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Mystery of NAACP Leader’s Race Ignites Firestorm of Controversy

A woman who heads up a local chapter of the NAACP has found herself at the center of a very surprising scandal.

Rachel Dolezal, 37, who serves as the president of the NAACP in Spokane, Wash., has come under fire amidst accusations she’s white.

In an interview earlier this week with KXLY in which she discussed hate crimes, which you can see above (an abridged version can be found here), Dolezal, who also teaches classes on African-American culture at Eastern Washington University, is confronted by a reporter about her race (note the exchange, which gets testy around the eight-minute mark).

Dolezal, who is now being investigated by the city, checked that she is African-American on an application to serve on a local police commission. That is what caused the uproar because various public records — including Dolezal’s own birth certificate — state that both of her parents are white.

Her father, Lawrence Dolezal, even confirmed his daughter’s race in an interview with CNN (it should be noted that the younger Dolezal, who attended Howard University, is reportedly estranged from her family):

We are her birth parents. We do not understand why she feels it’s necessary to misrepresent her ethnicity.”

Interestingly enough, the NAACP appears to have thrown its support behind Dolezal. The organization released a statement, saying, “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record.”

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