored to be a part of this continent. I enjoy life to the full and love whatever I am. From the love we love our self, we flow out love to others - is the love that flows back to us again. 'To love thy neighbor as thyself' is the second commandment presented by Jesus.

    2. Ryan Palumbi's Avatar Ryan Palumbi

      Precisely! our bodies are merely a vessel, on a long very long winded journey to our final destination. Our souls however, I feel, are an entirely different story, and we as human beings do not know what another individual may feel on the inside. So to everyone who keeps on calling it a sin, or even saying that homosexuality is a sin, they're not seeing the real true sins. Rape, pedophilia, murder, incest, genocide, etc, all of those are sins in my mind. But to call someone a sinner, simply because they feel a certain way in their soul, that isn't in conjunction with how their body chemistry is, well that's a sin as well. We as people have no right whatsoever to judge anyone, because everyone will be judged when they pass on from this world, by a much higher power. Whoever that may be, depends on what you believe in, for me, it's God.

  1. Brian's Avatar Brian

    For all intents and purposes, she is caucasian. Her parents will adamantly defend that conclusion. Doctors may call what she has done as a type of mental illness. I will pray that she feels "good enough" in her own skin that she doesn't have to pretend to be something she's not.

  1. RJ's Avatar RJ

    She is mentally unbalanced! One can stand for something without pretending to be it- If this was an I. Q. Test , she would fail-

  1. Minister Carey's Avatar Minister Carey

    Race and ethnicity of U.S. citizens is categorized by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). These categories are: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; White. [See Standard Form 181]. The INTEGRATED POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION DATA SYSTEM states that the above categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. Perhaps Ms. Dolezal is simply choosing her 'status' based on these categories. And she has the right to do that. Now, if I were going to box myself into any of these categories, even with my melanin-dominate, chocolate brown colored skin, I would check the box for "American Indian" as this is a designation for "A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment". My ancestors were on this land before "Christopher Columbus" was a zygote, and before the Atlantic slave trade. I am aboriginal, indigenous American. And, yes, my folk have been denied the right to claim their true birthright and cultural identity. We were first called "Indian", then "Negro", then "Colored", then "Black", now "African American". I would also check the box for "White" as this is a designation for "A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa" Why? I am of the original indigenous people who were and are all over this earth. A people who migrated to all parts of this earth before mutations of the hue-man genome. So if the lady wants to identify as "Black" or "African American" -- "A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa", go right ahead. No skin off my nose. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out who or what are these "black racial groups of Africa". The boxes for honesty and dishonesty are probably on another form.

  1. Chill Draggon's Avatar Chill Draggon

    At the end of the day it says too much about us that we need to discuss a person's color. If we live and let live our progeny will all be the same color and with a little luck they won't be forced into insipid conversations about a person's language or accent. If we need to discuss color, let's go to the beginning and by asking the Creationists and Fundamentalists to start a conversation about Adam's and Eve's color(s)...do we get out the box of crayons now? And most importantly, does it really matter??

  1. Karisa's Avatar Karisa

    This is my hometown. She is a wonderful person who has done an enormous amount for our community. She is also however being scrutinized because she did these things under false pretenses. I believe she is a good woman... who needs help. She should have been 100% honest about her heritage, but also honest about her sense of being and intentions from the get go - would have prevented all of this.

    1. Ryan Palumbi's Avatar Ryan Palumbi

      Hello Karisa, to me, it's like I was saying to another member....perhaps in her mind, she wasn't lying. What if it's as simple as what's in her soul? then she's being true to herself and her own soul & heart. People keep forgetting, our bodies are only here to take us through tasks in life, but the real learning, love, caring, etc., that in my mind all comes from our souls. As you've stated, she's a wonderful person who helps her community, so why should anything else matter?

  1. Martha Knight's Avatar Martha Knight

    It was Rachel who introduced the topic of color by claiming a color, and a heritage and an experience that she does not have. If color does not matter, she should have no problem with being candid about it. If the organization does not consider color or ethnicity in hiring, promoting, etc., as they say-- then Rachel was free to tell the exact truth. This discussion is happening because Rachel made color important by lying about hers.


