"Our daughter is Caucasian" say parents of Spokane NAACP President Rachel Dolezal. pic.twitter.com/6VHxm9v4Wt— Taylor Viydo (@KREMTaylor) June 11, 2015
A recently appointed president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People lied about her race for years, according to her family’s claims.
Officials are now investigating whether Rachel Dolezal – who identifies herself in application materials as white, black and Native American – violated any policies on a city application to be on the ombudsman commission.
The national NAACP said it stands by Dolezal.
For 106 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has held a long and proud tradition of receiving support from people of all faiths, races, colors and creeds. NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter. 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. In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.
Hate language sent through mail and social media along with credible threats continue to be a serious issue for our units in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. We take all threats seriously and encourage the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully investigate each occurrence.
The controversy erupted after her parents – who are both white – told some local media outlets that their Dolezal is in fact Czech, Swedish and German with traces of Native American heritage.
Dolezal's parents, who live in Troy, MT, say Rachel has been deceiving people. They want people to know the truth. pic.twitter.com/sS3aiUwD0H— Taylor Viydo (@KREMTaylor) June 11, 2015
However, as per an image posted on the NAACP Spokane Facebook page earlier this year, Dolezal posed with an African-American she identified as her father.
And things got even more complicated after KXLY4's Jeff Humphrey asked Dolezal about her heritage:
"Ma'am, I was wondering if your dad really is an African-American man," Humphrey asked.
"I don't understand the question," she replied. "I did tell you [that man in the picture] is my dad." "Are your parents white?" Humphrey asked, at which point Dolezal abruptly walking away from the camera.
In another dilemma concerning Dolezal, the woman apparently has a history of reporting hate crimes at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. But none of those allegations resulted in arrests or charges due to insufficient evidence to prosecute.
Dolezal's ethnicity was initially questioned after she claimed hate mail was sent to the P.O. box for the Spokane chapter of NAACP. However, these letters had no date stamp or barcode. Postal officials said that the only way for the letters to enter the mailbox would be through someone with a key or a USPS employee. Police ruled out postal employees as suspects. The investigation has now been dropped by local and federal authorities pending any new leads.
Spokane authorities are looking into the claims to confirm if she violated the city's code of ethics.
"We are committed to independent citizen oversight and take very seriously the concerns raised regarding the chair of the independent citizen police ombudsman commission," Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart said it a joint statement Thursday. "We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated. That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions."