Rachel Anne Dolezal (also spelled Doležal born November 12, 1977) (nicknamed Transrachel for transracial) is an American civil rights activist and former "Africana studies" instructor. She was the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington from 2014 until June 15, 2015, when she resigned following allegations she had lied about her racial identity. She was removed as chair of Spokane's police ombudsman commission on June 19, 2015. From 2008 to 2010, she was a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
In June 2015, Dolezal came to media attention when her white parents publicly stated that Dolezal is a white woman passing as black. This occurred following Dolezal's reports to police and to local news outlets that she had allegedly been the victim of nine hate crimes. Critics of Dolezal argued that she committed fraud and cultural appropriation; her defenders argued that she was "transracial" and that her racial identity, while not grounded in biology or ancestry, was genuine.
Both jobs for the NAACP and as Commissioner for the Office of the Police Ombudsman, Spokane, Washington she got only because she pretended to be of part Subsaharan African ancestry (she claimed to be a mix of European, Subsaharan African, Indigenous American, and more). Both jobs discriminated against people by race and American society was okay with that. However the fact that she pretended to be another race to get by--what should be illegal--racial discrimination in hiring for those jobs was something many Americans considered a scandal and some called her "racist" for getting past a job hiring requirement that should be considered racist and people called on her to be forced out of her jobs, which she resigned June 15, 2015. However there is evidence she sincerely identified as black. Her adoptive brother Ezra Dolezal claims she was also saying europhobic things around her other adoptive brother Izaiah Dolezal, and this made Izaiah europhobic too. A colleague of hers at Eastern Washington University , Angela Schwendiman, said Dolezal "perceived herself as black internally", and that "I think she was only trying to match how she felt on the inside with her outside."
- She married a black man Kevin Moore in 2000 and adopted several black children. At the time of marriage she was blonde, pale, and not transracial at all. They later divorced in 2005. She claimed in court documents that she endured "years" of "physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse" and cited a sex tape where her ex-husband forced her to perform "sex acts" on camera against her will.
- Earlier in her life before she became transracial, Howard University denied her scholarships and teaching jobs because she was white. The university also had removed her art exhibits to favor blacks. She then sued the university in 2002, but judge Zoe Bush dismissed the case in 2004 because discrimination against white people in the USA is perfectly legal. The judge then ordered her to pay $3728.50 to the university.
- She wanted to boycott the film Exodus: Gods and Kings because it used white actors. Director Ridley Scott responded, "I can't mount a film of this budget...and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such...I'm just not going to get financed," and those types of boycotters should "get a life."
- She said she first identified as as black at age 5 when she would draw self-portraits with a brown crayon instead of orange. Her parents said this was untrue.
- Jones, George. "Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal resigns". WFSB Eyewitness News 3. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Paris, Brittany (June 13, 2015). "EWU releases statement on Rachel Dolezal". KXLY.
- Victor, Daniel (June 12, 2015). "NAACP Leader Rachel Dolezal Posed as Black, Parents Say". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- Mosendz, Polly (June 12, 2015). "Family Accuses NAACP Leader Rachel Dolezal of Falsely Portraying Herself as Black". Newsweek. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- Graman, Kevin (July 28, 2010). "Human Rights Educator Rachel Dolezal Resigns". The Spokesman-Review.
- Clarke, Kinsey (June 12, 2015). "Making Sense Of Rachel Dolezal, The Alleged White Woman Who Passed As Black". NPR. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
... Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute ...
- Humphrey, Jeff (June 11, 2015). "Did NAACP president lie about her race? City investigates". KXLY.
- Capehart, Jonathan (June 12, 2015). "The damage Rachel Dolezal has done". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
Blackface remains highly racist, no matter how down with the cause a white person is.
- Justin Wm. Moyer (June 12, 2015). "'Are you an African American?' Why an NAACP official isn't saying.". Washington Post. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "Spokane officials investigating Rachel Dolezal's behavior on ombudsman panel - Spokesman.com - June 14, 2015". Spokesman.com. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Rachel Dolezal accused of 'blackface' by adopted brother, The Guardian, 13 June 2015
- Elisha Fieldstadt; Giselle Lamarre (June 13, 2015). "NAACP Chapter President Rachel Dolezal Plans to Address Race Controversy Monday". NBC News.
- NAACP Imposter Sued School Over Race Claims: Rachel Dolezal alleged she was victim of white discrimination
- "Scott, Bale defend 'Exodus' casting". Associated Press. December 8, 2014.