Parents of White Woman Pretending to Be Black Have Just as Much Explaining to Do

rachel dolezal

Plenty of people are guilty of exaggerating their qualifications in the hopes of landing their dream job, but lying about your race ... for years? 37-year-old Spokane, Washington NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal is being accused of pretending to be African-American for years, and the only thing more shocking than her long term charade is that the people responsible for finally ending it are her own parents!


According to Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, their (biological) daughter Rachel started to "disguise herself" as black in 2006 or 2007, after the family adopted four African-American children. And while they've known about their daughter's false claims for years, they only came forward now because they were approached by local media. How this strange scandal is unfolding is somewhat complicated and definitely confusing, but it appears that questions over Rachel's background came up recently after she made numerous complaints to police about being harassed; Rachel, who also serves as chairwoman of Spokane’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, identified herself as white, black and American Indian in her application for the volunteer position. According to Ruthanne, the family's background is Czech, Swedish and German, with “faint traces” of Native American (she also provided a copy of her Rachel’s Montana birth certificate listing herself and Larry as parents). 

“It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself,” said Ruthanne. “Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable, and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody.”

As far as Rachel's response to the allegations, they've been vague, at best. When asked about her race by The Washington Post, she said:

"That question is not as easy as it seems ... there's a lot of complexities ... and I don't know that everyone would understand that."

"We're all from the African continent," she added later. 

And when a reporter flat-out asked her, "Are you African-American," Rachel said, "I don't understand the question."

Watch that bit of absolute insanity right here:

What could possibly be going on in this woman's head?! Is this a case of blatant dishonesty and opportunism, or is she mentally ill? Or is there something even more complicated going on here? What's really interesting to consider is the role her parents have played (and are playing). Ruthanne says she hasn't spoken to her daughter for years -- is that because she gave up trying to get through to her?

More from The Stir: Actress Reveals Horrifying Racial Attacks on Her Interracial Marriage

I would imagine that Rachel's parents had some kind of reaction to this whole thing as soon as it started (I know if one of my kids suddenly started pretending they were a different race, I'd be pretty concerned). Maybe, when the media contacted Ruthanne and Larry, they felt a responsibility to address the issue at last -- maybe they felt like this was the only way they could finally reach their daughter. Maybe they felt guilty for not being able to take care of this earlier, or maybe they're just so frustrated at this point they felt like this was their only choice. There are just so many questions everyone has about this bizarre set of circumstances, it's hard to know where to begin. But one thing's for sure -- it's going to be really interesting to see how the story ends.

Why do you think Rachel Dolezal lied about her race?

Image via YouTube

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