There is another controversy over the veracity of representations of minority status in Washington. We previously discussed the controversy raised by the allegedly false claims of Senator Elizabeth Warren that she is a Native American. In this case, however, the accused is the head of a NAACP chapter and she is being accused of lying by her own mother. Worse yet, some have suggested that Rachel Dolezal, who is the head of the NAACP’s chapter in Spokane, planted hate mail at her office.
Dolezal has described her ethnicity as white, black, and American Indian in past papers and applications. However, her mother, Ruthanne, said that she is Czech, Swedish, and German, along with some “faint traces” of Native American heritage.
That has led to angry responses from different groups that she represented herself as a minority when she was selected for different positions. Dolezal has called the controversy a “multi-layered issue” and insisted “That question is not as easy as it seems. There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.” She then added “We’re all from the African continent.” Many have interpreted that statement as a claim that, since mankind itself has been traced to Africa, everyone is an African to some degree. The definition is not sufficient for various groups. It raises, as did the Warren controversy, the basis for claiming minority status — a status that can give an edge in applications or hirings.
In addition, critics have raised suspicious racially motivated incidents reported by Dolezal while she was in Coeur d’Alene, including the discovery of a swastika on the Human Rights Education Institute’s door. Likewise, Spokane police records for February and March of this year showed that a hate mail package Dolezal reported receiving at the NAACP’s post office box did not bear a date stamp or barcode. Dolezal denies responsibility for those incidents.
The question is how to handle such cases in not only definition how to prove or what constitutes minority status or how to respond to allegedly false claims. If one receives payment for holding a position secured by assurance of minority status, can it be an actionable from of fraud or misrepresentation for the purposes of criminal or civil liability?
280 thoughts on “NAACP Official Faces Accusations That She Is White . . . From Her Mother”
Well, all is well that ends well! Rachel Dolezal has a new job! She makes hair weaves for Black women! Yes, now she helping to make Black women’s hair look like White women’s hair! Is this a crazy world, or what???
I don’t doubt that he saw it under one name or another. It’s the quote that I’m hesitant to cite as fact: “Quote:
President Woodrow Wilson, during a private screening at the White House, is reported to have exclaimed: “It’s like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all terribly true.””
‘Smear’ was a poor choice of wording. It would be more accurate to call it ‘misappropriation’.
“CK07 – There is little reason to believe that Wilson was smeared over any thing he said about Birth of a Nation”
Listen, I’m no fan of Wilsons racial politics. That being said I gave a very timid defense simply because those quotes are controversial. See the conversation here:
And this cited correspondence therein:
To Joseph Patrick Tumulty
[The White House, April 28, 1915]
I would suggest as an answer to this letter  the following:
“It is true that ‘The Birth of a Nation’ was produced before the President and his family at the White House, but the President was entirely unaware of the character of the play before it was presented and has at no time expressed his approbation of it. Its exhibition at the White House was a courtesy extended to an old acquaintance.” 
It’s not an open and shut case if the quote was made up though I don’t think it matters.
CK07 – Until the film opened it was shown under the title of the book “The Clansman” which would have been the title of the film seen by Wilson.
Some people are sooo used to defending black people, no matter what they do, that it droops over by habit, and they will defend people who pretend to be black. Can you say, stuck.in.a.mental.rut??? Could we at least have some appropriate music??? And nobody better object because if you do, you’re anti-Semitic!!!
So, apparently she went to Howard as a white student, and then sued the school for discriminating against her for being white. Her parents allege that she had submitted African themed art as part of her application to the school, and that the school was “surprised” to discover that she was white. I don’t know how that happens. As long as she put “white” down on the application, then they knew what they were getting. Her parents did not say, and probably do not know, what she entered as race on her application, but she had not changed her appearance at the school.
From the article:
“Dolezal sued Howard University after she received her graduate degree there, claiming the historically black college had discriminated against her because she was white. WTTG reported that Dolezal filed her lawsuit against Howard in 2002, asking for damages due to “medical and emotional distress.” Her parents told Fox News Channel that Dolezal had submitted African-themed art as part of her application to the school, and that they believed the school was surprised when, after accepting her, they learned that she was white.