    There doesn't seem to be much left to say other than a "white" woman identifying as a "Black" person seems to really upset many people. We must correctly identify our culture as one of "White Supremacy" to understand this. That there is a "Black/American" culture is undeniable. While some "Blacks" are in fact White Supremacists in their attitude toward others who are "Black", experiencing contempt for their culture, some whites have shed the white supremacist belief of inferiority of Black culture and adopted the attitudes and beliefs of Blacks. Ms Dolezal seems to be in the latter group.

  1. Martha Knight's Avatar Martha Knight

    Rachel Dolezal seems to believe that the NAACP is an important and useful organization which needs to have people who are seen as black ("colored") in leadership positions, and serving as spokespersons concerning the black condition. "Natural-Afro" hair and all. And she seems to think she is a person who can provide that leadership and be that spokesperson IF she is perceived as black, and so far as I have heard, she did not mention that she just "identifies" as black (something no black person would need to do). A corollary to her belief that she is needed in that position, doing that work, would be that she believes she can do that work or fill that position better than an authentically black person could. SHE demonstrated that she believes the person holding that position should be perceived as black.

  1. Debbie's Avatar Debbie

    Does it matter? She is doing something she believes in wholeheartedly.

  1. wickedpa's Avatar wickedpa

    It doesn't matter if she's black white or mauve she's a human being All this BS about Racism and you have nit pickers worrying about if someone is black or white in addition you have organizations such as the NAACP,THE NATION OF ISLAM and THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS et.

  1. Gwendolyn's Avatar Gwendolyn

    I am black, white, and Indian, many of us our born with several shades, however we are all brothers and sisters' regardless of the color of our skin. I am of a mixed blood line and very happy to be. We are all children of the most high and only GOD. In the bible it reads that "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he." That also is the same for if it is a woman. This woman says that she is black, than from that scripture the Lord has answered, she is. She wears it well.

  1. Ryan Palumbi's Avatar Ryan Palumbi

    I don't really care what she, or any other person is, or identifies with! As long as a person is happy, and living their lives not hurting themselves or anyone else, then it isn't mine, or anyone elses buisness! To the people who complain, and carry on about "Oh, it's a sin to be homosexual!" or "Oh, what's she's doing is a sin", you DON'T KNOW their situation, their feelings, or anything they've had to deal with. Give the woman a break, worry about your own business, and if you're any sort of person who cares for humanity then you wouldn't be worrying about any of this in the first place. In my mind, as long as you're a good person who cares for others, and has no intentions of harming anyone, then you're alright in my book. Anyone else who falls into the category of racism, gay bashing, any sort of bigotry, is no friend of mine. People need to realize they aren't an almighty God and the people who are bigots, bashing, racists, are the main people in my opinion, who have more issues & skeletons in their closets than you could shake a stick at. Basically, build a bridge & get over it!

  1. Melanie Wilson's Avatar Melanie Wilson

    So many judgmental comments from folks I would have hoped to be more evolved and accepting (and knowledgeable).

  1. Mark's Avatar Mark

    The issue at hand isn't about her ethnicity. She lies! I take it that means little in this society as represented by the idiotic decisions by the supreme court both in upholding the affordable care act which was sold to Americans through lies. Then again lying about the roots of marriage just about being about "whoever you want to love". Do you think Jesus or God for that matter would approve? If you do I weep for your soul.

  1. Minister Dave's Avatar Minister Dave

    God has already forgiven her . However we did (all of us) come from an area that makes all of us at one single time. Black Gods good with his work me too. May the lord bless and keep us in his fold to carry on the good to and for All

  1. Anne's Avatar Anne

    If you can say you're a female when born male then you can certainly say you are black when you are born white. Depends on your personal identification of self

    1. Minister Dave's Avatar Minister Dave

      Well spoken

  1. Latasha Danielle Simmons's Avatar Latasha Danielle Simmons

    I've enjoyed reading this article to include the comments. I am very grateful that we serve a creative God, who loves us regardless of the color of our outer appearance. He allows us to choose our race, hair color, eye color, etc. based on what we see. He also allows various individuals to explore the passion of love a lot of times without force, which creates us (you, me, etc.). Some families are blessed with unique multiples some aren't. It's a blessing to trust and love our self worth, similarities, and differences with others as long as we remain positive and we don't commit crimes!

