For­mer NAACP leader is on food stamps

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS | STATE-BY-STATE - Mary Bow­er­man @MaryBow­er­man USA TO­DAY

Rachel Dolezal, the for­mer NAACP leader from Spokane, Wash., who re­signed af­ter it came to light that she was falsely pre­sent­ing her­self as black, is job­less and may soon be homeless. In an in­ter­view with The

Guardian, Dolezal said the only work she’s been of­fered is in re­al­ity TV and pornog­ra­phy. Although she’s ap­plied for 100 jobs, she told The Guardian that no one will hire her, and she’s cur­rently on food stamps and may soon be homeless.

“Right now the only place that I feel un­der­stood and com­pletely ac­cepted is with my kids and my sis­ter,” she told The Guardian.

The 39-year-old was swept into the na­tional spot­light in 2015 af­ter her par­ents, who are white, stepped for­ward and said Dolezal was not black. While the NAACP stressed that its or­ga­ni­za­tion in­cludes white lead­ers, crit­ics slammed Dolezal for pre­sent­ing her­self as black when she was ac­tu­ally white.

Dur­ing a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view in Novem­ber 2015, Dolezal said that de­spite be­ing born to white par­ents, she iden­ti­fies as black. She said her hair style and tanned skin led peo­ple to be­lieve she was black, and she didn’t cor­rect them.

Dolezal told The Guardian she still be­lieves that race is a so­cial con­struct.

“I feel like the idea of be­ing trans-black would be much more ac­cu­rate than ‘I’m white.’ Be­cause you know, I’m not white,” she said.

She told the news­pa­per she be­lieves there is a black and white side on is­sues rang­ing from pol­i­tics to so­cial and cul­tural is­sues.

“There’s a per­spec­tive, there’s a men­tal­ity, there’s a cul­ture,” she said. “To say that I’m black is to say, this is how I see the world, this is the phi­los- ophy, the his­tory, this is what I love and what I honor. Call­ing my­self black feels more ac­cu­rate than say­ing I’m white.”

Dolezal told The Guardian her strug­gle with race goes back to child­hood, when she re­mem­bers us­ing brown crayons to de­pict her­self in draw­ings. She said she wasn’t able to em­brace her true race un­til af­ter she di­vorced her hus­band.

“For the first time in my life, I re­ally de­cided con­sciously to be free from the re­pres­sion, and free from feel­ing like I had to do things in a way that was ac­cept­able to other peo­ple,” she told The Guardian. “I had the courage to be ex­actly who I was.”


Rachel Dolezal, the for­mer NAACP leader from Spokane, Wash., who re­signed af­ter falsely pre­sent­ing her­self as black, has been un­able to find a job and may soon be homeless.

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