Dolezal, who then went by her married name, Rachel Moore, claimed the university blocked her appointment as a teaching assistant, failed to hire her as an art teacher upon graduation and removed some of her pieces from a student art exhibition in favor of works by African-American students. In 2005, the D.C. appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling throwing out the lawsuit and Dolezal was ordered to pay the university $2,700 to cover the costs of the lawsuit.
WTTG also reported that Dolezal had received three speeding tickets in Virginia, where she lived while attending school, in 2000, 2001, and 2003. All three court documents listed her race as white.”
So it sounds like Dolezal did not particularly enjoy Affirmative Action and its facsimiles as a white person, where she felt she was passed over because of her skin color. And she was pulled over by the cops PLENTY while looking white, having received 3 speeding tickets.
So was it a case of, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? She didn’t like AA as a white person, so she changed her appearance and claimed she was black to game the same system? I just want to laugh when I see photos of the woman who sued for discrimination for being white, linking arms with black activists singing “we will overcome” racial discrimination for being black. She claims to have been discriminated against being white AND while pretending to be black.
The police have dropped the investigation into the multiple hate crimes she alleges to have happened, and in fact, one of the packages lacked a bar code, indicating it was never handled by the post office.
She’s a liar and a charlatan, and possibly experiencing some sort of pleasure in portraying herself as a victim by any means necessary to get attention.
And all this “we all come form the cradle of civilization” is baloney. She wasn’t marching in the street shouting race doesn’t matter, we all come from the same roots! Nope. She was hyper focused on race along with all the other activists. But her pattern is to portray herself as the victim. Even when she was caught lying and defrauding, she takes the victim role of racial dysphoria.
“What does this have to do with the Dolezals?”Her brother claimed that her actions would have somehow been deemed racist in the 19th century and yet movies starring the klan and blackfaces rapists were deemed acceptable by the president 20 years later. I’m saying her brother doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
He’s obviously trying to say what they did then is considered racist now.
The conversation went to how her family is unapologetically throwing her under the bus even though they see the media eviscerating her,
This is a strange concern considering what she’s been saying about them: including denying they are her parents.
while conservatives who give a damn about black rights are assassinating her character for doing far less harm to the black community than they’ve done in the past year alone.
It’s a shock to discover absurd political ideas are the root cause of a complete inability to understand reality. That never happens.
“I’m pointing out that she’s done nothing wrong in comparison to the conservative agenda with regard to the black community. Yet she’s made a scapegoat while their actions are largely ignored despite affecting a much larger swath of people.”
Wow. So I can claim to be black, game the system, and take advantage of Affirmative Action, and you would think that conservatives do worse than black people? Worse than lying about being black and fraudulently taking the place of a black person in programs designed to help them?
That’s really false logic.
BFM – this story just keeps getting weirder.
Because of her total loss of credibility, I now question everything, including her claim that she had cervical cancer. Who knows, maybe she did. But the moral of the Boy Who Cried Wolf is that no one believes a liar, even when she is telling the truth.
Karen – do her husband and step-son think she is black? And would that be grounds for annulment?
It’s also my understanding that she married a black man who already had a black child. So she’s the stepmother to a black child. That actually didn’t make her be black, or qualify for special assistance.
I don’t know what family dynamic is going on, and what her parent initially quarreled about.
But she lied for years gaming the system about her race, and denied them as her true relatives. I don’t know why they let it go so far before they reported her. Tough position, to know your child has built her entire life on a sick fantasy that may have led to taking jobs by cheating. She either needed psychological help or tough love, but remaining silent would just enable her.
“Simply because she is not defended from slaves does not define her as non-black.” That’s not disputed. Plenty of people immigrate here from Africa every year whose ancestors were never enslaved.
Is this seriously becoming a defense in the media? That if you are white, but you really, really wish you were black, you could pretend you were, and then take advantage of Affirmative Action, and similar programs?