  1. Martha Knight's Avatar Martha Knight

    Anne, people who were born male as to genitalia but identify as female do not claim to have been born anatomically male (and vice versa). They claim to be trans. If they undertake reassignment, and complete it to their satisfaction, they may use the past participle of the verb, calling themselves "transgendered." That's if they make any statement at all, about sexual self-identification--and some do not. If the subject arises, honest transgender/ed persons simply tell the truth, and don't claim to have been born anatomically equipped in a way that coincides with their gender self-identity. In the same way, I am a legally blind person, who tries to FUNCTION in a predominantly sighted world as nearly as possible as if I were sighted, and seek to be treated as nearly as possible as a sighted person in most regards. But if I want to enjoy certain advantages or services or privileges of visually impaired persons, I should not present myself as having normal or "good enough" vision. Some of the people who have worked for my state's Blind and Visual Impairment agency have been blind! They were particularly effective because of that fact, and knew what adaptations were needed by the agency's clients, and how to model successful adaptation. It would be wrong of them to present themselves as signted, although some of them could pass in most circumstances. We, the clients, were entitled to know their actual condition, sighted or clinically blind. So was their employer. It made a difference, which world they lived in. They needed to just tell the truth about it because that is what their job and their usefulness required--being real. Not being sighted, I am not eligible to drive. I experience that hardship constantly, living in a rural area without mass transit or taxi service. I experience many other difficulties having to do with not seeing adequately to function well in many situations. For instance, I can't see either the individual menus or the posted menus in fast food restaurants. And so on. In many matters I am qualified to testify concerning the condition of not-seeing, as someone who experiences this. Meanwhile I use adaptive aids and communicate as I do here, much as sighted persons do. Where it makes no difference, as when I cover news events and file stories that do not related to visual impairment, there is no reason for my visual limitations to be mentioned. Where it would make a difference, I tell the truth about it, even though for some purposes I can PASS as sighted. Dolezal should do exactly that: tell the truth. The truth is that she has NOT partaken of the condition of blackness. That she self-identifies as a person of color is all very well. She has not experienced BEING black, for ALL intents and purposes, not even one who could and sometimes did "pass." not even one who "trans-raced" in the sense that John Howard Griffin did before writing "Black Like Me." Truth matters. If it did not, this would not be worth discussing. Dolezal might very well have attained the job she had, and accomplished much by diligent work on behalf of the cause she served, without claiming to be other than what she has been: NOT a person of color, but someone who identifies with persons of color to an enormous extent and is willing to share their circumstances as fully as possible. Not having been "born and raised" as a woman of color, she did not experience such things as a close friend, a brilliant black lawyer, described to me as "growing up invisible" in a culture where there were no black people in ads and commercials, and not even in urban crown scenes in movies! Empathy is all very well; but it isn't the same as living it. And it isn't attained by telling less than the exact truth about one's identity and heritage. Then, is that truth relevant? In what ways, and in what circumstances and for what purposes? That matters or doesn't, from situation to situation. But start with the truth.

  1. charlie's Avatar charlie

    She committed fraud!!! She collected money claiming to be someone she is not she lied with a smile on her face. It reminds me of white women who have mixed children then out of no where they have a jamacain accent lol now for those who havementioned shes being true to herself she hasnt been and hasnt been to others she duped everyone. She even said she plays both sides white and black when she needs to so she white if has to be for whatever situation a d then black when she needs to lmfaoooo but to each is own i guess

  1. Martha Knight's Avatar Martha Knight

    Right, of course, Charlie. Her deceptions are of a totally different order from the congenital reality of being transgender.

  1. Beth's Avatar Beth

    It simply may be that Ms. Dolezal identifies with the race she has chosen to represent because she has distant memory of a life she lived when she was indeed that race. She is re-living what she identifies with the most. Our society strikes back against those things they don't understand, or don't want to get in touch with within ourselves; like a three-year old holding their breath and screaming, we are at that stage of our human evolution. Sometimes one must take a step back to take a few steps forward, and so it is today with many situations within our society.

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