Rachel Dolezal Quits NAACP Position: ‘I Will Never Stop Fighting for Human Rights’
Rachel Dolezal has stepped down from her position as President of the Spokane, Washington Chapter of the NAACP, after the “unexpected firestorm” that has come from her parents' claims that she fooled people about her ethnicity for years.
In a statement posted Monday on the Spokane NAACP Facebook page, Dolezal discussed the many issues the organization still faces, including, police brutality and health inequalities, but added the disappointment of how “the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.”
"I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions – absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion," she wrote. "Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm."
Dolezal announced that the Vice President of the Spokane chapter, Naima Quarles-Burnley, would be taking over for Dolezal.
"Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It's about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum.”
The controversy made headlines after Rachel's parents, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, told KREM 2 News last week that their daughter is caucasian, and said she is specifically German and Czech. The Dolezals said their daughter married and later divorced an African-American man, and that after the 2004 divorce, Rachel began “identifying differently.”
The same day her parents were interviewed, Rachel told KREM that she does not speak to her parents because of an ongoing legal issue. When KREM 2 asked Rachel to address the claims that she misrepresented her race, she said, “It's more important to me to clarify that to the black community, and with my executive board, than it really is for me to explain it to a community that I quite frankly don't think understands the definitions of race and ethnicity.”