Wow. I guess the answer was really simple for all those men wanting to be police or firemen, who had to wait for years to get in, while those with less interest and lower test scores passed them because they wanted minorities. They just had to WANT to be black, and then they would get preferential treatment. And then all those blond, blue eyed firemen who actually did NOT have any black ancestors could join hands and sing, “We will overcome”. According to this race dysphoria defense, I suppose that would qualify for diversity in the workplace. Well, let’s see, we employ 100% whites, but 10% of them self identify as blacks and use spray tans, so we’ve all good with diversity.
Oh, and I may have missed this party. Have they discovered yet what race she claimed to get into Howard? I do not know what years she attended, but the lies started in 2006. So was she still claiming to be white when she got in, or was that when the lies started?
Again, I want an investigation, but I don’t know how much will be released to the public.
“No, blacks do not pay higher rates on loans because of rate. That is literally illegal. People pay higher rates if they have bad credit.”
Look at the link I posted earlier: http://m.deseretnews.com/article/865553379/Racism-in-finance-Major-banks-issue-higher-interest-rates-to-minorities.html
Do you just think the NYT, and research team of law professors from Arizona and Illinois
made it up?
“Research from a combined team of bankruptcy experts, law professors and psychology professors from the Universities of Illinois and Arizona show the racial differences in filings, according to the New York Times.
The survey found that bankruptcy lawyers were more likely to steer African American debtors towards the more costly Chapter 13 protection than whites in similar situations.”
You seem to beleive because it should be illegal that it doesn’t happen. I guess you beleive women must get paid the same for equal work as well because anything else would be illegal. still on the go so this cell responding admits scrolling and providing links is a pain but that’s a pretty easy one. The rest are more subjective but I’ll address them in due time.
“Let me add that half the people claiming its so horrible she took advantage of programs designed for black people are the same ones who don’t think such programs should exist to begin with. But what programs did she take advantage of exactly? If you apply to an hbcu while white you’re eligible for diversity scholarship. The NAACP employs whites and if she wasn’t qualified she probably wouldn’t be running the chapter. In addition being black means she will likely pay higher interest rates on loans, and if she were male she’d probably have been pulled over regularly for driving while black.”
You got me there. I think it’s reprehensible that she may have taken advantage of programs designed to help blacks, and I think that many of those programs should be fundamentally changed. This reminds me of the police department, where they lowered standards, at least here in CA, in order to get in minorities. I knew people who took a long time to get in, while a black person with only faint interest and lower test scores, sailed right in. They would be so pissed if that person was white and had lied in order to cheat the system. Not agreeing with that system did not render them unable to object if someone gamed it.
Programs that benefitted the poor would help minorities, but it would not hyper focus on skin color. Seems like a win-win to me. And you wouldn’t have someone not getting into college because they were not the right skin color – like Asians.
That said, my contention is that every step along the way, from going to nearly all-black Howard College, to her career path, to her most recent position, she lied about being black. How likely do you think that a white woman would be teaching “The Black Woman’s Struggle” at a college? She basically gamed the system, and my having some problems with that system does not excuse her actions. I want this investigated to see if race was the deciding factor at any step in her education or career along the way from 2006 to the present. Because she would have then used fraud to give herself an edge and beat everyone else out.
It’s not disputed that the NAACP also employs whites. It’s also not disputed that she claimed to be black when she applied. What do you think the chances are that if there were two people suited for the position, a black applicant would have the edge? If they had a pool of applicants, and at least one of them was black, why in the world would the NAACP give a top position away to a white person if there was a suitable black applicant? What if there was a white person who was slightly more qualified, but she got the job because her supposed race gave her that edge? I think this should be thoroughly investigated, but I doubt that hiring decisions at any of these companies will be made public.
No, blacks do not pay higher rates on loans because of rate. That is literally illegal. People pay higher rates if they have bad credit.
I don’t know about the rate of being pulled over more often for being black.
She made multiple allegations of hate crimes. Considering she’s been lying this entire time, her credibility is ruined. I wouldn’t believe anything she says unless it had been proven.
The NAACP had her resign, citing lack of integrity.
