US civil rights agent outed as white woman
American civil rights activist Rachel Dolezal has spoken out about the furore over her ethnicity, which has sparked a heated debate around the world about racial identity.
The 37-year-old spokesperson for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – a civil rights organisation for ethnic minorities in the US – told a reporter from the Krem news portal: “I consider myself to be black and I don’t give two s**ts what you think.”
Dolezal is accused of identifying herself as black in a job application, despite being born to white parents who live in the ranching and cereal grain farming state of Montana.
Dolezal told journalists she preferred to be known as “black” rather than “African-American”.
Some on Twitter have remarked that if Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner was allowed to become a woman, then Dolezal should be allowed to be black.
Others hit back, saying being transgender and lying about your race were different issues.
On Friday, speaking from their home in Troy, Montana, Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal told CNN their daughter had been misleading people about her race since 2007. They also said she had cut them out of her life, fearing they would blow her cover.
Her mother said: “Rachel has chosen to distance herself from the family ... she doesn’t want to be seen with us because it ruins her image.”
Dolezal works part time as an Africana Studies professor at Eastern Washington University.
Rachel Dolezal in her younger days (left) and how she looks now