Rachel Dolezal: “I Identify as Black”

In her first public interview since allegations that she lied about her race for nearly a decade, Rachel Dolezal sat down with Matt Lauer on Tuesday to address the controversy.

“I did feel that at some point, I would need to address the complexity of my identity,” the former Spokane NAACP president said. When asked directly if she is an African American woman, Dolezal responded, “I identify as black.”

She went on to explain her “self-identification with the black experience” started around the age of five, when she began drawing self portraits of herself using a brown crayon, rather than a peach one.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Dolezal announced she was resigning as the local NAACP chapter president. Hours after posting the letter, the Smoking Gun reported she once sued Howard University claiming racial discrimination against her for being a white woman.

When Lauer broached the 2002 lawsuit, Dolezal said, “The reasons for my full tuition scholarship being removed, as well as my teaching assistant position, were that other people needed opportunities and ‘you probably have white relatives that can help you with your tuition.’ I thought that was injustice.”

Two years after she filed suit, a judge dismissed her case.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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