“What does this have to do with the Dolezals?”Her brother claimed that her actions would have somehow been deemed racist in the 19th century and yet movies starring the klan and blackfaces rapists were deemed acceptable by the president 20 years later. I’m saying her brother doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. The conversation went to how her family is unapologetically throwing her under the bus even though they see the media eviscerating her, while conservatives who give a damn about black rights are assassinating her character for doing far less harm to the black community than they’ve done in the past year alone.
look up A birth of a nation, a movie which president Wilson was believed to hold in high regard though he may have been smeared.
What does this have to do with the Dolezals?
“The fact is that the family has made no secret that they have adopted, nurtured and supported 4, count them 4, black children. How does some one embarrassed by or hostile to black ethnicity nurture black children in the intimate setting of the family. Why would someone hostile to black ethnicity do it? Why would someone embarrassed by the association with black ethnicity publicly acknowledge their situation.”
Because it isn’t the same as saying that they themselves have black blood. Merely that they are charitable. And these children were still children as recently as when dooazel married her black husband Moore. It’s not evidence but it could very well be a move she pressured them into or that they took on to remain close to her after she went about marrying what they viewed as akin to one of their charity cases.
Simply because she is not defended from slaves does not define her as non-black. Not only were there many black free peoples who came to the U.S. and Canada initially, there are many African descendents who were not slaves that are still thought of as black. As I’ve said I know a fair amount of people who could pass with a black grandmother that never get thought of as black until they claim it, and then you have Obama who was raised by whites and born of a free Kenyan. He is still black.
How did she take advantage of affirmative action when she went to howard while claiming to be white. Affirmative action does not only apply to blacks either and is now for diversity. She may have used it for its intended purpose while claiming her white ancestry at an hbcu as your children could. If she claimed to be black she would have been ineligible there. Do you somehow think blacks are out claiming affirmative action when applying for jobs? If that is the case then why are they being denied interviews as if they were all criminals when compared with whites?
“Because it isn’t the same as saying that they themselves have black blood. Merely that they are charitable.”
Now you have confused your own argument. You original argument had nothing to do with whether the white parents were ‘charitable’ or whether their actions were like ‘themselves having black blood’.
Your original claim was that the white parents must have gone public about Rachel because they were reluctant to be publicly identified with black ethnicity – much like the hypocrisy of Sterling.
That argument made no sense. Whey would someone go public about their black adopted children that they nurture and love in their own family if they don’t want to their family associated with black ethnicity.
“Simply because she is not defended [sic – descended] from slaves does not define her as non-black.”
But in her case we know with certainty that she is not black. She is descended from a line of northern Europeans. She had a childhood that seems very much like many other white American children. And we know that she did not suffer the effects of racist discrimination – at least not until she adopted black persona as an adult.
“How did she take advantage of affirmative action when she went to howard while claiming to be white.”
This is the third message in which I have pointed out: we do not know whether she used affirmative advantage programs or not. It would be interesting to know if she did. But at this point I think it is safe to say only Rachel and the program administrators know for sure.
“Do you somehow think blacks are out claiming affirmative action when applying for jobs?
Yes, affirmative action programs associated with jobs are in operation, especially in government and in academia. Where those programs are in operation those eligible including African Americans make use of the programs.
“If that is the case then why are they being denied interviews as if they were all criminals when compared with whites?”
The study you cited claims that the likelihood that an African American with a clean record will be hired is about the same as a white person with conviction being hired. (I think that is a fair statement of one of the articles many conclusions)
That claim does not mean that African Americans are never given interviews or that African Americans are never hired. On the contrary, we know that sometimes African Americans with convictions are hired for positions where a clean record is not a requirement for employment. African Americans with a clean record have a much easier time that African Americans with conviction getting interviews and job offers. However we know from several studies that African Americans have a much more difficult time getting interviews, and job offers than white job candidates with similar credentials.
Nothing in the article contradicts the fact that there are affirmative action programs related to jobs, especially in government and in academia, and that those programs are used by African Americans when available.
The Rachel Dolezal story gets curiouser and curiouser. Anyone with an interest in this story might want to check the WAPO:
Apparently Rachel’s older, biological brother is charged with child, sexual abuse. Here is a sentence from the article that brings together some of the unusual circumstances and allegations in this complicated story.
