"I consider myself black," says white woman who posed as an African American – Telegraph.co.uk
In her first interview since the revelations, she told television network KREM news: “I actually don’t like the term African-American. I prefer black, and I would say that if I was asked I would definitely say that yes I do consider myself to be black.”
She added that she ‘can understand’ why some people believe that she misrepresented herself.
The civil rights activists has made headlines several times since 2009 as the victim of hate crimes, including death threats and an alleged run-in with neo-Nazis in Idaho.
She also serves as the chair of a police oversight body called the office of police ombudsman commission and is a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, where her research interests include “the intersection of race, gender and class in the contemporary diaspora with a specific emphasis on black women in visual culture.”
In her application for the police ombudsman commission she described herself as mixed-race white, black, and Native American, according to local media reports.
But her parents said Ms Dolezal is of German, Czech, and Swedish descent with a smattering of Native American ancestry.
Ms Dolezal later confirmed that Larry Dolezal was her father, and said she “understood” why people may feel was guilty of misrepresentations but declined to elaborate.
“It’s more important for me to clarify that with the black community and with my executive board than it really is to explain it to a community that, quite frankly, don’t really understand the definitions of race and ethnicity,” she said in a television interview.
The revelations about her deception emerged in the course of a police investigation into hate mail allegedly sent to Ms Dolezal at the NAACP branch in Spokane, Washington.
She alleged she had been sent hate mail but police reports have revealed that whoever sent it would have needed to have the key to the post box because none of the items had bar codes or stamps.
Spokane city council said they were carrying out an investigation to “determine if city policies had been violated.”
Her parents said she only began to claim African descent after divorcing her husband, who is black, in 2004.
Her mother, Ruthanne, said Ms Dolezal began to “disguise herself” in 2006 or 2007.
Her father Larry Dolezal told Buzzfeed: “She’s our birth daughter and we’re both of European descent. We’re puzzled and it’s very sad.”
“Rachel has wanted to be somebody she’s not. She’s chosen not to just be herself but to represent herself as an African American woman or a biracial person. And that’s simply not true,” her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, told KREM news.