Rachel Dolezal Quits as|Spokane NAACP Leader

     SPOKANE (CN) – Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal resigned Monday after a tumultuous week that began with her parents saying she had been misrepresenting herself as black for years.
     Stepping down after seven months as president of the Spokane office, 37-year-old Dolezal said the “dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.”
     Dolezal canceled an appearance set for today; her statement was posted on an NAACP Facebook page.
     “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,” she said. “It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It’s about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.”
     Dolezal’s parents said that week that she is not black, but of Swedish, Czech and German ancestry, with “faint traces” of Native American.
     Dolezal teaches in the African Studies program at Eastern Washington University and received a graduate degree from historically black Howard University.
     The Smoking Gun website reported Monday that Dolezal sued Howard in 2002 for discriminating against her as a white woman. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2004 and Dolezal, then named Rachel Moore, had to pay Howard’s court costs, according to the website.
     Dolezal has also made numerous claims of racial harassment to Spokane police that are now being questioned, the police told the Spokesman-Review.
     The NAACP has stood behind Dolezal and issued a statement in her support on Friday.
     “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” the organization said. “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.”
     Dolezal’s story made world headlines and restarted a national conversation about race, from an unusual angle.

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