“The allegations against Joshua Dolezal are significant because, in interviews with The Post and other outlets, the Dolezals alleged Rachel orchestrated them to win custody of her brother Izaiah. Izaiah, who is black, lives with Rachel Dolezal in Spokane — and Rachel says he is her son, the family alleged.”
Once again it seems to me we are left with many questions and few facts or reasonable conclusions about Rachel.
bfm – I do not think this woman has much veracity going for her.
Donald Sterling also made claims of helping employ black people and had people like Magic Johnson considered a friend. That doesn’t mean he’d accept someone related to him by blood admitting that they were black.
So the argument is that there’s a difference between accepting black friends versus accepting black family. Yet the parents he’s trying to smear with Sterling’s racism do accept black family. The very principle he’s chosen to argue proves the family distinct from the comparison he wants to make, which makes me wonder why he chose such an inapt example. The only obvious reason is to smear the family with Sterling’s racism.
Her family threw her under the bus in the media for identifying as part black and her adopted brothers accused her of racism akin to a minstrel show saying it would be very racist in the early 1900s apparently no one told them films like A birth of a nation were acceptable for even the president to promote back then.
What is this scatterbrained nonsense?
That “scatterbrained nonsense is me typing from a cellphone while on the go. Try putting a sentence before apparently and it should make sense. And look up A birth of a nation, a movie which president Wilson was believed to hold in high regard though he may have been smeared.
CK07 – There is little reason to believe that Wilson was smeared over any thing he said about Birth of a Nation.
If you’re going to respond at least attempt to answer a single question I’ve posed instead of giving Idioms of frogs.
Quit making if statements.
Let me add that half the people claiming its so horrible she took advantage of programs designed for black people are the same ones who don’t think such programs should exist to begin with. But what programs did she take advantage of exactly? If you apply to an hbcu while white you’re eligible for diversity scholarship. The NAACP employs whites and if she wasn’t qualified she probably wouldn’t be running the chapter. In addition being black means she will likely pay higher interest rates on loans, and if she were male she’d probably have been pulled over regularly for driving while black.
You speak as if declaring yourself black automatically rewards you with a black card and 40 acres.
Didn’t she also marry a black man and have his child? If so then wouldn’t she have a legitimate concern for protecting the child’s well being through the NAACP?
CK07 – if a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump it’s a*s every time it jumped.
“The same [embracing black ethnicity] could have been said of Donald Sterling and his association with nba players and friendship with magic for years.”
To this very day we would not have the slightest clue of Sterling’s real attitudes if we were limited to the evidence of his behavior with associates and the team. We have evidence of Sterling’s true feelings from some statements he made that were recorded and presented to the public.
You have presented nothing, zero, to support your claim that the Dolezal parents are like Sterling. You have made a claim. That is not evidence.
It seems to me that actions of the family speak louder than the words of a complete outsider who has no – repeat no – knowledge of the situation.
The fact is that the family has made no secret that they have adopted, nurtured and supported 4, count them 4, black children. How does some one embarrassed by or hostile to black ethnicity nurture black children in the intimate setting of the family. Why would someone hostile to black ethnicity do it? Why would someone embarrassed by the association with black ethnicity publicly acknowledge their situation?
If you want to convince us the Dolezal parents are like Sterling then it is time you present some evidence. Your repetition of a charge proves nothing.
“I would like you to explain what it is that she’s done and how that compares at all to what the republican movement to disenfranchise black voters, gerrymander states to make their voice irrelevant, and repeal the voting rights act. That’s what people who care about the black community should be focusing on.”
Twice, count them, twice I have pointed out that Rachel’s deception is between herself and her associates, for example those in the NAACP. However, if some of her associates feel betrayed by her deception then I see no problem in their holding Rachel accountable. There is no contradiction in holding Rachel accountable and working to overcome bad social policy.
“Not some woman who embraces the fact that we all have African ancestry while many with more recent such ancestry are still in denial.”
Your intended meaning of this sentence is not clear to me. I assume you are trying to say Rachel’s deception is less a problem than national social policy – we agree. Rachel is what some used to call a human interest story.
If you are suggesting that having components from ancient African ancestors in our DNA endowment gives us equal standing with those who are actually descended from African slaves brought to American then we disagree.
Slavery, Jim Crow and more subtle forms of racism have damaged a reasonably well defined population out of 320 million Americans. It is just not true that every one who shares vestiges of African DNA – which is all of us – have encountered the same negative effects of racism.
Rachel seems to have had a childhood reasonably typical for Americans with northern European descent. There is no suggestion that she endured the numerous subtle and overt effects of racism – at least not until she started claiming she was black.
” I’m merely pointing out they threw her under the bus and that its still rolling over her … ”
Apparently Rachel’s older, biological brother has some legal problems. There are reports that Rachel has taken a position on issues related to that case. Without some understanding of the details of those problems and how they affect the rest of the family there is no way we can judge whether her family’s public communications are reasonable or not.
It is not even clear to me that the Dolezal family is the source of Rachel’s public outing. Rachel seems to have drawn attention to herself with claims of receiving mail threats. There are reports detectives concluded the threatening letters were never processed through the mail system which raises the question how they were placed in Dolezal’s locked mail box.
Rachel was rapidly becoming a public political figure. Involvement in a serious legal case related to her brother, questionable claims of threats as NAACP leader, application for the position of chair of the Office of the Police Ombudsman Commission in Spokane are all situations that could lead to thorough background checks.
Anyone who has ever tried to cover up anything knows the more attention, the more questions, the more questions the more attention. I would be surprised if no one was interested how threats got into the locked mail box of the person who was both local NAACP leader and chair of the Police Ombudsman Commission.
What ever the details it seems to me it was only a matter of time before Rachel’s deception blew up in her face. With all that cooking why would anyone blame the family?
“Let me add that half the people claiming its so horrible she took advantage of programs designed for black people are the same ones who don’t think such programs should exist to begin with. ”
The people complaining about social policy are irrelevant to Rachel’s choices and actions. People who feel a program is bad social policy still have a perfect right to demand that the program be used in accordance with the established standards and procedures that govern its operation.
“But what programs did she take advantage of exactly?”
I have pointed out twice – *** twice *** – we do not know that she took advantage of any programs. In any case I pointed out *** twice *** that issue is between Rachel and the affirmative action program. Rachel’s obligations to any program are for the program administrators to decide.
But it is an interesting and reasonable question whether she made use of affirmative action and whether she now has any liability. I don’t know and I doubt that anyone besides Rachel and the program administrators know for sure.
“The NAACP employs whites and if she wasn’t qualified she probably wouldn’t be running the chapter. ”
The NAACP has spoken clearly that color is not a condition for membership or leadership. I believe we have evidence that some in the organization feel that Rachel’s deception is objectionable. Some have explicitly stated they feel the issue has to do with integrity.
“You speak as if declaring yourself black automatically rewards you with a black card and 40 acres.”
I personally, strongly support democratic process. If it is the wisdom of society expressed through their elected representatives that African American descendants of slaves should receive a ‘black card’ (sic – what ever that is), and 40 acres, then I am good with that.
“Didn’t she also marry a black man and have his child? If so then wouldn’t she have a legitimate concern for protecting the child’s well being through the NAACP?”
I am not aware of anyone who has criticized her for joining the NAACP or for rising to a position of leadership. As I mentioned above, some have criticized Rachel for her deception apparently because they feel it goes to integrity.
bfm – I think it would have been much better to have her on the Police Commission before she was outed. I am sure it is just me but the irony would be so much greater.
I hope someone does investigate all the alleged hate crimes. Of course, a good attorney will just claim that she has a form Munchausen’s. Speaking of which,
bam, She did not claim to be black @ Howard. And, here is the KNOCKOUT punch. The Smoking Gun uncovered a discrimination suit filed by this bimbo against Howard alleging unfair treatment BECAUSE SHE WAS WHITE! A Federal judge threw the lawsuit out.
@NickS and Bams
I am surprised that more of these idiot white folks who are sooo heavily invested in “Das Struggle” aren’t doing the same thing. I mean, a few melanin shots would do the trick, wouldn’t it??? Apparently it is more common than we think???
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